Irma ravages on
September 11, 2017 | Expert Insights
Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes to be recorded, continues to ravage in America.
The hurricane has already resulted in the deaths of 24 people in the Caribbean region.
Hurricane Irma is one of the most powerful tropical cyclones to have been recorded over the Atlantic. It developed on August 30th near the Cape Verde Islands. Irma had originated from a tropical wave that has moved off the west African coast. By September 5, due to favorable conditions, the hurricane picked up steam and had become a Category 5 hurricane. Irma was able to sustain 185 mph (285 kmph) winds for more than 24 hours as a Category 5 hurricane. This made it one of the most powerful hurricanes to make landfall.
Irma has caused widespread devastation in the Caribbean with many of the Islands nearly destroyed as a result. The Associate Press has reported that at least 24 people died as the storm hit last week.
The Islands of Barbuda and Saint Martin in the Caribbean were among the worst hit regions. According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, at least 95% of Barbuda has been destroyed by the hurricane and 50% of the people have been left homeless. French and Dutch governments have announced rescue missions to help those living in their territories.
The hurricane reached the coast of Florida in USA as a Category 4 storm. Cities like Miami and Naples have been significantly hit as a result. Authorities tried to evacuate millions from the eye of the storm. Meteorologists have warned of 20 inches rain even as the hurricane weakened. Million have had to deal with no electricity. Residents, who were unable to evacuate, were requested by authorities to stay indoors and not venture outside. At least 150,000 have had to find refuge in shelters having left their homes.
US President Donald Trump spoke to reporters about the event noting, “The bad news is that this is some big monster. Right now, we are worried about lives, not cost.”
Hurricane Irma has now been downgraded to a Category 1 storm. However, the officials have yet to assess the damage that has been caused by the events. There is an additional threat of the surge. Cuba has already been hit by waves rising up to 36 feet due to the surge.
The nation recently had to deal with the damage caused yet another hurricane – Hurricane Harvey. It was also a Category 4 storm and it hit the state of Texas. The death toll for Hurricane Harvey is at least 70.
Our assessment is that US will have to spend billions of dollars in recovery and restoration of regions hit in Florida. It is time for governments across the world to begin significant investments in understanding climate change.