Strengthening Hurricane Fiona heads north toward Bermuda

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A man stands outside his house in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in El Seibo, Dominican Republic.

Hurricane Fiona continued its slow and devastating march northward after slamming the Turks and Caicos Islands on Tuesday and leaving a trail of destruction in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Wednesday morning that the storm had grown stronger, registering maximum wind speeds of 130 miles per hour (210 kilometers per hour) as it barreled toward Bermuda.

The NHC said Fiona was 105 miles (170 kilometers) north of Turks and Caicos and had been upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane, the second highest level on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

“Swells from Fiona are expected to reach Bermuda by early Thursday. The swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the NHC said in its latest advisory.

At least five people have died as the storm churned across the Caribbean—one in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe and two each in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

“Hurricane Fiona has proven to be an unpredictable storm,” Anya Williams, the deputy governor of Turks and Caicos, said in a broadcast.

Williams said no casualties or serious injuries had been reported in Turks and Caicos, but she urged residents to continue to shelter in place.

A young person rides his bicycle in Nagua, Dominican Republic.

Blackouts were reported on Grand Turk and several other islands in the archipelago and 165 people were admitted to shelters, she said, adding that Britain’s Royal Navy and the US Coast Guard are standing by to provide assistance.

Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader has declared three eastern provinces to be disaster zones: La Altagracia—home to the popular resort of Punta Cana—El Seibo and Hato Mayor.

Authorities said Tuesday that more than 10,000 people had been moved to “safe areas,” while about 400,000 are without electricity.

Footage from local media showed residents of the east coast town of Higuey waist-deep in water trying to salvage personal belongings.

“It came through at high speed,” Vicente Lopez told AFP in Punta Cana, bemoaning the destroyed businesses in the area.

This undated handout photo shows members of the National Guard providing hurricane assistance in Puerto Rico.

‘I have food and water’

US President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico and dispatched the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the island, which is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria five years ago.

“We’re sending hundreds of additional personnel to support all affected communities,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said Tuesday after a tour with Pedro Pierluisi, the island’s governor.

Pierluisi said the storm had caused catastrophic damage on the island of three million people since Sunday, with some areas receiving more than 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rain.

Michelle Carlo, medical advisor for Direct Relief in Puerto Rico, told CBS News that “a lot of people in Puerto Rico are suffering right now.”

“About 80 percent of Puerto Ricans are still without power and about 65 percent are without water service,” Carlo said.

Map showing the projected path of Hurricane Fiona.

Across Puerto Rico, Fiona caused landslides, blocked roads and toppled trees, and bridges, Pierluisi said.

A man was killed as an indirect result of the power blackout—burned to death while trying to fill his generator, according to authorities.

On Monday afternoon, Nelly Marrero made her way back to her home in Toa Baja, in the north of Puerto Rico, to clear out the mud that surged inside after she evacuated.

“Thanks to God, I have food and water,” Marrero—who lost everything when Hurricane Maria hit—told AFP by telephone.

The latest storm has left around 800,000 people without drinking water as a result of power outages and flooded rivers, officials said.

After years of financial woes and recession, Puerto Rico in 2017 declared the largest bankruptcy ever by a local US administration.

A damaged restaurant located after the passage of Hurricane Fiona in Samana, Dominican Republic.

Later that year, the double hit from hurricanes Irma and Maria added to the misery, devastating the on the island—which has suffered from major infrastructure problems for years.

The grid was privatized in June 2021 in an effort to resolve the problem of blackouts, but the issue has persisted, and the entire island lost power earlier this year.



© 2022 AFP

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Strengthening Hurricane Fiona heads north toward Bermuda (2022, September 21)
retrieved 21 September 2022
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Hurricane Grace leaves at least 8 dead in Mexico thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Hurricane Grace leaves at least 8 dead in Mexico

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A man walks in a flooded street due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Grace in Tecolutla in eastern Mexico.

Hurricane Grace left at least eight people dead as it tore through eastern Mexico Saturday, causing flooding, power blackouts and damage to homes before gradually losing strength over mountains.

The storm made landfall in Mexico for a second time during the night near Tecolutla in Veracruz state as a major Category Three storm, triggering warnings of mudslides and significant floods.

The streets of Tecolutla, home to about 24,000 people, were littered with fallen trees, signs and roof panels.

Esteban Dominguez’s beachside restaurant was reduced to rubble.

“It was many years’ effort,” he said.

“Over there was my house, but it’s destroyed. I’m left with no roof or furniture,” he told AFP.

