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After what was an especially hellacious 2017 in terms of natural disasters, many are breathing a sigh of relief now that hurricane season is over: November 30 marks the official end of the most damaging hurricane season in recorded history.
11 of this year’s 17 hurricanes made landfall — touching mainly the US and Caribbean. 2017 is only the second year that’s recorded two Category five hurricanes that made landfall. September was especially crazy and will go down as the most powerful month for hurricane intensity on record.
In just a few short months, storms like Harvey, Irma and Maria caused over $200 billion in damage and took the lives of hundreds. Harvey hit Texas and the Houston metro area hard, while Irma took a huge toll on the Caribbean and Maria ripped apart Puerto Rico’s infrastructure. The devastation in Puerto Rico was so bad the island is still largely without power and running water.
Tourism, the primary driver of many Caribbean nation’s economies, has also taken a particularly hard hit. The tiny island of Barbuda was completely evacuated and now has an official population of zero. Meanwhile, places like the British Virgin Islands and St. Martin are struggling to get their hotels — and airports — back to full capacity.
The affected areas have vowed to rebuild and to come back stronger than before, and massive efforts on part of the US government and nonprofits to aid in the process are underway.
Get the full report on how Caribbean tourism has bounced back so far.
Featured image by Jose Jimenez/Getty Images.
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