Storm Fiona ravages Canada’s east coast causing ‘terrifying’ destruction | Canada

Powerful Storm Fiona hit the East Canada Saturday with gale-force winds, forcing evacuations, downing trees and power lines, and reducing many coastal homes to “just a pile of rubble in the ocean.”

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the center of the storm, downgraded to Post-Tropical Cyclone Fiona, had reached the Gulf of St. Lawrence after passing through Nova Scotia.

After taking its toll on Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (PEI), the storm hit Newfoundland and eastern Quebec but is now likely to weaken, the NHC said.

Port aux Basques, in the southwestern corner of Newfoundland with a population of 4,067, declared a state of emergency and evacuated parts of the city that suffered from flooding and road slides, according to Mayor Brian Button.

Several houses and an apartment building were washed out to sea, Rene Roy, editor-in-chief of Wreckhouse Weekly in Port aux Basques, told Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

“This is hands down the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Roy said, describing many houses as “just a bunch of debris in the ocean right now.”

He added: “There is an apartment building that is literally gone. There are all the streets that are gone.”

Police are investigating whether a woman had been swept out to sea, the CBC reported.

“We have had a very difficult morning,” Button said in a Facebook video, adding that the evacuations had been completed. “We are going to get through this. I promise you we will get through this.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with members of a government emergency response team on Saturday morning. “Our government stands ready to support provinces with additional resources,” Trudeau said in a tweet.

Fiona, which hit Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean nearly a week ago, killed at least eight and left virtually all of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million people without power during a sweltering heat wave.

Fiona made landfall between Canso and Guysborough, Nova Scotia, where the Canadian Hurricane Center said it recorded what may have been the lowest barometric pressure of any storm to make landfall in the country’s history.

Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Centre, told Reuters it appears Fiona lived up to expectations that it would be a “historic” storm. “It looked like he had the potential to break the all-time record in Canada, and it looks like he did,” he said. “We’re not out of this yet.”

Storms are not uncommon in the region and typically cross quickly, but Fiona is expected to impact a very large area.

While scientists have yet to determine whether climate change influenced Fiona’s strength or behavior, there is strong evidence that these devastating storms are getting worse.

In Nova Scotia, about 69% of customers, or 360,000, were without power, and 95%, or more than 82,000, had lost power in Prince Edward Island, the utilities said. Police across the region reported multiple road closures. The region was also experiencing irregularities in mobile phone service.

Wi-Fi and mobile phone provider Rogers Communications said it was aware of the outages caused by Fiona and that teams would work to restore service “as quickly as possible”.

PEI produces more than a fifth of Canada’s potatoes, and the island’s potato farms, which are in harvest season, are likely to be damaged by the storm, Hubbard said.

“This morning we all woke up to some very scary scenes, roads washed out, trees uprooted, mailboxes where they’re not supposed to be,” PEI Deputy Premier Darlene Compton told reporters, saying it had been an “outburst.” Of nerves”. “night.

In Halifax, 11 boats sank at the Shearwater Yacht Club and four were washed ashore, said Elaine Keene, who has one boat at the club that was undamaged.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said no injuries or deaths had been reported so far, and officials from PEI and Nova Scotia said the same.

The storm weakened slightly as it traveled north. At 2 p.m. in Halifax (6 p.m. GMT), it was over the Gulf of St. Lawrence about 105 miles west of Port aux Basques, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and moving north at about 25 mph, the NHC said. .

Trudeau delayed his scheduled departure for Japan on Saturday to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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