HUR­RI­CANE IRMA BATTERS CARIBBEAN

Su­per­storm causes chaos

The Week - Junior - - Front Page -

Asec­ond ma­jor hur­ri­cane has hit US, af­ter Hur­ri­cane Har­vey de­stroyed parts of Texas last month. Hur­ri­cane Irma be­gan in the Caribbean and ar­rived in Florida, in the US, last week­end. At least 47 peo­ple died. Here’s how the dis­as­ter un­folded.

30 Au­gust – 5 Septem­ber

Irma be­gan as a trop­i­cal storm in with winds of up to 50mph. Over the next few days, it be­came a hur­ri­cane, and wind speeds reached 151mph, mak­ing it the most pow­er­ful storm in the At­lantic

Ocean since records be­gan.

6 Septem­ber

Irma reached the is­land of Bar­buda, de­stroy­ing lots of prop­er­ties. The prime min­is­ter, Gas­ton Browne, said 95% of build­ings were dam­aged and that the is­land was “lit­er­ally un­der wa­ter”. One res­i­dent, Elessa Har­ris, 22, said she saw her “roof be­ing lifted up by the winds”. Her en­tire vil­lage was de­stroyed.

On the nearby is­land of St Martin, the winds were so strong that trees were pulled out of the ground and boats and cars went fly­ing. Irma also badly dam­aged Saint Barthélemy, An­guilla, the Bri­tish Vir­gin Islands and the US Vir­gin Islands. When Irma got to Puerto Rico that night, waves reached nine me­tres high and hun­dreds of peo­ple lost their homes.

7–9 Septem­ber

On 7 Septem­ber, Irma passed over the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands, with winds of up to 175mph. It then trav­elled to the south­ern Ba­hamas be­fore reach­ing Cuba and the north­ern Ba­hamas on 8 Septem­ber. Heavy rains

flooded Ha­vana, the cap­i­tal of Cuba.

10–12 Septem­ber

Mil­lions of peo­ple in Florida were or­dered to leave their homes. When the hur­ri­cane ar­rived, around 5.8 mil­lion homes and busi­nesses lost power. In parts of Miami, the wa­ter was up to peo­ple’s waists. By 12 Septem­ber, Irma had reached the US state of Ge­or­gia, but it had lost power, and wind speeds dropped to 35mph.

How have peo­ple re­sponded?

The UK Govern­ment has pledged £57mil­lion to help with the re­lief ef­fort and about 900 UK troops have been sent to its over­seas ter­ri­to­ries in the Caribbean, as well as food, wa­ter and med­i­cal sup­plies. There are 14 Bri­tish Over­seas Ter­ri­to­ries around the world, which used to be part of the Bri­tish Empire. How­ever, some peo­ple said the UK Govern­ment re­acted too slowly. Don­ald Trump, the US pres­i­dent, promised bil­lions of dol­lars to help Florida.

Peo­ple in flooded

Ha­vana, the cap­i­tal of Cuba.

Florida

Cuba

Puerto Rico

Bar­buda

UK sol­diers brought sup­plies.

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