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'Devastating' damage as Storm Fiona hits Canada

September 25, 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke of "significant damage" in eastern Canada as he ordered the military to help with cleanup operations.

A home about to washed away by the sea by winds caused by post Tropical Storm Fiona.
Many homes on Canada's Atlantic coast were reduced to 'piles of rubble' by Tropical Storm FionaImage: Rene Roy/Wreckhouse Press via AP

Tropical Storm Fiona ripped into eastern Canada on Saturday, forcing evacuations, knocking down trees and power lines and reducing many homes on the Atlantic coast to rubble with hurricane-force winds.

"We're seeing reports of significant damage in the region, and recovery is going to be a big effort," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, adding that some areas have experienced "storm damage like they've never seen."

Trudeau met with the government emergency response team and said the military would be deployed to help with the cleanup.

The Canadian leader was due to attend the funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but said he now would no longer make the trip. Instead, he would visit the storm-damaged areas as soon as possible.

"There are people who see their houses destroyed, people who are very worried, we will be there for you,'' he promised.

Canadians describe devastation as Fiona hits

In the province of Nova Scotia, where the storm made landfall, more than 384,000 households were left without electricity, Nova Scotia Power reported. 

Neighboring New Brunswick reported 32,000 homes without power, as well as 82,000 on Prince Edward Island.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said roads were washed out, including his own, and said an "incredible'' amount of trees were down.

"It is pretty devastating. The sad reality is the people who need information are unable to hear it. Their phones are not working, they don't have power or access to the internet," Houston said.

Georgina Scott surveys the damage on her street in Halifax as post tropical storm Fiona battered the area
Torrential rain and winds of up to 160kilometers per hour (99 miles per hour) knocked down trees and power linesImage: Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press/AP/picture alliance

Ocean waves pounded the town of Port Aux Basques on the coast of Newfoundland and washed entire buildings into the sea.

"There is an apartment building that's literally gone. There are entire streets that are gone," Rene J. Roy, editor-in-chief of Wreckhouse Weekly in Port aux Basques, told the national broadcaster CBC.

"This is hands down the most terrifying thing I've ever seen in my life," Roy said, describing many homes as "just a pile of rubble in the ocean right now."

Darlene Compton, deputy premier of Prince Edward Island, said it had been a "nerve-wracking" night.

"This morning we all woke up to some very scary scenes, roads washed down, uprooted trees, mailboxes where they are not supposed to be," she said.

Fiona leaves trail of destruction

Fiona had already wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, in the Caribbean, Tropical Storm Ian was predicted to rapidly strengthen and hit Cuba early Tuesday as a hurricane and then hit southern Florida on Wednesday or Thursday, the US National Hurricane Center said.

lo/fb (AFP, AP, Reuters)