We ignore slow environmental changes unless they are crisis-driven, such as hurricanes in Florida (Natalie Jeremijenko)
3 hurricanes threatening land simultaneously in the West Atlantic Basin. Never seen anything like this in the modern record #Irma #Jose #Katia (Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center)
We've had hurricanes in Florida forever. And the question is, 'What do we do about the fact that we have built expensive structures, real estate and population centers, near those vulnerable areas? (Marco Rubio)
hrough the harsh design of fate, Florida was dealt the unfortunate circumstances of bearing the brunt of not one but two hurricanes, and it appears more dark clouds are poised to visit the Sunshine State (Ginny Brown-Waite)
I think the Caribbean countries face rising oceans and they face increase in the severity of hurricanes. This is something that is very, very scary to all of us. The island states in the world represent - I remember this number - one-half of 1 percent of the carbon emissions in the world. And they will - some of them will disappear (Steven Chu)
ature is proving very violent this year. It's not only destroying lives, properties and relationships; it's also disrupting plans, even for people very far away from the epicenters of hurricanes it has so far unleashed.
I was supposed to be winding down this article, and then Hurricane Harvey struck. As I was grappling with that, Hurricane Irma roared off the Atlantic Ocean, thereby enlarging the scope of the article. When and how this will all end, I don't know, as more hurricanes are on the horizon.
From what's happening now, is the world about to come to an end? Is the Apocalypse here?
Last month, I read something from a Christian numerologist, David Meade, as he warned of the possibility that the giant mysterious planet 'Nibiru' is about to crash into Earth. He claims that the world will come to an end on September 23, 2017. David Meade is the author of the conspiracy book 'Planet X - The 2017 Arrival'. It claims a star is driving Planet X, also known as Nibiru, towards our own planet. He claims that last month's solar eclipse, in the United States, will signal the end. Mr. Meade uses several passages from the Bible to back his unusual claims. The Daily Mail wrote that despite a lack of evidence for the hidden world, which NASA has previously stated is an 'internet hoax'; many people believe what Mr. Meade says as real. Metro UK wrote that the reason David Meade is so certain that death planet Nibiru is going to kill us all is that he claims it's written in both the Bible and the Pyramids. Meade says, 'It is very strange indeed that both the Great Sign of Revelation 12 and the Great Pyramid of Giza both point us to one precise moment in time - September 20 to 23, 2017.
Meade's prediction is largely based on the Bible passage Isaiah, Chapter 13 9-10 which says, 'See, the Day of the Lord is coming - a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger - to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
'The Stars of Heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising Sun will be darkened and the Moon will not give its light.'
No one should believe this conspiracy theorist, but things happening now are trying to test the faith of many. The faithless are now seeing the signs of the Apocalypse: such as the back to back hurricanes; wildfires, earthquakes and even the eclipse of the sun. Are all these connected somehow? The NYT puts it this way: "Vicious hurricanes all in a row, one having swamped Houston and another about to buzz through Florida after ripping up the Caribbean. Wildfires bursting out all over the West after a season of scorching hot temperatures and years of dryness; and late Thursday night, off the coast of Mexico, a monster of an earthquake; and just last month darkness descended on the land as the moon erased the sun. Everyone thought the eclipse was awesome, but now we're not so sure - for all the recent ruin seems deeply, darkly not coincidental".
One thing for sure is that the world today is in a great difficult situation, and that's obvious. We're killing the earth through wars, inhumanity and pollution. We must heal all these wounds, because we're responsible for the care of the Earth, and we must live together and love each other in the brotherhood of man.
It's unfortunate that people like president Trump see nothing wrong with the damages we're doing to Earth, as long as dollars keep on flowing into their pockets and bank accounts. Trump has undone most of the regulations and executive orders his predecessor put in place to protect the environment from blind exploitation.
As nature fights back, it's the poor who bear the brunt more, even though they might not have contributed much to the earth's destruction. The world is unjust, and life, in general, is unfair. That's why some people will not struggle, but will have almost everything they need in life, while some will be struggling, more than others, but will never break even, and life, for them, becomes just as Michael Jackson sang: To high to get over, too low to get under, and they're then stuck in the middle, not knowing whether they're living or existing.
The Earth is telling us, through natural disasters, that no matter what we do to decimate it, that it will survive, because it's stronger than humans, and will outlive all of us.
