Karl kills 3 in Mexico as Igor nears Bermuda

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AFP) – A weakening Hurricane Igor bore down on Bermuda Sunday, bringing with it gale force winds and torrential rains as another storm, Karl, lashed Mexico and killed three people.

Forecasters said Igor, an unusually large storm with an eye bigger than the Atlantic territory of 65,000, will hit sometime between Sunday afternoon and early Monday, battering Bermuda with heavy winds and rains for two days.

Large waves, caused by the hurricane’s swell, were already pounding the island’s south shore by Saturday afternoon.

The LF Wade International Airport canceled all flights to and from the island and planned to close until Tuesday morning.

A British Royal Navy ship and helicopter have been stationed offshore to assist in case of widespread damage from the hurricane, which saw its maximum sustained winds slightly decrease to 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour.

Residents have been preparing for the worst all week, boarding up windows and stocking up on supplies in anticipation of long bouts without power.

The sheer size of the storm — which has a wind field of nearly 600 miles (965 kilometers) — means Bermuda is in for an extended battering.

Tropical storm force winds (40 miles, or 65 kilometers, per hour and higher) are expected for almost two days and hurricane force winds (above 74 miles, of 119 kilometers, per hour) are expected for about 10 hours.

Early Sunday morning, Igor was about 235 miles (380 kilometers) south of Bermuda, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. It was expected to produce a “dangerous” storm surge and flooding in coastal areas, forecasters said.

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