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The 2017 hurricane season comes to a close with major damage

As the 2017 hurricane season comes to a close, the sound of the ferocious winds and crashing seas will remain in the ears of hundreds of thousands of persons who lost their homes and property throughout the Caribbean region. The fury of hurricanes Irma and Maria will be remembered for a long time in Puerto Rico and the eastern Windward Islands such as St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John’s in the US Virgin Islands and so many of the smaller islands to the East. In Puerto Rico alone, reconstruction costs are estimated at US$94 billion. According to forecaster Martin Mata at the National Meteorological Office (Onamet) the incredible wind speeds of nearly 300 km/h that crossed the Caribbean had not been seen in recorded history.

There were 56 tropical waves over the 2017 Hurricane Season that closes on 30 November.

In the middle of September hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico and came within 80 km of the Dominican Republic shores, dropping over 10 inches of rain in some places along with hurricane force winds in the northeast part of the country. Many homes along the coast were damaged or destroyed by the waves produced by these hurricanes.

The Onamet provided timely information for both the government and its citizens concerning these atmospheric conditions and together with Civil Defense and the Center for Emergency Operations (COE) warnings were issued and very few lives were lost. More than 50,000 persons were displaced from their homes according to General Juan Manuel Mendez of the COE. Irma destroyed over 100 houses and left 2600 homes damaged; over 13,000 persons displaced and dozens of towns and villages were isolated by floodwaters. When hurricane Maria came within 85 km of Samana over 8000 homes were affected and over 24,000 persons were displaced and much damage was done two bridges and highways in the area. Further west the banana and plantains farms in the northwest were severely affected by the high winds and flooding.

As a side note, Professor William Gray had forecast 12 storms for the 2017 hurricane season and the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had called for between 11 and 17 storms with between five and seven hurricanes and between two and four major cyclones all of which came to pass.

Source: DR1, Elnacional

Dec 3, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated December 14, 2017 at 10:29 PM
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