Hurricane Igor batters Bermuda; Mexico’s death toll from Karl rises to 12
HAMILTON, Bermuda — Fierce waves pounded Bermuda’s shores and strained yacht moorings late yesterday as winds tore at trees and signs while a weakened Hurricane Igor passed just west of the wealthy British enclave.
Bermudians stayed battened down in their homes in a pelting rain to wait out Igor, which was barely a Category 1 hurricane.
In Mexico yesterday, officials raised to 12 the death toll from Hurricane Karl, which made landfall on the nation’s Gulf Coast on Friday and soaked Veracruz, Puebla, and Tabasco states in the south-central part of the country.
At least 30,000 people were displaced by flooding and landslides in Veracruz, according the Civil Protection Agency.
In Bermuda, flooding was reported in low-lying areas. Streets in downtown Hamilton, the capital, were covered in inches of water.
Igor’s sustained winds were clocked at 75 miles per hour as the hurricane neared Bermuda, although a gust of 93 miles per hour was reported, according to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The wind whipsawed trees and power poles, knocking out electricity in many parts of the island. But there were no early reports of major damage.
“We’re certainly getting our money’s worth in drama,’’ lawyer James Dodi said while standing outside a hotel in downtown Hamilton watching Igor’s winds whip through palm trees and howl around buildings.
Dodi, 43, a native of Toronto who moved from Canada six years ago, left his Hamilton home and took refuge at the hotel.
Some storm-seasoned islanders ventured outside during the day to gawk as the hurricane-force winds that hit by midday drove 15-foot surf onto shore or to triple-tie the moorings of their boats even as the government warned people to stay indoors.
Igor’s eye passed about 40 miles west of Bermuda before midnight, the hurricane center said. But hurricane-force winds extended up to 90 miles from the eye. The storm was expected to veer northeast — away from the United States — after passing Bermuda.
Bermuda’s power utility reported that 19,500 customers were without electricity by yesterday evening on the British territory of 68,000 inhabitants.