Op-Ed: Hurricane Ian and the coming climate crash
Hurricane Ian is not like any storm in the past.
While the storm could be described as moderate, by all accounts it was the strongest on record for August and also by some measures had the highest rainfall across the Caribbean. And its storm surge was the second largest in the Caribbean’s history, topping Hurricane Jose.
Ian killed at least 18 people as it struck the central Caribbean islands of Dominica, St. Lucia, and Martinique, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). At least five people perished in St. Lucia, while in Martinique more than one thousand were injured, and three dozen homes were destroyed.
Ian may have caused the deadliest natural disaster in the Dominican Republic’s history, but it is also part of a larger trend of climate change that poses a grave threat to the region.
For years global warming has been warming the seas and threatening to inundate low lying nations like the Dominican Republic. As the seas continue to rise, the country’s low-lying islands have become increasingly threatened.
The latest round of storms in the Caribbean has been dubbed the “climate crash” and it threatens to add to the already staggering losses from Hurricane Irma. With increasing storms, the ‘crash’ will accelerate.
Dominica and St. Lucia will likely face a catastrophic loss of life, and it is highly probable that at least one island will have to completely rebuild following these storms. The island of Barbuda, for example, is one of the least populated in the Caribbean, and is often thought of having no chance of recovering from a storm. It is also home not only to Barbudans but also many of the island’s nationals, and will likely face serious financial difficulties.
Weighing these risks, in July 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank recommended an immediate moratorium on debt relief for Dominica, and an end to debt relief for St