Everything You Must Know About Eta Storm


Tropical storm Eta thump Florida again on Nov 12th, flooding beach communities along the Gulf of Mexico, making rescuers to wade through hip-deep water and hitting portions of Tampa and Jacksonville as it made its way back out to sea.

Tropical storm Eta extended its life shell turning into a tropical storm on October 31st. It later grew into a powerful category 4 hurricane causing 4 landslides in Central America- in Nicaragua on Nov 4th. Then hop scotching through Cuba and Florida keys and then its final return just north of Tampa.

As it moved, Eta was scarcely getting on to the tropical storm strength as it was making its way over Jacksonville. The storm however managed to pull down from 50/kmph to 40/kmph as it passed off the coast of Fernandina Beach.

Eta's aftermath is compared to that of 1998's hurricane Mitch, the most destructive storm to ever hit Central America, which led to the wave of migration to the US.

Eta is termed as the 28th named storm and the 12th hurricane of an uncommon drudging Atlantic hurricane season which runs from June 1st to November 30th. The storms formation tied a record set in 2005 when hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma devastated parts of the Gulf Coast.

Eta has now produced nine named storm days according to Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University. Only two Atlantic named storms forming in November in the satellite era had generated more named storm days: Epsilon in 2005 with 9.25 days and Gordon in 1994 with 9.5 days, he said.

Effects of ETA

Even though the center of Eta is off the coast, it still produces stormy winds and heavy rainfall across the portions of South Florida and Florida Keys.

Police in Sarasota have been wading through drenched streets- in regions where it hadn't been touched by the historic storms.

Heavy rainfall at Central part of the Florida Keys was a point of initiation for the storms latest destruction as of, as its strong winds battered the upper keys of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties over the weekend.

The storm has created enough flooding making it unsafe for motorcycles. Fort Lauderdale officials called for 23 vacuum trucks to clear as many drains as possible to prevent flooding, however, flooding was still reported.

On November 11th, residents of Florida were urged by Gov. Ron DeSantis to prepare for the storm and said that the Federal Emergency Agency had granted his request for a "pre-landfall emergency declaration" to help summon Federal Aid to affected areas.

"We understand the anxiety and frustration our customers are feeling to have to prepare for a storm, late in this unprecedented hurricane season. We have assembled a restoration workforce of approximately 10,000 and we are working to secure additional personnel." says FPL CEO and President Eric Silagy.

The Mayor in Florida Keys ordered for mandatory shut down of mobile home parks, campground and RV parks and those lying in low-lying areas. Roads were shut down due to flooding and gusty winds that may hamper school buses carrying students.

However islands were spared any major damages, and officials expected shelters to close and reopen schools by Tuesday.

Several Universities have been shut that fall on Eta's path. On Thursday, University of Florida in Gainesville, University of South Florida in Thampa, the Public School District in Hillsborough County, Thampa and Hernando School District were all asked to shut down.

Power cut caused due to storm, made it difficult for residents across South Florida affecting at least 36,000 customers as of Nov 9th.

In the worst hit countries Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, 90 people died, 113 still missing and 210,000 are evacuated from their homes. rescue teams have taken measures to find missing people before more rain hits in water logged areas.

The Triple Threat

Communities living along the Caribbean coast including the Misiki to and Garifuna people have been heavily affected, trapped between winds and floods whipping inland as landslides rushed downhill. "Some communities may never recover," said McAndrew Deputy director of IFRC in America.

The region is facing triple threat of extreme weather, mass migration caused by economic instability and violence and Covid-19

Volunteers are taking precautions- handing sanitizers and masks but with more than hundred people crowding shelter home, there are fears it could spread virus.

"We have a COVID situation, we have dengue and have other vectors we are monitoring. Now we are waiting for the development of the next storm." said Santiago Luengo, from the IFRC in Honduras.

While the storm has destroyed livelihoods by sweeping away neighborhoods, there is a great possibility for migration. A similar situation took place took place back in 1998.

"We're seeing more and more natural disasters and it's the most vulnerable people who are affected. People having financial stability can move out of harm's way when the hurricanes hit or will have a residence built to better withstand it. This is another reason for migration," says Mc Andrew.

Written by - Peter Fernandes

Edited by – Adrija Saha

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