Hurricanes and Trees

Interesting article about the importance of trees and mangrove swamps to mitigate tropical storms.

There is no way to stop hurricanes, but two fierce storms that slammed ashore recently on the Caribbean coast of Mexico and Central America show the importance of forests and mangrove swamps in slowing them and lessening their human toll.

“The trees secure the ground and offer a buffer from the storms,” said the Rev. José Andrés Tamayo, a Roman Catholic priest and leading Honduran environmental advocate. Forested areas are shrinking, particularly in Central America, and the environmental degradation is one of the reasons that even what would be a run-of-the-mill rainstorm elsewhere can cause deadly floods and mudslides here.

Forests and Storms

Though the toll is still unbearable for those who go through such events…

The death toll from Hurricane Felix neared 100 Thursday night as U.S., Honduran and Nicaraguan soldiers searched remote jungle beaches and the open sea for survivors and the dead. Villagers in canoes helped, paddling through waters thick with fallen trees.

Two days after the storm hit, dozens more bodies were recovered along the Miskito coastline that stretches across the Nicaragua-Honduras border, many found floating in the sea, emergency officials said.

Abelino Cox, a spokesman for the Regional Emergency Committee, said the death toll from Felix had risen to at least 98. The previous toll was at least 65 dead.

Searching for the Dead

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