Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene and other nuisances

It's still August, I should have known. A few days ago, a system formed off the coast of West Africa. It started moving towards the Caribbean across the Atlantic at a regular pace. Meteorologists started following it with growing interest. Not long after that, it became Tropical Storm Irene. It entered the Caribbean with high winds and big in size, it hit Puerto Rico and moved on the the Northern coast of Hispañola. Haiti was spared and that was a great news. Torrential rains and winds left people without power and caused flooding. The warm waters gave it strength and it became a hurricane. Shades of Andrew....

In Miami, we held our collective breath and started preparing for the worst. It seemed South Florida was in Irene's path...the cone of uncertainty as it is called. Wonderful, I thought, this is just what we need. Projections said it might come on the early hours of Thursday. Someone was watching out for South Florida, or it's someone else's turn, or we are just lucky one more time. Slowly, the monster storm bared right away from the coast.

It is a Category 3 storm (Category 5 is the highest) at the moment and is over the Bahamas. First time since 1866 that all the islands on the chain will be hit. Cannot even fathom what that means, but this storm is not finished. Far from it, it's pointing to the Mid-Atlantic coast from North Carolina to New England. The Northeast has not seen something like this in decades. More than 55 million people will be affected. What? It's mind-boggling.

After the earthquake everyone was shaken. Did I mentioned that? well, there was one on Tuesday. At around 2 p.m. an earthquake measuring 5.8 and centered in Virginia hit the East Coast from Georgia to Canada. Buildings were evacuated, schools closed, national monuments were damaged. Now they have to content with Irene. My grandmother used to say that things come in threes What's next?

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