West African archipelago hit in rare hurricane strike

2015-09-01 11:25

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bissau - The West African archipelago of Cape Verde was pounded by powerful winds and heavy rain on Monday in a rare hurricane strike, local officials said.

Named Fred, the storm packed winds of up to 140km per hour, according to Cape Verde's interior ministry and the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

Winds uprooted trees on several islands, telecommunications and electricity were affected in some regions and the national airline cancelled flights, but there were no reports of any casualties, according to emergency services on Cape Verde reached from Bissau, the capital of Guinea Bissau.

The storm "made landfall at 08:00, 35km south of Rabil", a town on the northern island of Boa Vista, said Idilton Briton, a senior official at Cape Verde's civil defence.

Boa Vista and Sal, a neighbouring island, were the most affected of the country's islands, he said.

In a statement released on Facebook, the interior ministry said a "state of maximum alert" had been declared.

"As of 15:45, [the storm] was located nearly 30km north-northeast of the island of Sao Nicolau," it said.

"With maximum winds of 140kph, [Fred] is moving in a north-westerly direction at a speed of 19kph, and should pass by slightly north of the islands of Sao Vicente and Santo Antao during the night."

Dangerous waves

The Miami-based NHC warned the hurricane could unleash a storm surge accompanied by large and dangerous waves near the coast.

Fred, a category one hurricane on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, also could dump up to 25cm of rain on the islands, it said.

"According to the official Atlantic tropical cyclone record, which begins in 1851, Fred is the first hurricane to pass through the Cape Verde Islands since 1892," the NHC added.

Fred is expected to weaken gradually starting Tuesday as it moves further out to sea, the NHC said.

Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony lying around 500 km west of Senegal, comprises 10 volcanic islands, nine of which are inhabited.

Fred is the second hurricane of the Atlantic season.

Earlier this month, Hurricane Danny caused a tropical storm across a handful of popular Caribbean destinations but was downgraded to a tropical depression before it could do much damage.

Just days ago, tropical storm Erika left at least 20 people dead and dozens missing as it swept over the tiny Caribbean island nation of Dominica.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, sees peak activity in September.

But experts have said there was a 90% chance this year's season would be less active than usual.

Read more on:    cape verde  |  weather  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.