NEW YORK, NY – 4 October, 2017 –
Landmark News, a company focused on providing travel security information and advice tailored to individual travelers of all backgrounds, provided an update on accommodation availability and more associated with Caribbean destinations devastated in the wake of several recent hurricanes.
The 2017 hurricane season, the most active in recent memory, resulted in 13 named tropical storms thus far with eight upgraded to hurricanes. Four hurricanes made landfall in the Caribbean and elsewhere causing extreme flooding, destruction of property and loss of life.
Hurricane Harvey, the first major hurricane, swept through the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and parts of Latin America and the U.S.
Hurricane Irma, Lee, and Maria began as “Cabo Verde” storms, which occur approximately twice a year. A combination of low latitude in the deep tropics and persistent hostile winds create these storms. Cabo Verde lasts from mid-August through early October and yields some of the largest seasonal storms. Most, but not all, of these storms never make landfall, instead settling out over the Atlantic, as was the case with Hurricane Lee.
Barbuda, Saint Martin, Antiqua
Hurricane Irma and Maria caused significant loss of life and property. Civic leaders stated Irma destroyed 95% of the islands of Barbuda and Saint Martin. Nearly 60% of the residents of Barbuda are currently homeless, and all tourism has been shut down indefinitely. It will cost several hundred million dollars to rebuild homes and the infrastructure necessary to sustain the inhabitants and support tourism.
However, in nearby Antigua, most tourist attractions and resorts remain open despite the destruction of its sister island.
Irma also caused serious flood damage and post-storm looting in Saint Martin. French President Emmanuel Macron pledged 50 million euros in aid for the island, as well as emergency supplies, and additional law enforcement officials to restore law and order. Several cruise lines and airlines have suspended travel to the island until further notice.
Most anticipate tourism travel there won’t resume for at least several months.
Puerto Rico has been in the news recently due to its struggling economy. Hurricane Maria wiped out any hope of a quick recovery there, where Irma had already damaged the electric grid leaving a trail of death and destruction. Ongoing power outages and a lack of clean water and reliable emergency services may lead to more fatalities.
At the request of Governor Ricardo Rossello, U.S. President Trump waived the Jones Act, which places limitations on shipping between coasts to U.S. flagged vessels, to get resources to the island more rapidly.
Dominica, Barbados, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sint Eustatius, Martinique, Guadeloupe Islands
Hurricane Maria also caused destruction on the tiny island of Dominica, where several dozen people died, and more remain missing, wiping out infrastructure and crop.
Although residents of Barbados were without power for several days following Hurricane Harvey, the island was unaffected by the subsequent storms, including Irma.
In addition to Barbados, other locations that were largely unaffected by the storms include the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sint Eustatius and Martinique, and the Guadeloupe Islands.
There is the chance for continued hurricane activity beyond the typical season, which ends at the beginning of November. Meteorologists predict there could be three to four additional named storms after Maria, and while they may not escalate to hurricane status, they will be destructive.
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