October 29, 2013 was the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, one of the most destructive storms in US history. The hurricane devastated the East Coast including New York City, the Jersey Shore and New England. The storm killed hundreds in the Caribbean and 159 people in the US. Sandy also damaged or destroyed more than 650,000 homes. In addition to the lives lost the havoc wreaked by the hurricane caused $70 billion in damage across eight states.
New York saw a record storm surge of 13 feet and millions were left without power, in some cases this lasted for weeks. One of the most impacted areas was the Rockaways. It is truly amazing to see the resilience of people, still struggling to rebuild their homes and their lives after such utter destruction.
As we remember this day, we owe it to those who lost so much, to ensure that we do what we can to decrease our contributions to climate change which is increasing the likelihood of such extreme weather events.
While we may not be able to prevent all storms, through a consorted international effort we can keep temperatures below the 2 degree Celsius upper threshold, which will go a long way to diminishing the frequency and severity of such storms.
If we continue with business as usual we will condemn people to suffer a recurrence of the same fate as those who suffered through the ravages of hurricane Sandy.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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