I sat on the bed trembling, my eyes fixed to the light glaring back at me from phone. This had become my pattern for many hours and days. My heart felt like someone was squeezing it tightly. The more updates I read, and news I watched, the more scared I became.
The thought of losing any of my family or friends in a tragedy is my greatest fear in life. It seemed as if the tears falling from my eyes would never stop.
Hurricane Irma—one of the deadliest hurricanes to ever occur on Earth. Her goals were clear: attack, and devastate.
Hurricane Irma was the first storm to form in the Atlantic Ocean in seven years. With winds stronger than all the superheroes and villains strength put together, high wind gusts reached 150 miles per hour. Irma visited many islands, including my home, the Virgin Islands.
She crushed, slammed, and broke apart many houses and buildings in the Caribbean. She shredded through the coast as if it were a piece of paper. Many lost their homes and belongings. Some lost their lives.
Many of my family and friends live in the Virgin Islands. The vibrant green trees, clear waters, and gorgeous shores were quickly transformed into to a desolate, chaotic wasteland with lifeless trees and muddy waters. The beauty of the Virgin Islands is nowhere to be found right now. It is a sad sight to witness, and an even sadder place to be.
St.Thomas, the Virgin Islands only hospital, is in ruins; patients forced to evacuate. This is not even the worst part of the situation.
Another hurricane has targeted the Caribbean again this week. Hurricane Maria, a category 5 in some places and a category 4 in others, has caused additional damage, possibly even more than Hurricane Irma. It targeted the Virgin Islands again, and also Dominica, where a lot of my family is located, causing even more destruction.
These islands are currently completely flooded. Brown muddy water fills the streets and homes where people lived not long ago. Roads are gone. Roofs are gone. Houses are gone. The death toll continues to rise, and there is not yet an accurate count of how many have lost their lives. People are missing and there is little the authorities can do with so many areas being uninhabitable or unable to reach from flooding.
People cannot take showers. They don’t have clothes to change into, or food, or water. They have no homes, and nowhere to take shelter.
At this time, the situation is of no laughing matter. The people living in the path of these concurrent hurricanes are in extreme crisis. Many are depressed and defeated. These areas are devastated to the point that it will take years for them to get back to their beautiful islands.
So far, this whole month has given me a wake up call.
I used to complain about the smallest issues and be miserable for no reason, but I know I won’t be doing that anymore. I have never been so scared and worried in my entire life. I am trying to think positive and wish for the best, but when days go by without hearing anything from your family it makes you wonder if they are safe or not.
My emotions have been like a roller coaster. The worrying never stops. I want to feel the joy I felt after hearing everyone was okay after Hurricane Irma. As silly as it may sound to some, I wish I was down there with my family.
I would rather not have light, water to shower, and a demolished house, if it meant that I knew my family was okay and that I am with them. My family and the people affected by this hurricanes is all my mind can focus on. Even writing this now, I am crying. This feeling is not good, but I cannot turn off my emotions. I can’t stop worrying. Being far away, I feel useless and too privileged whilst they are suffering.
I hope that all my family are alive and safe.
I think the reason for these severe hurricanes lately is global warming and climate change. As the years go by, it is getting worse. This is causing the earth to have major hurricanes this year all back to back. It’s above average this year and very scary.
I am hoping one day the islands can get back to their beauty and liveliness. The islands need a lot of help. They need help with necessities and help with rebuilding.
Some people might never be the same after these hurricanes. They will need physical help as well as mental counseling to overcome these tragic events.
They need more news coverage. People must see what is happening so that they can help them. It is important that these Caribbean islands are not forgotten. What these people and my family are going through is beyond words. The feeling is not good.
Just because you or your loved ones are not going through this disaster doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to a fellow human being.