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One Hell of a Hole

Tropical Storm Agatha has caused havoc across Central America resulting in hundreds of deaths, devastating communities and reminding us of the massive destructive force of nature.

When travelling we have to factor in the climatic conditions, try and avoid those areas susceptible to hurricanes, cyclones and tropical storms (during the season).

These areas do not need to be boycotted completely, but as much as reducing risk, it’s also not much fun unless you happen to be a ‘storm chaser’.

An element of planning to avoid areas during the worst seasons is a start, but planning for the worst case scenario should factor in all travel plans.

When I visited Bikini Atoll (in the Marshall Islands) one of the most remote islands on earth, I felt reasonably safe from the worst weather patterns (despite having been diverted some 10,000 miles on my flight there thanks to a hurricane over Guam).

Bikini is generally considered to be too far north to be affected by tropical storms, although now from personal experience I can tell you this is not the case; even if the one we made it through was the first one anybody could remember.

In our case the eight people who were on the island at the time could not rely on anyone else to help us out and we were acutely aware that the destruction caused could well have isolated us for weeks; not an appealing prospect on an island where most of the natural resources are still too radioactive from the US Atomic Testing programme to be consumed…

The point is (and the appearance of this sinkhole in Guatemala proves it beyond any doubt), we can reduce risk from natural disasters to a point, but we can never eliminate them; some planning should be made to deal with the challenges of weather when they are encountered.

 

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Source – Metro 

Date – 2nd June 2010