September 23, 2020

Hurricane Gonzalo: Bermuda ‘bruised’ by direct hit

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_78378686_78378685_78378900_78378899 _78378694_ae2634ea-12a4-4ddb-b0de-d24be16bd61eFrom BBC

Bermudians are clearing up after a direct hit from Hurricane Gonzalo downed power lines and damaged buildings on the tiny Atlantic territory.

Bermuda was “bruised” but came out of the storm better than expected, Premier Michael Dunkley said.

The storm made landfall on Friday, with rain and 175km/h (110mph) winds.

Only minor injuries were reported in what was the strongest storm to hit the island in a decade.

It was the second storm in a week to hit the island.

Damaged trees

Gonzalo caused power cuts to 31,200 homes, although two-thirds of people had their electricity restored by Saturday afternoon, according to the Bermuda Electric Company.

The hurricane also caused flooding, felled trees and damaged buildings.

Bermuda frequently sees storms and has strict building regulations

Yachts broke free from their moorings

Initially a category 4 storm as it approached the island, Hurricane Gonzalo weakened and was downgraded to a category 2 storm on Friday before it made landfall on the British overseas territory.

The international airport in Bermuda, which is a British overseas territory, closed ahead of the storm and many roads were closed after being blocked by falling debris.

The main hospital saw some damage to its roof but otherwise fared well, Premier Dunkley said.

“As far as roads and infrastructure, we are in a much better position than many people might have thought,” he said.

The Royal Navy has deployed a frigate, HMS Argyll, along with trained medical personnel to help with the provision of humanitarian assistance in Bermuda, the UK Ministry of Defence said.

It said the ship was en route to Bermuda, where it will help recover power, communications and water supplies, while a helicopter on the ship will carry out surveillance over the island.

Earlier last week, Tropical Storm Fay damaged homes and knocked down trees and power lines.

“To be struck twice by two different cyclones is unusual, to say the least,” said Max Mayfield, a former director of the US National Hurricane Center in Miami.

For more on this story go to: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-29679079

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