HURRICANE Harvey Has Affected One lakh Homes & Killed At Least 44 Persons In America

September 1st, 2017 | by Sukumar Roy
HURRICANE Harvey Has Affected One lakh Homes & Killed At Least 44 Persons In America
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AS death toll reached 44 in Texas due to the unprecedented hurricane, US President Donald Trump has pledged $1m in personal support to the affected people.  Officials said on Thursday said the storm has forced 32,000 people into shelters since it came ashore last Friday near Rockport on the Gulf of Mexico coast. It was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century. The Texas Department for Public Safety said 48,700 homes sustained flood damage, including 17,000 with major damage and 1,000 that were destroyed. Despite the havoc of recent days, Houston remained calm. “No city curfew citations or arrests for a second night in a row. Thank you Houston for your understanding and cooperation,” tweeted the Mayor.

The White House announced on Thursday that President Trump is pledging $1m in personal funds to the relief efforts. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on the media to help decide which specific group or organisation he should give to. “He’d love some suggestions from the folks here and I’d be happy to take those if any of you have them,” she told reporters in the briefing room. “But as I said, he’ll pledge proudly a million dollars of his own personal money to help the people of both Texas and Louisiana.”

She said she was uncertain whether the donation would come from the president directly or his private foundation, which has been a source of controversy. Trump and his wife, Melania, will travel back to Texas and to Louisiana on Saturday, Sanders added. The tentative plan includes the Houston area in Texas and possibly Lake Charles, Louisiana, but this may change depending on conditions. The President visited Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday. Rescue teams continued picking up people across Texas on Thursday even as waters receded from Houston revealing swathes of devastation wrought by former hurricane Harvey. Emergency crews and volunteers in boats, trucks and aircraft engaged to spot people from inundated suburbs around Houston and cities to the east for people still waiting to be evacuated as noted Bollywood stars have vowed to make voluntary contributions for the victims. Police rescued 18 people from floodwaters overnight, said Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner. “Crisis is far from over, ”reported local media. In some dryer areas recovery crews are assessing the extent of damage and removing debris besides looking for bodies. Weather experts opine that Harvey, once a category 4 hurricane, had been downgraded to a tropical depression and moved over north-eastern Louisiana and into Mississippi. Affected people were panicked hearing fires and two explosions early on Thursday at a chemical plant in Crosby, north-east of Houston. The plant makes organic peroxides used in plastic resins and paint. It lost refrigeration due to the storm. An executive warned that eight more tanks could burn and explode. Contradictory messages from officials have worried the people. Officials ordered mandatory evacuation of some communities near the Barker and Addicks reservoirs, which continued to discharge water.But much of Houston was dry and baked under a blazing sun.The heat aggravated the stench from stagnant waters and flood-damaged properties. “Man, oh-ooh, that is foul,” said a shirtless man on Discovery Green, a park beside a convention centre which is sheltering 8,000 people.

The city’s health department urged residents to take precautions to minimise the risk of contamination and diseases such as cholera and typhoid.Despite the havoc of recent days, Houston remained calm. “No city curfew citations or arrests for a second night in a row. Thank you Houston for your understanding and cooperation,” tweeted the Mayor.Tom Bossert, White House homeland security adviser, estimated that about 100,000 homes would be affected by the floods. “That’s a big number. We’re going to have 100,000 affected homes, all with different degrees of insurance, and some with flood insurance, some under-insured, and some uninsured.”The White House would soon send a supplemental spending request to Congress to help ease the recovery process, Bossert added, insisting that he was “not worried at all” about having sufficient funds for the current effort. “The disaster relief fund is strong, it’s got plenty of money in it now, and we’re going to ask for some very responsible surplus supplemental.”Bossert claimed that “coordination is happening better than any storm we’ve seen before” and noted that 28 search and rescue teams and taskforces from 16 states had been sent to Texas. “In fact, I believe that that’s the first time we’ve activated all the taskforces since 9/11, so this is an all-hands-on-deck operation.”(Image : courtesy The Guardian)

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