The other way around

The other way around

Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are preparing for the expected impact of what is likely to become Tropical Storm Bonnie by the time it reaches their area late Wednesday night. The so-called ABC islands are not really used to such severe weather that in the past has led to considerable flooding there both inland and along the shore.
The latter could be severe if the disturbance passes on the normally calm south side, causing unusually large swells that can wash away beaches and coastal facilities. On the other hand, proximity to the Venezuelan mountains that are visible from the islands on a clear day could weaken the cyclone as experience has taught.
At the same time, outflow from rivers in South America helps lower the temperature of the water, which is not conducive for further development of tropical systems. This is one of the reasons the Southeast Caribbean Sea has been dubbed “hurricane graveyard” by some meteorologists.
So, while Trinidad and Tobago as well as Grenada were placed under storm warning since Monday afternoon, that does not necessarily mean Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao will experience the same conditions or worse. However, a significant effect there seems obvious.
Unfortunately, many roofs and other structures on these islands are not properly secured and/or anchored. Although the local trade winds can be strong especially during the Lent season, that is nothing compared to tropical-storm-force and beyond.
Curaçao’s Met Office last night saw a 60% chance of the latter, which is more than enough reason to quickly address known vulnerabilities in and around buildings to at least limit the potential damage and enable an easier recovery. Let’s hope things don’t turn out too badly, but if they do the people of the ABC islands should know that St. Maarten stands in solidarity with them and ready to assist, as has always been the case the other way around.

The Daily Herald

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