Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that form in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They are characterized by strong winds, torrential rains and storm surges.
Scientists agree that hurricanes will become stronger and more frequent in the coming years due to climate change. Rising global temperatures cause oceans to warm, providing more energy for the development and intensification of tropical storms. Additionally, climate change is changing wind and rain patterns, potentially making them more unpredictable.
According to forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there will be between 12 and 17 named storms in the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, with the possibility of up to 9 hurricanes. Of these, between 3 and 6 could be Category 3 or higher.
Over the next few years, NOAA predicts there will be between 14 and 21 named storms in the Atlantic hurricane season, with the possibility of up to 10 hurricanes. Of these, between 3 and 6 could be Category 3 or higher.
These forecasts indicate that hurricanes will pose an increasing threat to coastal communities in the coming years. It is important for people living in these areas to be prepared and know what to do in the event of a disaster.
Effects of the most violent and frequent hurricanes
- Damage to infrastructure: They can cause significant damage to infrastructure such as roads, bridges and buildings. This can hinder disaster relief and reconstruction for affected communities.
- Loss of life: They can cause death, injury and illness due to drowning.
- Movement of people: They can force people to leave their homes, which can lead to social and economic disruption.
- Water and air pollution: They can contaminate water and air, causing public health problems.
- Damage to agriculture and fisheries: They can damage crops and fisheries, leading to food shortages and economic losses.
Risk reduction measures
There are a number of steps people can take to reduce the risks, including:
- Develop emergency plans: Emergency plans should include information about how to prepare for a hurricane, how to evacuate in an emergency, and how to recover after a hurricane.
- Have an emergency kit ready: Emergency kits should contain food, water, medicine, first aid supplies and other essentials.
- Find out about hurricane risks in your area: People should be informed about the hurricane risks in their area, including areas prone to flooding and storm surge.
- Support organizations working to reduce hurricane risk: Organizations committed to hurricane risk reduction can help communities prepare for and recover from hurricanes.
Hurricanes can cause both short- and long-term migration. In the short term, people may be displaced from their homes due to hurricane damage such as flooding, landslides or fires. These people may seek shelter with family or friends or be evacuated to emergency shelters.
In the long term, they may lead to migration if people decide not to return home after the hurricane. This may be because their homes have been destroyed or damaged beyond repair, or because people do not have the means to rebuild them. In some cases, people decide to migrate to other countries in search of better economic opportunities or security.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), hurricanes are a leading cause of migration worldwide. In 2022, Eta and Iota caused the displacement of more than 3 million people in Central America.
The IOM estimates that the number of people displaced by hurricanes could increase significantly in the coming years due to climate change. Climate change is causing them to become more intense and frequent, increasing the risk of displacement.