Millions of People Under Threat: the Consequences of Harvey and the Potential Destruction of Irma

Between August and September, the eastern coast of the United States, as well as the Caribbean region, are subject to what is more commonly called the “Hurricane Season”. A series of atmospheric conditions, and therefore meteorological ones, force the population every year to immense efforts in order to protect their houses and belongings.
However, a number of factors lead to years in which these phenomena appear to be mild, unlike others, when the devastating force of hurricanes seriously endangers millions of people.

Harvey, a category 4 hurricane, literally flooded the city of Houston, Texas, as well as other areas of the Caribbean and the South of the United States.
Houston, which produces about the 3% of the US GDP, has known Harvey’s power in its entirety. Between August 25 and 26, the hurricane struck down the city causing serious flooding and infrastructure damages. 30,000 people have been affected by the effects of the hurricane, massive relief measures have been put in place to assist people and animals. But over 1,300 mm of fallen rain caused 66 casualties and caused damages for more than 70 million USD.

Hurricane Irma is very scared for Puerto Rico, as it is for Florida. Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, Florida and the United States Virgin Islands on Tuesday. In fact, Irma’s strength will collapse over Puerto Rico and the southeastern United States between Wednesday and Thursday, when it will then be possible to determine the direction that will take the hurricane.
Georgia and Virginia are eventually ready to face the emergency that would be hit by a hurricane of no lesser intensity. The entire east coast of the United States is ready to adopt security and protection measures in areas facing the sea, including the City of New York.
Irma had winds of around 185 mph and that is why San Juan is preparing its population to face one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recent years. The head of Puerto Rico’s emergency agency, Abner Gómez Cortés, warned the population about the impact of Irma to the coastal zones that are going to be very vulnerable because of high storms surges of up to 20 feet.

To keep updated during Hurricane Irma, here a series of resources from the The New York Times. Here, the direct link to the Federal Emergency Management Agency‘s web page about directions for the hurricane. Here the link to the Puerto Rico Emergency Agency which is providing up-to-date insight about the hurricane.

Cover photo: Hurricane Irma, three possible tracks – CBS News

Sara Belligoni