Hurricane Harvey has been raging over southern Texas since last Saturday (26th of August), leaving destruction behind. Over 55,000 people have been evacuated in Fort Bend. It has been estimated that 220,000 citizens have lost power in the Houston area. The rainfall in the Texas has been very heavy and has been exacerbated by the warm water that is drawn by the storm from the Gulf of Mexico; the gulf continuously replenishes the water. Emergency teams urged people to climb unto the roofs of their houses to avoid getting trapped in the house by the water.
It keeps on raining
The temperature of the sea has increased between 1.5 to 4 degrees Celsius in the Gulf of Mexico. This warm water temperature fed the storm and caused the storm to turn into a hurricane. This hurricane contained a large volume of water, which seriously damaged the infrastructure throughout the region. A significant number of people had to be evacuated. The rise of sea levels caused by climate change increases rainfall and flooding. In addition, storms will become more harsh according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Harvey brings back memories of hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, who also left devastating damage behind.
Critical infrastructure shutting down
The flooding related to the hurricane damaged the critical infrastructure in the region. Over 220,000 homes were cut from the power and hospitals were having difficulties receiving and treating patients. Damage to critical infrastructure poses a significant risk to the lives of the people. Imagine if the telecom infrastructure (e.g. the lines) is damaged; people that are in in need of help are not able to reach the emergency services. CI damage worsens the danger of the hurricane to the people themselves.
Even though it is impossible to cease a hurricane in any kind of way. There are ways to prepare for such a natural disaster. As previously mentioned, damage to CI networks increases the danger that a hurricane poses. By ensuring that the right and vital CI Networks are protected well, this can reduce and mitigate the danger of a hurricane like Harvey. It is important hereby however, that we figure out which CI Networks are the most vulnerable so that appropriate measures can be taken in order to protect the networks and therewith people’s lives.