Bermuda braces for Hurricane Igor; Karl dissipates

Hurricane Igor churned across the Atlantic Ocean toward Bermuda on Saturday.

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2010, 09:44 AM IST

Hamilton: Tourists caught the last flights out of Bermuda and locals stocked up on emergency supplies on Saturday preparing for Hurricane Igor, while Mexicans mourned at least seven killed by Hurricane Karl.

An extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane earlier in the week, Igor was still a Category 2 storm, and officials warned that its pounding rains and driving winds could be deadly.

"This storm will be a long and punishing one," Public Safety Minister David Burch said. "The potential for injury and physical damage is great."

High surf kicked up by the storm has already swept two people out to sea in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, far to the south.

Several people stared mesmerised at the 12- to 15-foot waves (4- to 5-meter waves), including Peter Mills, 44, who took his wife and two children to John Smith`s Bay Park to watch.

"It`s absolutely spectacular, but it`s probably going to be absolutely horrifying come the next couple of days," Mills said.

In Mexico, meanwhile, the remnants of Hurricane Karl soaked south-central portions of the country as authorities sent helicopters to rescue dozens of people stranded by flooding and hunt for others feared washed away.

At least seven fatalities were reported. A 61-year-old woman and a 2-year-old girl died when a landslide buried a house in the town of Nexticapan in Puebla state. In Veracruz state, a woman and two young children were swept away by a rushing river in Cotaxtla and two women were found dead in Felipe Carrillo.

Tropical-storm-force winds were forecast to start battering Bermuda Saturday night, with the hurricane expected to pass directly overhead or nearby late Sunday or early Monday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Centre in Miami.

Igor had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (160 kph) and was located about 285 miles (455 kilometres) south of Bermuda late Saturday. Hurricane-force winds extended about 90 miles (150 kilometres) from the storm`s centre, and it was headed north-northwest and expected to curve during the night toward the British Atlantic territory.

Bureau Report