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Three Powerful Hurricanes in One Month Leave Devastation in the Caribbean

LADB Article ID: 80426
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2017-10-05
By: George Rodríguez

Three destructive hurricanes in only one month––added to seasonal storms––claimed dozens of lives and caused massive destruction of crops, houses, and road infrastructure in island nations throughout the Caribbean. The frequency of the powerful weather events––either Category 5 or Category 4 hurricanes, the top magnitude on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale––is puzzling and worrying experts and authorities. The first storm in the series was Irma, which rammed with Category 5 winds into the region on a destructive trail leading from its origin in the Atlantic Ocean to the southeastern US.Lasting from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12, Irma was nearly simultaneous with Category 4 José, which followed part of Irma’s trail from Sept. 5 to Sept. 18. Initially, it appeared that José was also headed to Florida, but it eventually veered northeast and moved farther into the ocean. With José still whirling, María became the new threat to the islands as an unusually powerful Category 5.All three storms entered the Caribbean from the east, initially hitting islands in the Lesser Antilles and then following a general westerly direction toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba.

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