Hurricane Maria, another island experience [new blog]
It was just over two weeks ago that Hurricane Irma directly hit the Caribbean and parts of America. Hurricane watches were issued for the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis (according to CNN). Irma is reportedly one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic. Hurricane Maria, another island experience.
Irma spared St. Kitts and Nevis as it shifted on its approach to the twin islands with impact on some properties. Hurricane Irma was my first experience of a hurricane in Nevis. Unfortunately, our island neighbours in Antigua and Barbuda, St. Martin, and Anguilla were directly hit by the hurricane, which caused a devastating amount of damage to people’s homes, businesses and livelihood (source, Time). The U.S Virgin Islands, St. Barts (St. Barthelemy), Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Turks and Caicos, were also impacted by Irma.
Hurricane Maria, another island experience passing through the Leeward Islands
On Monday 18 September 2017, the sky was pretty dark for most of the day. The sun made a slight appearance but the sky was not as blue as normal. Around 6 p.m. the wind started picking up. By 7 p.m. a heavy downpour of rain was falling and by 8 p.m. we had no current. Just before midnight, the water was switched off. The water is turned off as a precaution to reduce the potential damage of flooding, in case the pipes burst. At 2 a.m. the wind was still strong and the rain was getting heavier and it was like this throughout the entire night.
With no Internet, due to having no current, I spent quality time with my cousins, read Steve Harvey, Jump and caught up on blogs I’m subscribed to, such as travel blog, Coconut + Concrete. I loved reading her interviews with people they have met along their travelling journey, even if it across Instagram.
This is the first time since 2007 that the Caribbean has had two category five hurricanes in the same year. Hurricanes need warm temperature water, wind and moisture in the atmosphere, to stay active. The earth plates are moving causing heat movements, in Mexico, they were experiencing a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. This is one of the reasons that two major hurricanes following the same path occurred, as normally one would have used up all of the warm seas. Of course, there are a lot of other theories but I won’t get into that.
The eye of Hurricane Maria passed to the south of the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, causing damage to homes and businesses due to the heavy winds. In Nevis, the capital, Charlestown, and neighbouring villages were affected by the storm as it passed south of the island. The hibiscus tree in town by the library and court had fallen and an old tamarind tree had fallen.
In other areas, a number of trees on the island had fallen; some had damaged people’s homes. A tree in my yard had fallen and broken but it hadn’t caused any damage to the property. Overall, the impact was minimal to some water that got into one part of the house. As I was paling out the water in the laundry room, I was greeted by a horrendous big frog, who came to keep me company.
During the next day, it rained a lot and it was extremely windy. Each time it seemed as though the rain was going to stop and the winds were slowing down, they kept coming. It was dark, wet and windy during the entire day.
The Government announced that Wednesday 20 September was national clean-up day. Communities helped to clean up debris caused by the storm, in their local areas. We drove around the island to see what damage had been done to the island and check on relatives. The beaches were washed away or flooded.
Paradise beach villas, which are built quite close to the shore earlier in 2015, were impacted by the storm. The beach had been washed away, with the seawater reaching underneath the open-plan villas. Workers were on the beach in the morning after the hurricane, repairing damages.
Have the hurricanes changed your mind about travelling to the Caribbean during hurricane season (June to November)?
Pray for Dominica
Caribbean neighbours in Dominica were directly hit by Hurricane Maria on Monday evening. Unfortunately, there were a number of fatalities, reportedly 15 died and 20 are still missing. My thoughts and prayers go out to those on the island and the friends and families who lost loved ones in Dominica. Particularly my cousin and her family from St. Maarten, who lost their home during Hurricane Irma and family members in Dominica as Hurricane Maria, tore the island apart.
Going through a hurricane, you appreciate the things you take for granted, such as running water from the pipe, electricity and life. Some people have to venture for miles for clean water, and others who normally have it, currently do not. Whereas we feel lost for not having the convenience of going without running water for less than 48 hours. People have lost their livelihood, their homes and lives during the storms and we have to be grateful for what we do have. Experiencing yet another storm was nerve-racking because you don’t know what to expect. If you know of any relief, please share below in the comments. Let us use this time to help others, through relief, fundraising, prayers, and be there for those who are affected by this tragedy. Now is not the time for selfishness, but for community cohesion, support and love.
Has the hurricane had an impact on you? Or do you have family and friend impacted?
- Attitude of Gratitude
- Your gift is the thing that you do the absolute best with the least amount of effort
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