As the hurricane that hit Houston winds down, and as southeast Asia experiences catastrophic flooding from monsoon rains, another potential threat is brewing in the Atlantic.
Off the coast of Cape Verde, the former Portuguese colony plagued by the slave trade, the storm named “Hurricane Irma” is currently category 2 with winds estimated at about 100 miles per hour.
It grew fast: on Wednesday it was declared a Tropical Storm, and by Thursday it is a hurricane, by the standards used to measure hurricanes.
So far, it isn’t close to any land. It is supposed to take about a week to move west across the Atlantic Ocean, which means it could hit land in the Carolinas, or Bermuda, or the northeastern Caribbean, or a variety of locations in between.
In addition, a storm in the western Gulf of Mexico is looking like it might become a tropical storm in the next week. “Development, if any, of this system is expected to be slow to occur as the low moves slowly northward,” according to the hurricane center. “If this system does develop, it could bring additional rainfall to portions of the Texas and Louisiana coasts.”
In southeast Asia however, a more massive disaster with catastrophic flooding and 41 million victims is unfolding with much less attention in the media.
The monsoon has killed an estimated 1,200 people, with 41 million people in India and surrounding areas affected by flooding.
According to EcoWatch:
“The Red Cross estimates that 14 million people have been affected by flooding in India; more than seven million in Bangladesh and 1.5 million in Nepal. The United Nations puts the total number of people affected by floods and landslides at a total nearly double that, at 41 million.
In India, for example, half the huge state of Uttar Pradesh, which is home to 220 million people, is under water. But they are not alone. One rescue and relief officer recently told Reuters that at least 850 people had been killed in six flood-affected states in the past month.”
Hopefully people will be there for each other, and powerful entities will not seek to capitalize on the events unfolding.