Excerpt from directrelief.org
As 20-foot storm surges and 220-mile-per-hour winds slammed the coastline, people sheltered away from windows and sought news on portable radios. Those fortunate enough to have evacuated waited for word from family and friends, and those remaining at home anxiously hoped the storm would soon pass.
It was September 2, 2019. Hurricane Dorian was making landfall in the Bahamas, an island nation less than 200 miles off the east coast of Florida. One of the most catastrophic Atlantic hurricanes in recorded history, Dorian left over 70,000 people, more than one-sixth of the population, in need of aid. The hurricane was also one of the first major storms climatologists link directly to climate change.
Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Sealey, Climatologist and Professor of Biology at the University of Miami, said that severe weather and climate change are inextricably linked. “The climate is being altered by humans,” Dr. Sealey told Direct Relief. “The challenge is educating people about climate change and what are going to be the realities after a disaster.”
Climate change will continue to cause severe storms and extreme weather events worldwide. In the Bahamas and elsewhere, Direct Relief is working to secure health infrastructure and prepare for the future. Last week, Tropical Storm Nicole passed through the Bahamas, and though there was no major damage, the storm surge flooded roads and temporary power outages occurred on several islands, including Abaco and Grand Bahama. All of the Direct Relief-funded projects installed after Dorian remained unaffected by the recent storm.