The lives of many people, having been divested of their most prized possessions, through hurricanes or any other natural disaster, will never be the same, no matter how they're succored. More than one million people have been displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, according to estimates reported by Reuters. This year wants to be like no other, in American history, in terms of hurricanes. As Texas is getting over the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Florida is bracing up for Hurricane Irma's onslaught, making it the first time in about a Century America has been hit by two powerful hurricanes in a year. Newsweek wrote that Irma follows Hurricane Harvey which made landfall in Texas on August 25. Governors of five southeast states - Florida, Georgia, Virginia, South and North Carolina - already have declared states of emergency.
"It is unfortunate that just as our nation has begun the process to repair the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Harvey, that we are faced with another extreme storm. However, if there is one lesson we can take from the tragic events that occurred in Texas, it is that we must redouble our preparation efforts", Virginia's Governor, McAuliffe, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Georgia Governor, Nathan Deal, has declared a state of emergency for 94 counties in the state, his office said in a press release. South Carolina Governor, Henry McMaster, has issued mandatory evacuations for barrier islands in Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division announced Friday night.
Meteorologists, according to ABC News, have predicted that rainfall accumulations in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys are expected to reach 10 to 15 inches, with totals up to 20 inches locally. Eastern Florida, up the coast to Georgia, is expected to receive 8 to 12 inches, according to the National Hurricane Center. As the storm moves north, heavy rains are forecast to drench northern Florida, Georgia and even possibly South Carolina and Tennessee by Tuesday. Government personnel have been deployed from Alabama to North Carolina to prepare for Irma. Florida alone should anticipate days-long power outages, FEMA said.
As Irma roared and left wreckage and flood across the Caribbean, and is on its way to Florida, we learned that it destroyed nearly every building on the Island of Barbuda, while lashing Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds late Wednesday, September 6, leaving nearly 900,000 people without power. According to The Associated Press, at least 20 people have died and thousands were left homeless as a result of Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, after it battered a string of Caribbean islands on Wednesday.
The story is not over yet; apart from Hurricane Harvey that hit Texas and some Gulf states, and the near certainty that Hurricane Irma will hit Florida, two other hurricanes, Jose and Katia, are gathering strength and might threaten the United states. While Hurricane Jose is quickly strengthening as it makes its way west across the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Katia pummeled Mexico on Friday, September 8. This would be the first time three or four powerful hurricanes might hit the United States in a year. As noted by Reuters, The flurry of storm activity comes after Hurricane Harvey killed about 60 and caused property damage estimated as high as $180 billion after pummeling the coasts of Texas and Louisiana with torrential rain and severe flooding.
Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean, leaving a trail of death and destruction on many of its islands. As Category 5 storm, it was galloping towards Cuba, and on collision course with Florida, and then it lost steam to become a Category 4 storm. Then, within hours, Hurricane Irma strengthened back into a Category 5 storm, Friday night, as it made landfall on the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The ABC News wrote that Irma's status as a Category 4 storm was relatively short-lived, having been downgraded from a Category 5 storm early Friday morning, only to be upgraded to Category 5 late Friday evening. The National Hurricane Center said that Hurricane Irma remains forecast to hit the Florida Keys as a Category 5 storm. Meteorologists expect Irma to make landfall in the Keys between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. ET on Sunday.
The photos below, courtesy of Lionel Chamoiseay/AFP/Getty Images, show how Hurricane ravaged some of the Islands in the Caribbean.
As noted above; while the world was concentrating on Irma, hurricanes Jose and Katia gathered strength, as they threaten landfall. Jose is reportedly following a path similar to Irma's, and could potentially hit the same Caribbean islands that were devastated by Irma days ago, the National Hurricane Center said. AFP reported that Two days after hurricane Irma swept over the region, devastating thousands of homes, some islands braced for a second blast from Hurricane Jose this weekend. The Fox wrote that already devastated by Hurricane Irma, Caribbean islands are now bracing for the back-end of a deadly double-whammy, as powerful Hurricane Jose prepares to make landfall.
Hurricane Katia made landfall on Friday near the working-class beach resort of Tecolutla, in the state of Veracruz on the Mexican Gulf coast. Veracruz state officials, according to Reuters, said in a statement on Friday, that the storm could cause landslides and flooding, and urged people living below hills and slopes to be prepared to evacuate. This is happening even as Mexico was hit, late Thursday, September 7, by a powerful 8.1-magnitude earthquake, leaving at least 61 people dead and triggering tsunami waves, the U.S. Geological Survey said. What a double jeopardy? The AP wrote "One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in Mexico and a raging hurricane dealt a devastating one-two punch to the country, killing at least 61 people as workers scrambled to respond to the twin national emergencies".
