Has a hurricane ever been destroyed?
Heavy destruction : Hurricane "Irma" hits the Caribbean with full force
Those who still have electricity at all look spellbound at the screens. The threatening image of the weather satellites that is transmitted into the living room builds up again and again. Television and the Internet, if they work, are the last connection with the outside world.
People are wondering exactly which route Hurricane "Irma" will take and pray that it won't be quite that bad. Then the storm breaks out over the Caribbean with a roaring noise. The strongest hurricane ever measured over the Atlantic hit the Caribbean with full force.
Caribbean island of Saint Martin badly hit
Just like on the Caribbean island of Saint-Martin, which was previously considered a vacation paradise. Government circles said that more than 95 percent of the island's structure had been destroyed. Bird's eye views show what that means: Thousands of houses have either been destroyed or at least covered. Boats are pushed through the streets like toys, cars lie upside down on the roadside. As if a giant hand from the whole city had just torn the ceiling off.
It will be years before Saint-Martin will shine again. But the danger is not over yet. Weather experts are already predicting a new hurricane shortly, which is sucking up water masses over the Atlantic and recharging its destructive energy.
Because people no longer have any accommodation or are severely restricted, the first climate refugees are threatened. Fortunately, the population is used to tropical storms, so at least the human damage remains manageable: According to the information available to date, four people died on the island.
Dramatic situation in the Dominican Republic too
The situation after "Irma" is also dramatic in the Dominican Republic. Overturned power poles and trees caused the country's power supply and infrastructure to collapse. Tourists stranded because flights home were suspended. They post their anger on social networks.
But as always, it hit the poorest of the poor particularly hard. Their huts were dented or simply blown away by the strong winds. Neighbor Haiti was evidently spared the worst. The poverty-stricken country, already hit by an earthquake (2010) as well as cholera epidemics and tropical storms, was only touched by the hurricane. That was enough to destroy a few houses, luckily the big catastrophe did not materialize.
No other country in the region is so vulnerable to weather excesses as the sub-state of the island of Hispanola. This is mainly due to the fact that people have no means of protecting their homes against storms and floods. But here, too, the relief that the major catastrophe did not take place is replaced by fear of the next hurricane, which could hit Haiti again centrally.
In contrast, the storm hit Puerto Rico with full force. The Caribbean island, which recently hit the headlines because of its over-indebtedness, now has to deal with the aftermath of "Irma". The streets are littered with rubble, entire houses have simply been blown away. It is unclear what the damage will be paid for.
Cuba activated an established emergency program
In the region, Cuba is considered the country that is best prepared for the hurricanes. As a precaution, the communist government brought tourists to safety on the island. Havana activated a well-established emergency program in these cases. People are looking for shelters, the emergency plan has long been activated.
But no matter how cleverly thought out plans are, they can only help if the force of the storm is not too great. "Irma" showed the people in the Caribbean how at their mercy they are to the forces of nature and how randomly the hurricane decides on life and death, destruction and protection. The trembling starts all over again with the next tropical storm.
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