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Natural Catastrophes on the Run and How to Be Prepared

“The end of the world is near…”

Many people have been saying that the world’s end is approaching by the various natural occurrences that have been happening in the past few months in this new year of 2017:

  • The Total Solar Eclipse:

    • The last total solar eclipse in the United States was seen on February 26, 1979 until August 21, 2017 in the afternoon.

  • Hurricane Harvey:

    • An Atlantic hurricane reaching landfall in Texas (U.S.) of Category 4 on August 25, 2017.

  • Hurricane Irma:

    • The Atlantic’s most intense and horrific, monstrous, Category 5 hurricane that anyone has ever seen since Hurricane Dean (2007) and Katrina (2005). Hurricane Irma’s development began on August 30, 2017 and reached to Category 5 on September 6, 2017.

  • Hurricane Jose:

    • An Atlantic hurricane reaching its peak as a Category 4 on September 8, 2017.

  • Mexico 8.1 Earthquake:

    • One of the biggest recorded earthquakes that has been recorded in the history of Mexico struck on September 7, 2017 with a magnitude of an 8.1 quake, right after Hurricane Irma.

Natural catastrophes are happening all around and September has received them all. Looks like this year’s haunted month has changed to September!

Hurricane Jose won’t be the last hurricane because the next one coming is Hurricane Maria.

We Puerto Ricans had been terrified when we discovered that Hurricane Irma had turned into a Category 5 hurricane and was coming towards us. Luckily, it didn’t do major damage to Puerto Rico since the eye of the hurricane lied at latitude 19.7 degrees north and longitude 67.7 degrees west, about 140 miles northwest of San Juan. Several of the Caribbean and Virgin islands weren’t so lucky and resulted in major damages and destruction along with Florida.

“Expect the unexpected” has become a phrase that has made me believe in it more and more throughout these disastrous occurrences.

Now, Puerto Rico is preparing itself for another disastrous phenomenon: Hurricane Maria. The weather broadcast has informed us that the eye of the hurricane is expected to pass right through the center of our island coming in from the southeast and exiting through the northwest as a Category 4 hurricane.

People have to be prepared to face such natural catastrophes and here are some helpful tips to be prepared for the worst:


  1. Be sure to have some batteries, matches, candles, flashlights or lanterns with you. 

  2. Put up panels on glass windows. If you don’t have metal panels, you can put wood panels instead.

  3. If you don’t have neither one of the metal or wood panels, you can always use some duct tape to stop minimum impact on the windows. 

  4. If you have a portable charger, put it to charge. It’s very useful for your cellphone’s battery.

  5. Be sure to have a radio with you to listen to the weather broadcast.

  6. Have food, drinks, and snacks with you. 

  7. A gas stove would be very useful for when the power goes out.

  8. Last but not least, don’t forget to add a little entertainment to enjoy as a family or individually.

Those are all the tips to stay prepared and most importantly to be safe! Now’s the time to come together as a community and help each other out!

In the following there will be some pictures to do a comparison of “Before and After” Hurricane Maria from my personal point of view from the small town of Villalba, Puerto Rico. Stay tuned to find out what happens after Hurricane Maria passes through our little island of Puerto Rico!



Photo Credit:

Daily Express, COED, LBC9 News, PBS, and OMSI Solar Eclipse Viewing Party.


Aimar B. Galarza is an undergraduate English Literature student in the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus aspiring to become a future editor. She has a passion for anything to do with books, film, writing, music, and acting. She enjoys playing the piano and guitar and has also participated in various musicals as a dancer, singer, and actress, one of them being "Homeroom the Musical" which was presented in Ponce, Puerto Rico and later on presented in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Last but not least, she's also a voice actress on YouTube (AimyAngel) who's collaborated in fan dubs, audiobooks, and animated episodes.
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