Talking about Hurricane Irma, it's one of the most powerful hurricanes in history. It might be one of the most expensive so far. The Bloomberg wrote that Irma hit has Florida Insurers facing $200 billion nightmare. As it strengthened ahead of an all-but-certain collision with southern Florida after devastating the Caribbean islands, it's also threatening to become the most expensive storm in U.S. history. It threatens to rack up as much as $200 billion in damages.
The size of the storm left hurricane and weather scientists speechless: "I am at a complete and utter loss for words looking at Irma's appearance on satellite imagery," wrote Taylor Trogdon, a scientist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center, ? on Twitter, according to Newsweek. Irma strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane, on Tuesday, September 5, with winds up to 185 mph. The storm is most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. It's so strong that it is even showing up on scales for measuring earthquakes. The Newsweek reported that as the hurricane rapidly approaches Florida, the local Kissimmee Utility Authority reported Tuesday that Irma was registering on seismometers, a device reserved for measuring earthquakes, in the Caribbean. "No way to sugarcoat it. Irma is the type of tropical cyclone that wipes everything, including all vegetation, clean from small islands," wrote Anthony Sagliani, the Meteorological Operations Manager at weather data firm, Earth Networks.
Hurricane Irma continues to astound and amaze meteorologists with its relentless ferocity; and USA Today noted that several records have already been broken, and Colorado State University meteorologist, Phil Klotzbach, has been tracking them all:
*Wind: Irma had sustained winds of 185 mph for 37 hours, the longest any tropical cyclone around the world has maintained that intensity. The previous record was 24 hours, during Super Typhoon Haiyan in the northwest Pacific in 2013.
*Barometric pressure: Barometric pressure is another way to determine the strength of a storm. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm. It's referred to in inches in the U.S., but other countries and all scientists use millibars, a Metric measurement. At 915 millibars, Irma has the lowest pressure of an Atlantic hurricane outside of the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on record. That mark is also the lowest since Hurricane Dean in 2007, and the 10th-lowest on record since 1966.
*Energy: Accumulated cyclone energy, or ACE, is a way of measuring a hurricane by adding up the wind energy used by a tropical system over its lifetime. Irma generated the most ACE (44.2 units) by a tropical cyclone on record in the tropical Atlantic, and also the most in a 24-hour period on record, breaking the old record set by Allen (1980). It also generated more ACE than the first eight named storms of this Atlantic hurricane season (Arlene-Harvey) combined.
Even if Hurricane Irma will hit Florida, it is still too early to predict the Florida communities that could endure the worst of the storm's winds and rainfall. Still at that, meteorologists say that the worst of Irma's winds and storm surge are projected to be near Marathon and Key Largo, and that Miami and heavily populated southeastern Florida will still be on the strongest side of the storm.
Despite the uncertainty whether Irma will hit, when, where and how, Florida is not leaving anything to chance, and that's understandable. With the devastation from the 1935 hurricane, on Florida, in the back of their minds, the officials do not want to be caught off guard. Some counties' managers are damn serious, and have threatened to fire any employee who skipped work because of Hurricane Irma. For instance: Naples government considers all of its employees as essential personnel. In addition to police and firefighters, officials from all of the city's departments - including utilities, streets, building, finance and purchasing - are asked to keep City Hall running, even as the rest of Naples' residents are taking shelter. The USA Today reported that the City Manager, Bill Moss, sees that as a necessary part of government.
"Our responsibility is to protect life and property, to prepare for this storm, and to be ready to begin post-recovery operations immediately after passage of the storm," Moss said. "To do so, we need employees, equipment and sufficient supplies."
Some might disagree with this Naples' manager. I think firing someone for protecting themselves or their family will be going too far.
There are beehives of activity going on to get people out of Irma's way:
*A hurricane warning is in place. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for barrier islands, coastal communities, low-lying areas and mobile homes across Florida. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, 5.6 million Floridians have been told to evacuate.
"This storm has the potential to catastrophically devastate our state and you have to take this seriously. Regardless of which (Florida) coast you live on, be prepared to evacuate. If you wait until Saturday or Sunday, when high winds and rain are expected to lash south Florida, it will be too late. We cannot save you when the storm starts. So if you are in an evacuation zone and you need help, you need to tell us now." Florida Governor, Rick Scott, said Thursday at a news conference
The National Weather Service's Key West office issued a dire warning in the wake of the updated forecast.
