Among the worst effects of climate change is an increase in the severity of natural disasters, which recent hurricanes have done a lot to verify.
Millions of people are without power in Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria made landfall Wednesday as a Category 4 storm. It was the most powerful hurricane to hit the island in nearly a century. Maria brought record rainfall and catastrophic flooding to Puerto Rico. The National Weather Service warned early this morning of flash flooding risks across the entire island. Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Roselló says at least one person has died on Puerto Rico and that the death toll may rise when communication with the southeastern part of the island is re-established. Meanwhile, the death toll on the island nation of Dominica has risen to 14 people. Maria caused widespread devastation there when it made landfall as a Category 5 storm. The storm also destroyed parts of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and killed two people on the French island of Guadeloupe. Early this morning, Maria passed just north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, lashing the island with winds up to 115 miles an hour. It’s now gathering strength as it barrels toward Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.