Hurricane Fabian with winds of more than 110 kilometers an hour is lashing the island chain of Bermuda causing power outages and flooding. Fabian is the strongest hurricane to strike Bermuda in 50 years.
Fabian's winds which stretch out 177 kilometers have caused power outages on Bermuda's largest island which is only 34 kilometers long and two kilometers wide.
Schools, shops and all government offices are closed in the capital Hamilton. Some tourists have been evacuated from coastal hotels. Residents of about 2,000 low-lying homes were urged to move to evacuation centers. The part-time Bermuda regiment was mobilized for emergency duty on Friday and authorities warned everyone to stay indoors.
Forecasters say Fabian could dump up to 30 centimeters of rain on Bermuda and they are warning of a storm surge of up to 20 meters above normal tides.
Fabian is the strongest storm yet of the 2003 hurricane season. The last hurricane to strike Bermuda was Hurricane Emily in 1987, which caused an estimated $50 million in damage to the offshore financial center and tourist destination.