In the Veracruz state capital, Xalapa, streets were turned into muddy brown rivers. Many homes in the region were left without electricity after winds that clocked 125 miles (200 kilometers) per hour.

“Unfortunately, we have seven deaths” in Xalapa and one more in the city of Poza Rica, including minors, Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia told a news conference.

Flooding was also reported in parts of neighboring Tamaulipas state, while in Puebla in central Mexico trees were toppled and buildings suffered minor damage.

Grace weakened to a as it churned inland, clocking maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

At 1800 GMT, the storm was located 35 miles northwest of Mexico City, which was drenched by heavy rain, and moving west at 13 mph, forecasters said.

The storm toppled trees and damaged homes.

‘Seek refuge’

Grace was “weakening rapidly over land but still causing very and flooding over portions of east-central Mexico,” the NHC said.

The storm was forecast to weaken to a tropical depression and dissipate by early Sunday, it said.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had urged residents living in places considered to be at risk to “seek refuge in high places with relatives and in shelters.”

Nearly 8,000 civil defense members, soldiers and electricity board workers were ready to tackle the aftermath of the storm, he said on Friday night.

Authorities in Veracruz state said they had prepared 200 storm shelters and urged residents to hunker down in safe places.

Veracruz Governor Garcia warned of the risk of flooding and mudslides as the storm dumped heavy rain on the mountainous region.

Authorities closed most highways in Veracruz, which is crossed by numerous rivers.

Fishermen affected

In preparation for the storm, workers along the coast boarded up windows to protect stores, fishermen brought their boats ashore and residents secured their homes after stocking up on canned food and water.

“We will spend many days without fishing—almost a week,” said Isabel Pastrana Vazquez, head of Veracruz’s federation of fisheries cooperatives.

“About 35,000 fishermen will be affected because we can’t go out. We’re going to have a swell and rain,” he said.

The hurricane had already lashed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where more than 6,000 tourists and residents were evacuated to storm shelters earlier in the week across the southeastern state of Quintana Roo.

The first struck on Thursday near the town of Tulum, famed for its Mayan temples, drenching a string of Caribbean beach resorts.

The hurricane passed the Riviera Maya coastline without any loss of life, according to Quintana Roo Governor Carlos Joaquin.



© 2021 AFP

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Hurricane Grace leaves at least 8 dead in Mexico (2021, August 21)
retrieved 22 August 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-08-hurricane-grace-dead-mexico.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Hurricane Elsa threatens Caribbean thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Hurricane Elsa threatens Caribbean

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Location and predicted path of the hurricane Elsa.

Hurricane Elsa churned through the Caribbean Friday, bringing powerful winds and the potential for storm surges and heavy rain.

The category 1 storm packed maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour as it moved northwest near St Vincent and the Grenadines in the eastern Caribbean around midday, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The center said Elsa could bring a tidal surge of as much as three feet above normal in the Windward Islands—the far eastern chain that includes Barbados and St. Lucia—and up to four feet further west on the southern coast of Hispaniola, which is made of up Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Rainfall, and strong winds from Elsa could affect the Florida Keys and parts of the Florida peninsula early next week but this depends on how the storm behaves this weekend when it hits large Caribbean islands, the NHC said.

Hurricane-related weather would be bad news for the Florida town of Surfside, near Miami, as it tries to dig out a collapsed condo building in search of survivors and bodies.

Elsa is forecast to move near the southern coast of Hispaniola on Saturday and Haitian authorities expressed worry Friday that they lack like food and water.

A good part of the emergency resources the government did have were used in another crisis: the evacuation of thousands of people in Port-au-Prince because of raging .

Many of these people are staying in gyms, schools or other public buildings and some of the supplies that had been earmarked for the have been used on these evacuees, said Jerry Chandler, director of the Haitian civil protection agency.

As the approached, authorities declared a weather alert Friday.

Authorities want to ship emergency supplies to the southern coast, which is most threatened. But heavily armed gangs control part of the only road leading from the capital to the south and they do not let everything through.

To reach these threatened areas, Chandler said, “we have to go through red zones,” referring to gang-held territory.

In 2016 Hurricane Matthew killed more than 500 people in southern Haiti and caused nearly $2 billion in damage.

By Sunday, Elsa is forecast to move near Jamaica and portions of eastern Cuba, the US center said.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Hurricane Elsa threatens Caribbean (2021, July 2)
retrieved 3 July 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-07-hurricane-elsa-threatens-caribbean.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Hurricane Zeta slams into Louisiana coast thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Hurricane Zeta slams into Louisiana coast

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This RAMMB/NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Zeta moving in the US Gulf Coast towards Louisiana on October 28, 2020, at 17:40 UTC

Hurricane Zeta barreled through the southern United States as a Category 2 storm Wednesday, bringing dangerous winds and surging ocean waves as New Orleans residents were left without power.

