Yesterday was the 24th anniversary of Hurricane Luis (September 5, 1995) and today is the second of Hurricane Irma (September 6, 2017). These names will remain etched in the memory of all who experienced them.

Both were local benchmarks in terms of destructive power and wind speeds, but it appears Hurricane Dorian may have been even stronger when it hit the Abaco Islands before slamming into Grand Bahama. And while not quite as big in size as the aforementioned two, it stalled and remained over the Bahamas for an unusually long time, relentlessly pounding the territory and its people during many hours.

Thankfully, emergency aid is being sent from within the region and beyond, to provide crucial early assistance to those who survived what must have been a terrible ordeal. Keep in mind, based on experience, that victims trying to recover may have no idea such efforts are taking place on their behalf until tangible proof reaches them.

It appears more than two dozen persons died and in that sense the islands where this newspaper is published can consider themselves lucky, despite obviously being prone to tropical weather systems as well. The loss of so many lives makes the past week’s events an even greater tragedy.

Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin in her address regarding Irma’s anniversary said the predictions of scientists are unfortunately proving to be accurate, as catastrophic category 5 hurricanes are becoming the norm even during years when the hurricane season predictions are below normal. How quickly Dorian intensified, having become a hurricane only after entering the Caribbean Sea near the British Virgin Islands (BVI), was certainly an eye-opener.

Although St. Maarten/St. Martin itself is still in rebuilding mode, whoever can give should, preferably via internationally recognised relief agencies such as the Red Cross or others recommended by reputable organisations including the SHTA (see related story). There is always a good excuse not to, but nobody would like to hear that when in need of help.