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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
A roller coaster is seen in the Atlantic Ocean on November 1, 2012, after Superstorm Sandy destroyed the pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Long-lasting droughts, unprecedented rainfalls and sudden cold snaps are becoming a reality for people across the country, but accurate forecasting models to predict when the next extreme weather event might hit lags behind, AP News reported.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
CIRA / NOAA

Hurricane Eta, the record-tying 28th named storm in an extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, is now menacing Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm.

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Madeleine_Steinbach / iStock / Getty Images

Krill oil has gained a lot of popularity recently as a superior alternative to fish oil. Basically, the claim goes, anything fish oil can do, krill oil does better. Read on to learn what makes krill oil supplements better than fish oil supplements, why you should consider adding these to your list of vitamin subscriptions and supplements, and which brands we recommend.

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Waves crash over Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Oct. 28, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Hurricane Zeta slammed into storm-weary Louisiana as a Category 2 storm Wednesday, killing at least one person and breaking the record for the most named storms to hit the state in a single season.

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Trending
Tropical Storm Zeta could be the fifth storm to hit Louisiana this season. National Hurricane Center

The extremely active 2020 hurricane season has another storm in store for the beleaguered Gulf Coast.

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NHC Director Ken Graham provides an update on Hurricane Delta. NOAA

Hurricane Delta is set to batter southwest Louisiana later today, as residents there prepare to be hit once again by a storm that has rapidly intensified, experts say, largely because of global warming.

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Hurricane Delta strengthens in the Caribbean Sea. NOAA Satellites

The extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has broken another record.

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An aerial drone view shows a model home surrounded by flooding from Hurricane Delta in an area still recovering from Hurricane Laura on Oct. 10, 2020 in Iowa, Louisiana. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Record-breaking hurricane Delta made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Creole, Louisiana Friday evening, striking another blow to a region still recovering from Hurricane Laura just six weeks earlier.

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A boy and a man save chairs from a flooded house due to the heavy rains caused by Hurricane Eta, now degraded to a tropical storm, in Puerto Barrios, Izabal, north of Guatemala City on Nov. 5, 2020. JOHAN ORDONEZ / AFP via Getty Images

The storm formerly known as Hurricane Eta slowly dragged across Honduras Wednesday, dumping heavy rains across the region and prompting emergency flood and landslide warnings.

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A satellite view of the Atlantic, from the National Hurricane Center and NOAA.

Tropical Storm Theta became the 29th storm of the exceptionally active and record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season Monday night.

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A clapper rail with a fiddler crab in its bill. Michael Gray / CC BY-ND

By Scott Rush and Mark Woodrey

When storms like Huricane Zeta menace the Gulf Coast, residents know the drill: Board up windows, clear storm drains, gas up the car and stock up on water, batteries and canned goods.

But how does wildlife ride out a hurricane? Animals that live along coastlines have evolved to deal with a world where conditions can change radically. This year, however, the places they inhabit have borne the brunt of 10 named storms, some just a few weeks apart.

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As a hurricane reaches the coast, it pushes a huge volume of ocean water ashore, known as a storm surge. Jerry Coli / Pixabay

By Anthony C. Didlake Jr.

Of all the hazards that hurricanes bring, storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property along the coast. It can sweep homes off their foundations, flood riverside communities miles inland, and break up dunes and levees that normally protect coastal areas against storms.

But what exactly is storm surge?

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Aerial view of a flooded area in the village of Queja, in San Cristobal Verapaz, Guatemala on Nov. 7, 2020 where it is estimated that dozens of people died after a mudslide caused by the passage of Hurricane Eta. ESTEBAN BIBA / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

A large landslide caused by torrential rains during Hurricane Eta buried half a small village's residents, leaving the other half searching for family members and neighbors in Guatemala on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.

Officials deemed Queja, a farming community of a few hundred residents, "uninhabitable," and ended rescue operations, calling for the survivors to abandon the area now mostly covered in tons of rock and mud. 99 people were reported missing, with 44 confirmed deaths.

Mayor Ovidio Choc, representing the San Cristobal Verapaz region, including Queja, said the evacuated village would be declared a cemetery.

The former director of Guatemala's national disaster management agency said the country is ranked among the highest risk countries for natural disasters, based on data by the World Risk Index.

"It is a structural problem that is linked not only the threat or the probability of producing elements like Eta, but rather other factors that make us vulnerable and are directly tied to the development of the country," Alejandro Maldonado said, The Washington Post reported.

The inability to invest in mitigation plans, and deforestation were likely to be circumstances that caused the landslide, noted Maldonado.

The residents of Queja are the latest addition of what is being called the "great climate migration." Climate change is causing sea level rise and extreme weather conditions, such as intense heat, drought, wildfires and enlarged hurricanes and typhoons, which induce mudslides, landslides and flooding, forcing many to flee their homes, never to return.

And climate refugees are predicted to increase in number in the coming years as more natural disasters occur. According to Ecological Threat Register, a September 2020 report by the non-profit think tank Institute for Economics & Peace, one billion people live in areas were there is not enough infrastructure in place to combat ecological changes.

2020 already claims the largest number of hurricanes and wildfires ever recorded.

Eta first made landfall just south of Puerto Cabezas, a city on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast on Nov. 3, as a Category 4 hurricane, causing 140 mph winds, massive downpours and destructive flooding to several countries in Central America, including Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras.

Hurricane Eta is expected to hit Florida's Gulf Coast in its fourth landfall on Wednesday, as a Category 1 hurricane, bumped up from a subtropical storm with rains hitting southern Florida on Sunday and Monday. While diminished in intensity from its peak in Central America, landslides and flooding are expected.

EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
A roller coaster is seen in the Atlantic Ocean on November 1, 2012, after Superstorm Sandy destroyed the pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Long-lasting droughts, unprecedented rainfalls and sudden cold snaps are becoming a reality for people across the country, but accurate forecasting models to predict when the next extreme weather event might hit lags behind, AP News reported.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
CIRA / NOAA

Hurricane Eta, the record-tying 28th named storm in an extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, is now menacing Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm.

Read More Show Less
Madeleine_Steinbach / iStock / Getty Images

Krill oil has gained a lot of popularity recently as a superior alternative to fish oil. Basically, the claim goes, anything fish oil can do, krill oil does better. Read on to learn what makes krill oil supplements better than fish oil supplements, why you should consider adding these to your list of vitamin subscriptions and supplements, and which brands we recommend.

Read More Show Less
Waves crash over Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Oct. 28, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Hurricane Zeta slammed into storm-weary Louisiana as a Category 2 storm Wednesday, killing at least one person and breaking the record for the most named storms to hit the state in a single season.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Tropical Storm Zeta could be the fifth storm to hit Louisiana this season. National Hurricane Center

The extremely active 2020 hurricane season has another storm in store for the beleaguered Gulf Coast.

Read More Show Less
NHC Director Ken Graham provides an update on Hurricane Delta. NOAA

Hurricane Delta is set to batter southwest Louisiana later today, as residents there prepare to be hit once again by a storm that has rapidly intensified, experts say, largely because of global warming.

Read More Show Less
Hurricane Delta strengthens in the Caribbean Sea. NOAA Satellites

The extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has broken another record.

Read More Show Less
An aerial drone view shows a model home surrounded by flooding from Hurricane Delta in an area still recovering from Hurricane Laura on Oct. 10, 2020 in Iowa, Louisiana. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Record-breaking hurricane Delta made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Creole, Louisiana Friday evening, striking another blow to a region still recovering from Hurricane Laura just six weeks earlier.