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Hurricane Maria’s unofficial death toll nears Katrina’s

I am working on putting together one of five talks I will be giving in the next three weeks, this one on the 2017 hurricane season and what it could tell us about hurricane seasons in the future. As I was putting it together, I ran across this sobering article from New York Magazine on the unofficial death toll of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which unlike the ridiculously low official total of 68, is now passing 1,000 based on multiple estimates of overflowing morgues, missing persons, and loss of life due to lack of electricity, medicine, and other necessities of life (more than half the island still has no power 100 days after the hurricane hit). According to the article, “by the time the island returns to normalcy, Maria could easily have surpassed Katrina to become the country’s deadliest natural disaster in living memory.” You can read the article here.

Most of us are warm and cozy in our lighted, heated houses safe with family and friends this holiday season. Please join with me in hoping and praying for relief for all of those US citizens and fellow residents of the earth who are suffering from multiple natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and floods in 2017. We have so much to be thankful for.

Plantain trees flattened by Hurricane Maria in Yabucoa, P.R. In a matter of hours, the storm destroyed about 80 percent of the crop value in Puerto Rico, the territory’s agriculture secretary said. Credit Victor J. Blue for The New York Times