Zeta, which was downgraded to a tropical storm during Thursday’s early hours, would “continue to spread well inland across portions of northeastern Alabama, northern Georgia, the Carolinas, and southeastern Virginia,” according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

It was packing maximum sustained wind speeds of 60 miles (95 kilometers) per hour, the center said at 0900 GMT.

Early on Thursday, New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city was dealing with many downed power lines.

“Downed lines can be energized and are VERY dangerous,” she tweeted. “Please continue to stay inside and let public safety officials respond to #Zeta hazards.”

The city emergency medical service tweeted that there had been one “electrocution fatality” from a downed power line.

Mississippi governor Tate Reeves had signed an emergency declaration ahead of Zeta’s approach earlier Wednesday, and Alabama governor Kay Ivey took to Twitter to advise state residents to prepare for the storm and “listen to all local advice.”

Hurricane and storm surge warnings were lifted for Louisiana, but governor John Bel Edwards urged people to stay inside.

“Today has been hard,” he tweeted. “As we continue to weather #Zeta and feel its effects, everyone needs to keep listening to their local leaders and follow any curfews that may be in place.”

Heavy wind and sheets of rain cut through New Orleans, and power outages were reported in various areas.

Edwards said in an earlier radio interview that nearly 500,000 were without power in the state, including 78 percent of New Orleans.

New Orleans’s iconic French Quarter was largely deserted ahead of Hurricane Zeta’s arrival

Officials had urged residents to evacuate vulnerable areas or stock up on emergency supplies of food, water and medication for at least three days.

Curfews were in effect for harder-hit coastal areas.

Zeta hit just six days before the presidential election, although it was not expected to affect the outcome, with early voting in Louisiana already finished.

French Quarter deserted

As rainfall and winds began ahead of the storm’s arrival, New Orleans residents rushed to prepare, boarding up windows, moving vehicles and boats to higher ground and in some cases stacking sandbags to guard against potential flooding.

The hurricane was the fifth major storm to hit Louisiana this year.

The New Orleans area has repeatedly had to be on guard, though it has been spared so far this year, with the brunt of earlier storms hitting cities such as Lake Charles, some 200 miles (320 kilometers) west near the Texas border.

This time, though, local officials were urgently warning against complacency.

Flooding was less of a threat this time for the low-lying city—80 percent of which flooded during 2005’s Hurricane Katrina—because the storm was fast-moving at 25 miles per hour.

New Orleans remains traumatized by Hurricane Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people 15 years ago.

Annie Quattlebaum, a 39-year-old biologist, and a group of friends visiting from Denver were stranded when the storm caused their flight to be canceled.

Municipal police remove fallen trees from the streets after the passage of Hurricane Zeta, in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo state, Mexico

They were roaming the city’s famous French Quarter, largely deserted on Wednesday afternoon, in search of an open store to buy drinks and food as they prepared to hunker down in their hotel for the night.

“We’ve been told by friends that are familiar with this area and familiar with the weather to have snacks and have your phone charged,” said a mask-wearing Quattlebaum.

“We’re not going to do anything stupid. We’re just going to hunker down while it’s going on.”

‘These poor guys’

Along the shores of Lake Catherine, on the far northeastern edge of the city where many locals have weekend homes and commercial fishermen operate, boats were lined up along the higher ground of roadsides.

At Island Marina, Geoff Wallace, 60, secured wood and other material he was using for a construction project to keep it from flying away and becoming missiles.

“It’s just a part of living here,” he said, gray skies shadowing the marshland and a shrimp boat behind him.

“These poor guys,” he said of the marina owners. “They’ve had to go through this four or five times this year. It gets tiring.”

The hurricane brought strong winds and heavy rains to Mexico’s Caribbean coast on Tuesday after making landfall near the resort town of Tulum.

It is the 27th storm of an unusually active Atlantic hurricane season.

In September, meteorologists were forced to use the Greek alphabet to name Atlantic storms for only the second time ever, after the 2020 hurricane season blew through their usual list, ending on Tropical Storm Wilfred.

Scientists say there will likely be an increase in powerful storms as the ocean surface warms due to climate change.



© 2020 AFP

Citation:
Zeta slams into southern US, downgraded to tropical storm (Update) (2020, October 29)
retrieved 30 October 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-hurricane-zeta-slams-louisiana-coast.html

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part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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