Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Category 5 Hurricane Maria Causes 'Mind Boggling' Damage to Dominica, on Path to Puerto Rico

Popular
The eye of Category 5 Hurricane Maria moving over Dominica. NWS San Juan‏ Twitter

Hurricane Maria made landfall as a Category 5 storm in Dominica on Monday night and left "mind boggling" damage to the island nation, according to the country's prime minister.

While no deaths or injuries were immediately reported, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt wrote in a Facebook post that the hurricane caused "widespread devastation" and residents "have lost all what money can buy and replace."


Winds up to 160 miles per hour ripped the roofs off of buildings, including Skerritt's own home.

He noted, "I am honestly not preoccupied with physical damage at this time, because it is devastating ... indeed, mind boggling. My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured."

"We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds."

Maria started as a tropical storm over a day ago but wind speeds rapidly ramped up another 90 miles per hour within 27 hours, National Weather Service said.

BBC meteorologist Steve Cleaton explained that Maria gathered strength due to the area's elevated sea surface temperatures, which are "anomalously high by a margin of around one to two degrees," as well as other favorable atmospheric conditions such as low wind shear.

The "potentially catastrophic" storm now heads northwest towards the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, National Hurricane Center (NHC) senior hurricane specialist Mike Brennan warned in a video update Tuesday morning.

Brennan said he was "very concerned" of the potentially Category 4 or 5 winds moving through the area, as well as storm surges and extreme rainfall.

According to the NHC, a storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves could raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels in portions of the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands, and 6 to 9 feet in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As for extreme rainfall, the central and southern Leeward Islands can expect 10 to 15 inches, and isolated areas of up to 20 inches. U.S. and British Virgin Islands can expect 10 to 15 inches, and isolated areas of up to 20 inches. Puerto Rico might see 12 to 18 inches, and isolated areas of up to 25 inches.

"Everybody in those islands should have their preparations rushed to completion very, very soon as conditions will begin to deteriorate today," Brennan urged.

Maria is the third major hurricane to tear through the already devastated Caribbean islands in recent weeks.

President Donald Trump has declared a federal emergency in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Jörg Carstensen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Tom Werner / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.

Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
In Germany's Hunsrück village of Schorbach, numerous photovoltaic systems are installed on house roofs, on Sept. 19, 2019. Thomas Frey / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.

Read More Show Less

In many parts of the U.S., family farms are disappearing and being replaced by suburban sprawl.

Read More Show Less
General view of the empty Alma bridge, in front of the Eiffel tower, while the city imposes emergency measures to combat the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, on March 17, 2020 in Paris, France. Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

Half the world is on lockdown. So, the constant hum of cars, trucks, trains and heavy machinery has stopped, drastically reducing the intensity of the vibrations rippling through the Earth's crust. Seismologists, who use highly sensitive equipment, have noticed a difference in the hum caused by human activity, according to Fast Company.

Read More Show Less