Disaster in the Mexican Gulf and the Caribbean

Disaster in the Mexican Gulf and the Caribbean

by Saul Cardenas 

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Hurricane Charlie, August 2004. Hurricane Katrina, August 2005. Hurricane Sandy, October 2012. Now Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma are both devastating the communities in their paths.

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Named the third costliest hurricane to make land fall in the US, Hurricane Harvey has been catastrophic to the people of Houston, Texas. Although Texas is the nation’s second largest financial contributor, raking in about 530 billion dollars annually, Harvey is expected to cost 70 to 90 billion dollars to repair damages. However, Houston was not the only community affected. Lake Charles of Louisiana, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Yucatan Peninsula, the Windward Islands, and areas of South America were also impacted. As of September 6, 2017, 71 people have been pronounced dead as a result of Harvey. Despite the dissipation of Harvey, the Houston Health Department has identified the presence of E. coli, coliform, and other bacteria in much of the areas water source.

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To make matters worse, as Harvey dissipated, Hurricane Irma formed on August 30, 2017 near the Cape Verde islands. On September 5, it was classified as a category 5 hurricane. As a category 5, Irma caused a substantial amount of damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands as well as Cuba, and the United States. As of September 10, 29 victims have been confirmed dead, killed by the hurricane. 

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Even though Harvey and Irma have caused extensive damages and a large death toll, relief efforts have been strong. National governments, the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army have all contributed toward relief efforts. However, relief contributions account for only around 200 million dollars collectively; despite their efforts, more is needed, to donate visit any of these websites: www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey, www.unicefusa.org/donate, or www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-irma-relief-fund