"Obviously Hurricane Irma continues to be a threat that is going to devastate the United States. We're going to have a couple rough days." William Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said at a press conference Friday morning.
The National Hurricane Center on Friday cautioned that Irma is "extremely dangerous," with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, which are strong enough to uproot trees, bring down power poles and rip off the roofs and some exterior walls of well-built frame homes.
The Center then issued its first hurricane warnings for Florida overnight, warning residents that "preparations to protect life should be rushed to completion."
*Ahead of Irma's arrival in the Sunshine State, the last flights departed Friday night from Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Miami's airport officially remains open, while Fort Lauderdale's airport is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Within the week, before Friday, U.S. airlines scrambled to evacuate residents ahead of Hurricane Irma. Reuters wrote that airlines were racing against the clock to clear as many customers as possible from the likely Florida path of Hurricane Irma, as social and political pressure mounted for carriers to play a bigger role in aiding evacuations.
* Disney World, according to ABC News, announced in a statement, Friday afternoon, that its theme parks and water parks -- as well as Disney Springs and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex -- would be closing early Saturday and remain closed through Monday. Disney's resort hotels will remain open.
*One of the biggest evacuations of aircraft on record is under way as owners are moving their planes out of Irma's path.
*Comcast Corp.'s Universal Parks and Resorts division closed its three theme parks in Orlando, 230 miles north of Miami.
*A Carnival Corp. cruise ship scheduled to return to Florida Saturday will let passengers off in New Orleans.
*Floridians jam highways to flee Hurricane Irma. People began a mass exodus on Thursday as Hurricane Irma, the powerful Category 5 storm, plowed through the Caribbean toward the Sunshine State. CNN reports that thousands of cars headed north, causing interstate backups and slowdowns. Drivers waited for hours at gas stations, some of which ran out of fuel. Travelers stood in line for hours at airports. Based on Irma's projected path, which includes Florida's heavily populated eastern coast, the enormous storm could create one of the largest mass evacuations in US history, CNN senior meteorologist, Dave Hennen, said. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties combined have about 6 million people.
Hurricane Irma is forcing the authorities to consider shutting down 2 Florida nuclear plants, says the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Hurricane Irma brings fear, gas shortages to the Sunshine State. Florida residents picked store shelves clean, just also as long lines formed at gas pumps Wednesday. Also, this beast of a hurricane threatens power losses for millions in Florida. Reuters wrote that Irma poses a bigger menace to power supplies in Florida than Hurricane Harvey did in Texas, because Irma is packing near 200 mile-per-hour winds (320 km/h) that could down power lines, close nuclear plants and threatens to leave millions of homes and businesses in the dark for weeks.
South Florida is already experiencing power outages, according to the Florida Power & Light Company. As of 3 a.m. Saturday, September 9, in Miami-Dade County, there were 9,613 outages affecting 1,124,252 customers. In Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, there were 456 outages affecting 939,339 customers.
Also ahead of Irma's arrival, The Associated Press reported, late Friday night, that many ATM machines across southwest Florida were out of cash, as people stocked up in case Hurricane Irma power outages make credit card transactions impossible.
The WP summed it up here: Hurricane Irma continues to hurtle toward Florida's doorstep, threatening to ravage the state with destruction not seen in a generation.
"It's not a question of if Florida's going to be impacted, it's a question of how bad Florida's going to be impacted," William "Brock" Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Friday at a news conference.
Officials in Georgia and the Carolinas - where heavy rains and flooding are expected early next week - have declared emergencies, but attention remained focused on Florida. Forecasts call for up to 20 inches of rain and thrashing winds no matter how the storm pivots before hitting the mainland United States. William "Brock" Long urged people from Alabama to North Carolina to monitor and prepare for the storm, calling it "a threat that is going to devastate the United States, either Florida or some of the southeastern states."
"Irma is likely to make landfall in Florida as a dangerous major hurricane, and will bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state regardless of the exact track of the center," the National Hurricane Center said.
Floridians are familiar with ominous forecasts and hurricane warnings, and many have painful memories of Hurricane Andrew, which made landfall as a Category 5 monster in 1992, and other storms that brought lashing rain and winds. But when asked about people in South Florida who intend to ride out the storm at home, William "Brock" Long was blunt.
"I can guarantee you that I don't know anybody in Florida that's ever experienced what's about to hit South Florida who would like to stay. They need to get out and listen and heed the warnings."