Hurricane Irma has created havoc across northern Caribbean, plummeting everything from home to offices, destroying beaches and malls and leaving behind complete destruction. At least ten people have already been confirmed dead in the destruction wrought by the most powerful hurricane in the last several decades.
Latest reports suggest that as it barrels towards Florida, there is a mounting fear that a story of Texas may be repeated across the state. Hurricane Harvey that made landfall on August 26 in Texas has left a trail of destruction across the state, destroying or partially destroying almost a hundred thousand homes, more than two third in Houston alone.
Weather experts have called Hurricane Irma as the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever. Many people thought that the Hurricane will weaken as it makes landfall in Caribbean, nonetheless it has remained a dream as it has remained a powerful Category 5 storm with winds of 180 mph (285 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Latest reports suggest that the category five storm will hit heavily populated South Florida early Sunday, prompting the governor to declare an emergency and officials to impose mandatory evacuation orders for parts of the Miami metro area and the Florida Keys.
Latest reports suggest that the Hurricane Irma has blacked out much of Puerto Rico, raking the U.S. territory with heavy wind and rain while staying just out to sea. Meanwhile, authorities tried their best to supply aid to small Caribbean islands devastated by the storm’s record 185 mph winds earlier Wednesday, while people in Florida rushed to get ready for a possible direct hit on the Miami area.
Weather department claims that as of 5 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, the center of the storm was about 95 mils north of the eastern end of the Dominican Republic, moving west-northwest near 17 mph and still packing sustained winds of 180 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane warnings were dropped for all of Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra. Brian McNoldy, a researcher on hurricane says that “This could easily be the most costly storm in U.S. history, which is saying a lot considering what just happened two weeks ago”.
While several small islands under control of French, Portuguese and United Kingdom’s control in Caribbean have been badly impacted by Hurricane Irma, more than half the island of Puerto Rico was without power, leaving 900,000 in the dark and nearly 50,000 without water. It is reported that in the U.S. territory’s as many as 14 hospitals were using generators after losing power, and trees and light poles were strewn across roads.
Cat 5 Hurricane Irma now joined by two other storms, tropical storms Jose and Katia. Katia already in Gulf. pic.twitter.com/hVDXjwVvpa
— Judd Davis (@BamaJD) September 6, 2017
— ((((Hawks)))) (@rhollister57) September 7, 2017
— NASA SPoRT (@NASA_SPoRT) September 7, 2017
Hurricane Irma is one of the biggest on record and it’s already hit the Caribbean. pic.twitter.com/1wWRN4rdDH
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 7, 2017
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 7, 2017
The company supplying power to the US territory said that some areas could be left without power from four to six months because its staff has been reduced and its infrastructure weakened by the island’s decade-long economic slump. There is no denying that the U.S. territory has suffered badly. In early 2017, the Puerto Rican government-debt crisis posed serious problems for the government. The outstanding bond debt had climbed to $70 billion at a time with 12.4% unemployment. The debt had been increasing during a decade long recession. On May 3, 2017, Puerto Rico’s financial oversight board in the U.S. District Court for Puerto Rico filed the debt restructuring petition which was made under Title III of PROMESA. By early August 2017, the debt was $72 billion in with a 45% poverty rate.
Weather department believes that the storm is expected to hit Florida sometime Sunday, and Gov. Rick Scott said he planned to activate 7,000 National Guard soldiers by Friday. Gov. Rick Scott has warned that Irma is “bigger, faster and stronger” than Hurricane Andrew, which wiped out entire neighborhoods in south Florida 25 years ago.
There are fears among many circles that the Hurricane Irma could rake the entire Florida east coast from Miami to Jacksonville and then head into Savannah, Georgia, and the Carolinas, striking highly populated and developed areas.