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Natural Disasters Gone Wild

There has been some seriously damaging natural disasters recently. Every time I turn on the news, there’s another hurricane forming or another earthquake happening somewhere. It has some people thinking the end of the world is near.

It all started with Hurricane Harvey last month. Harvey was the first major hurricane this year and the first major one to make landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Wilma. Harvey made landfall in Rockport, Texas on August 25th as a Category 4. There was catastrophic flooding with numbers ranging from five inches all the way up to fifty-one inches of rain. Seventy-one people lost their lives and there was $180 billion worth of damage.

There was then a massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Chiapas, Mexico on September 7th. This was the biggest earthquake to strike Mexico in a century. There were 1,806 aftershocks from this earthquake and a tsunami was even triggered by it. Ninety-eight people died and over three hundred were injured.

During this time, there was also Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 that went down to a Category 4 by the time it made landfall in Florida on September 10th. Ninety percent of the structures in Barbuda were obliterated. Other places affected by Irma were St. Martin, Antigua, U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, and St. Kitts and Nevis. Numbers of people who died from Hurricane Irma are all over the place but at least seventy have died altogether. Hurricane Irma can end up costing anywhere from 50 to 100 billion.

Hurricane Katia (no longer active), Hurricane Jose (still active), and Hurricane Lee (still active) have all been downgraded to tropical storms.

Another earthquake, this one with a 7.1 magnitude, struck Mexico City on September 18th. More than two hundred people have been killed and 1,900 injured, with more people still being rescued beneath the rubble. Over forty buildings have collapsed around Mexico City and a majority of the capital is without power.

After all that havoc, there is now Hurricane Maria. Maria just tore through Puerto Rico, leaving the entire island without power. It made landfall there on September 20th. Only one death has been confirmed so far but with the island in blackout and unable to communicate, more deaths will surely be brought to light. Fourteen deaths have been confirmed in Dominica, whose residents are without power and running water. Two deaths have been confirmed in Guadeloupe.

Maria passed by the Dominican Republic September 21st, and hurricane warnings are in effective for the Turks and Caicos Islands as well as the Bahamas at this time. The U.S. Virgin Islands are under a 24-hour curfew until further notice.

With these disasters occurring since just August, there are surely more to come. For all the people who are concerned that the end is near, stop projecting what the bible says and pay attention. There are warm Atlantic Ocean temperatures that are creating high levels of moisture in the air. The ridge of low pressure that is usually present along the east code of the U.S. has headed for the west code this year, so the east coast is especially vulnerable to hurricanes.  So, is the world ending? No. Will there be more extreme weather this year? Most likely. It’s hurricane season and will be for another two months.

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