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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Cyclone Jose and Cyclone Irma ~ preparedness and treatment for people

At Lords, Jimmy Anderson, reached landmark of 500 wickets, then polished off the West Indies’ second innings with career-best figures of 7 for 42, enabling England to win the match by nine wickets and to retain the Wisden Trophy. Anderson, operating from the Nursery End, the one less favoured by England’s most prolific bowler, added five more wickets to his overnight tally in 11.1 overs so that the West Indies were bowled out for 177. The target of 107 was knocked off with ease.  Only recently, at Headlingley  was one of the great Test matches. West Indies created their own extraordinary tale by chasing down 322 to level the series. Shai Hope achieved what Kraigg Brathwaite narrowly missed, becoming the first batsman to score twin hundreds on the ground in first-class cricket and with the floodlights illuminating the ground almost as much as the day-night Test last week, Hope tucked the ball through square to complete one of the most unexpected redemption stories in the game's history.

Back home at West Indies, they may not be following the team’s Cricket fortunes, as cyclones battered  ~ have not heard much of this islands : The Turks and Caicos Islands - a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Lucayan Archipelago of the Atlantic Ocean and northern West Indies. They are known primarily for tourism and as an offshore financial centre.

Hurricane Jose has weakened slightly, but remains a “dangerous category four hurricane” as it heads towards the eastern Caribbean islands ravage by Hurricane Irma. Irma is restored to category 5 strength as it pummels Cuba and prompts orders for a quarter of Florida’s population to leave.  Jose was about 160 miles (260km) east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday morning and was forecast to hit the outlying Caribbean islands later in the day.

The US national hurricane centre issued hurricane warnings for the eastern Caribbean islands of Sint Maarten, St Martin and St Barthelemy, and tropical storm warnings for Barbuda and Anguilla and Saba and St. Eustatius. A troprical storm watch is in effect for British Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. John and Antigua. Hurricane Irma has hit the Turks and Caicos Islands as the category 5 storm, which has killed at least 18 people, continues to move across the Caribbean towards Florida.Waves as high as 6 metres (20ft) were expected on Friday in the Turks and Caicos, where communications went down as the storm hit the islands, leaving the extent of the devastation unclear. At least 23 people confirmed dead across Caribbean, with Hurricane Jose also heading for Barbuda at almost category five intensity

French, British and Dutch military authorities sent aid to devastated Caribbean islands where at least 18 people were dead and thousands left homeless. Warships and planes were sent with food, water and troops after the hurricane smashed homes, schools and roads, laying waste to some of the world’s most beautiful tourist destinations. The US consulate general in Curacao said it believed about 6,000 Americans were stranded on St Martin. It said it was working with the US and other governments to try to figure out how to get them off the island either by air or boat.

Cyclone, Hurricanes, Storms, Tempest – all unleash brute power of the Nature and the fury often results in devastation – but can the same windforce be different to different people ~ here is an interesting article read in The Guardian.  

This is a tale of two Irmas. First, there’s the Hurricane Irma facing Max Borges as he practised his short iron on a Miami Beach golf course just hours before one of the most powerful and deadly storms in modern times was scheduled to make landfall on the US mainland. Borges, the 51-year-old owner of a PR agency, sat down with his wife and three children on Friday and ran over their prospects as Irma barreled towards them, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Their home in Miami Beach, a wealthy island city that runs along the coast of Miami known for its celebrity residents and art deco buildings, is under mandatory evacuation order. Yet they had so much going for them, they recognised. Food, water, other essentials to last for days; a solid home raised off the ground to resist storm surge with toughened windows capable of withstanding 155mph winds; even an in-built generator should the electricity go down. They talked, they agreed: they would ride Irma out.

Decision made, Borges went off to practice his short iron. “That was a good one!” he exclaimed, sending the ball soaring off the tee and on to the green.

There’s a second Hurricane Irma descending on southern Florida, the one looming over Louis Diaz and his family in Liberty City, a mere nine miles away in the north of Miami. They too have decided to ride out the storm but where the Borges family is doing it because they can, the Diaz family is doing it because, well, what else can they do? They have water and food for three days, but no gas in the car if they were to try to leave. When Diaz, 29, went to Home Depot to buy some plywood to shutter the windows, the store had run out. They could never afford hurricane-proof windows, relying, as they do, on his mother’s salary as a transit worker.

People don’t want to help folk like us. Nobody is leaving Liberty City because there’s nowhere for them to go.  One mother of all hurricanes, two very different experiences. In Liberty City, the African American neighborhood that inspired the Oscar-winning movie Moonlight, the chances of escaping Irma’s devastating wrath are all but non-existent. When almost half the residents are below the federal poverty level, generators and storm windows are not an option, let alone a few boards of plywood and a tank of gas.

Most people are taking advantage of the lack of a mandatory evacuation order in their area and staying put. But local organisers fear they are woefully unprepared. Some people state that an additional problem facing low-income black, Hispanic and Haitian neighborhoods like Liberty City and Little Havana, the Cuban quarter, was that Miami authorities were so slow to reach them. “Historically, the city and county and other large institutions do not respond to our communities, so we expect to be without help after Irma for at least three days.”

An unscientific survey of houses in Liberty City suggested that only about one in five were boarded up or showed other signs of storm protection. By contrast, virtually every property in Miami Beach was replete with sandbags, storm shutters and hurricane-resistant glass. As Irma veers in its path, reserving its most terrifying force for the Florida Keys and potentially the west coast of Florida up to Tampa, Miami may be spared some of the worst of the disaster. But this is such a massive storm, its radius of destruction so wide, that it still has the potential to shatter windows and tear off roofs throughout southern Florida.

Thousands of people have heeded the evacuation orders, with local TV stations bombarding those in the evacuation zones with warnings to get away. In Miami-Dade, the county that covers the city, more than 20,000 people were in shelters on Saturday, many of which had closed having reached capacity. Many others had fled the city, in a decision that many will come to regret. Some travelled west towards Naples, unwittingly moving right into the path of the storm.

So vastly different tales for different people appears to be on show at the advanced country as they prepare to face 5 category Hurricane Irma. Anything to say ??

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

9th Sept. 2017.

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