A Plethora of Hurricanes: The Aftermath of These Disasters

Nour Lababede, News Editor

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The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been extremely detrimental given that so many major hurricanes have destroyed several cities, some of which were located in the United States. Many people have lost everything they own and are still in critical conditions weeks later. The first major hurricane this year was Harvey, which became the first to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005. This major hurricane was then followed by major hurricanes Irma and Maria, respectively. But what causes these hurricanes anyway?

In general, hurricanes form from warm oceans which give off warm, moist air. “They’re heat engines,” said meteorologist Jeff Masters of the website Weather Underground. “They take heat from the oceans and convert it to the energy of their winds. They’re taking thermal energy and making mechanical energy out of it.” (National Geographic). Hurricanes are dangerous not only because of high wind speeds, but because of the storm surge that comes with them. A storm surge is water from the ocean that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the hurricane (Ocean Today). This causes flooding, which is usually the main cause of death due to drowning during major hurricanes.

Below is a video showing NASA footage of the most destructive hurricanes of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Hurricane Harvey lasted from August 17 to September 3, 2017. The place most affected was the eastern Texas coast. There was catastrophic flooding throughout Texas, Louisiana, Barbados, and other neighboring islands which resulted in the displacement of thousands of residents. People lost their homes, were left without electricity, and even the lives of their loved ones. There were at least 77 confirmed fatalities. The aftereffects of the storm still linger long after the initial disaster. It is estimated that this hurricane resulted in at least $70 billion in damage.

Hurricane Irma lasted from August 32 September 16, 2017. The places most affected by this hurricane include the state of Florida and several islands such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. There was also a lot of flooding which contributed to the 134 total fatalities caused by this natural disaster. It is estimated that the damage caused by Hurricane Irma costs at least about $63 billion.

Hurricane Maria formed on September 16 and lasted until October 3, 2017. The places most affected by this hurricane include the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. This hurricane thoroughly destroyed cities on islands all over the Atlantic Ocean  In Puerto Rico, most of the island was left without electricity, adequate shelter, or even access to clean drinking water.

Fortunately, there have been many donations put forth to aid those affected by such detrimental natural disasters. Recent major hurricanes have tested our ability as a nation to respond to and support the people directly involved in this crisis.

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