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Hurricane Gonzalo heads towards Bermuda

Hurricane force winds map showing storm approaching directly over Bermuda

Hurricane force winds map showing storm approaching directly over Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo roared toward Bermuda as a huge Category 4 storm on Friday and the head of the tiny British territory urged people to seek high ground due to seas that could rise 45 feet (14 meters).

Tropical storm-force winds began to hit the island Friday morning, with hurricane-force winds predicted to batter Bermuda for at least eight hours. Forecasters said seas would rise between 35 to 45 feet (11 to 14 meters) and would cause significant flooding on an island about one-third the size of Washington, D.C.

“We can expect heavy damage out of swell and surge,” said Rob Howlett, a meteorologist with the Bermuda Weather Service.

He said Gonzalo’s eye was expected to pass within 29 miles (46 kilometers) of the island, close enough to be considered a direct hit. The storm is forecast to weaken to a Category 3 storm as it passes Bermuda, but the National Hurricane Center said that “any weakening is probably too late to spare Bermuda, with almost all of the guidance showing the system as a major hurricane as it moves nearby.”

The leader of the tiny territory in the Atlantic urged those in low-lying areas to consider moving to higher ground. “We should expect at least 24 hours of storm-force winds,” Premier Michael Dunkley said.

Bermuda closed its schools and international airport, as well as suspending all public transportation, including ferries. Authorities on Thursday evacuated two hotels along Bermuda’s southern coast, with guests either flying out or being placed in another hotel.

The looming hurricane comes days after Tropical Storm Fay damaged homes and knocked down trees and power lines in Bermuda, with 1,500 homes still without power late Thursday. Bermuda’s residents stripped stores of emergency supplies in recent days as they battened down for Gonzalo.

The last major hurricane to strike Bermuda was Fabian in 2003, a Category 3 storm that killed four people. The last major hurricane to cross land in the Atlantic Basin was Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which hit Cuba as a Category 3 storm.

Dave Fox, a public affairs officer for the Bermuda government, said the government opened a high school as a shelter but noted that Bermuda is known for structures that can withstand heavy storms.

“We build for hurricanes,” he said. “It’s part of the building code.”

Bermuda, an island of roughly 70,000 people that lies 850 miles (1,400 kilometers) east of the U.S. state of South Carolina, has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world.

Gonzalo swept by the eastern Caribbean earlier this week, claiming one life in the Dutch territory of St. Maarten. Large ocean swells continued to affect parts of the Virgin Islands, the northern coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, parts of the Bahamas and the U.S. southeast coast.

Wednesday after causing death and destruction in the Caribbean at least one person was killed on the Dutch Caribbean territory of St Martin. Police said the unidentified man was aboard a boat in St Martin’s Simpson Bay Lagoon where at least 22 of the 37 boats were destroyed by the storm.

Officials in the French island of Martinique said a search was taking place for five people believed to be aboard boats that went adrift or ran aground during the hurricane as well as two other people who reportedly fell overboard.

A statement said authorities on islands including Guadeloupe and St Martin were also participating in the search.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Gonzalo, the seventh named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, is maintaining its strength as a strong Category 3 hurricane.

It said it was located 660miles south-southwest of Bermuda and is moving forward at 13 miles per hour (mph).

At 8.00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, The center of hurricane Gonzalo at 17/1200 utc is near 29.9n 66.5w. The center of Gonzalo is about 169 nm to the south-Southwest of Bermuda.

Gonzalo is moving toward the north-Northeast or 025 degrees 13 knots. The estimated minimum central Pressure is 946 mb. The maximum estimated wind speeds are 115

Knots with gusts to 140 knots.

The Bermuda weather service has Issued a hurricane warning for Bermuda.

 

 

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Hurricane force winds map showing storm approaching directly over Bermuda

Hurricane force winds map showing storm approaching directly over Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo roared toward Bermuda as a huge Category 4 storm on Friday and the head of the tiny British territory urged people to seek high ground due to seas that could rise 45 feet (14 meters).

Tropical storm-force winds began to hit the island Friday morning, with hurricane-force winds predicted to batter Bermuda for at least eight hours. Forecasters said seas would rise between 35 to 45 feet (11 to 14 meters) and would cause significant flooding on an island about one-third the size of Washington, D.C.

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“We can expect heavy damage out of swell and surge,” said Rob Howlett, a meteorologist with the Bermuda Weather Service.

He said Gonzalo’s eye was expected to pass within 29 miles (46 kilometers) of the island, close enough to be considered a direct hit. The storm is forecast to weaken to a Category 3 storm as it passes Bermuda, but the National Hurricane Center said that “any weakening is probably too late to spare Bermuda, with almost all of the guidance showing the system as a major hurricane as it moves nearby.”

The leader of the tiny territory in the Atlantic urged those in low-lying areas to consider moving to higher ground. “We should expect at least 24 hours of storm-force winds,” Premier Michael Dunkley said.

Bermuda closed its schools and international airport, as well as suspending all public transportation, including ferries. Authorities on Thursday evacuated two hotels along Bermuda’s southern coast, with guests either flying out or being placed in another hotel.

The looming hurricane comes days after Tropical Storm Fay damaged homes and knocked down trees and power lines in Bermuda, with 1,500 homes still without power late Thursday. Bermuda’s residents stripped stores of emergency supplies in recent days as they battened down for Gonzalo.

The last major hurricane to strike Bermuda was Fabian in 2003, a Category 3 storm that killed four people. The last major hurricane to cross land in the Atlantic Basin was Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which hit Cuba as a Category 3 storm.

Dave Fox, a public affairs officer for the Bermuda government, said the government opened a high school as a shelter but noted that Bermuda is known for structures that can withstand heavy storms.

“We build for hurricanes,” he said. “It’s part of the building code.”

Bermuda, an island of roughly 70,000 people that lies 850 miles (1,400 kilometers) east of the U.S. state of South Carolina, has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world.

Gonzalo swept by the eastern Caribbean earlier this week, claiming one life in the Dutch territory of St. Maarten. Large ocean swells continued to affect parts of the Virgin Islands, the northern coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, parts of the Bahamas and the U.S. southeast coast.

Wednesday after causing death and destruction in the Caribbean at least one person was killed on the Dutch Caribbean territory of St Martin. Police said the unidentified man was aboard a boat in St Martin’s Simpson Bay Lagoon where at least 22 of the 37 boats were destroyed by the storm.

Officials in the French island of Martinique said a search was taking place for five people believed to be aboard boats that went adrift or ran aground during the hurricane as well as two other people who reportedly fell overboard.

A statement said authorities on islands including Guadeloupe and St Martin were also participating in the search.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Gonzalo, the seventh named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, is maintaining its strength as a strong Category 3 hurricane.

It said it was located 660miles south-southwest of Bermuda and is moving forward at 13 miles per hour (mph).

At 8.00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 17, 2014, The center of hurricane Gonzalo at 17/1200 utc is near 29.9n 66.5w. The center of Gonzalo is about 169 nm to the south-Southwest of Bermuda.

Gonzalo is moving toward the north-Northeast or 025 degrees 13 knots. The estimated minimum central Pressure is 946 mb. The maximum estimated wind speeds are 115

Knots with gusts to 140 knots.

The Bermuda weather service has Issued a hurricane warning for Bermuda.