Puerto Rico - Hurricane Maria - News and Information Resources

2017 U.S. billion-dollar weather and climate disasters: a historic year in context

           

This map depicts the general location of the sixteen weather and climate disasters assessed to cause at least one billion dollars in direct damages during 2017.

climate.gov - by Adam B. Smith - January 8, 2018

NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) tracks U.S. weather and climate events that have great economic and societal impacts (www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions). Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 219 weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index, as of December 2017). The cumulative costs for these 219 events exceed $1.5 trillion.

During 2017, the U.S. experienced a historic year of weather and climate disasters.  In total, the U.S. was impacted by 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events including: three tropical cyclones, eight severe storms, two inland floods, a crop freeze, drought and wildfire.

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Beartooth - An off the grid network for your smartphone

Beartooth is a handheld device that works with your smartphone to keep you connected when there is no cell service.

Beartooth works as a long range link between you and other Beartooth users. Your phone connects to your Beartooth using Bluetooth, and your Beartooth connects to other Beartooth devices up to 10 miles away over the 900 MHz ISM band.

Download app and pair your Beartooth to your iPhone or Android device. Once connected you can reach other Beartooth users within 10 miles.

https://www.beartooth.com

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Hurricanes blew away Puerto Rico's power grid. Now solar power is rising to fill the void.

submitted by Bill Sullivan

           

usatoday.com - by Daniella Cheslow - January 5, 2018

More than three months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma slammed their island, over a million Puerto Ricans are still without reliable power. But one recent day, Rosa López and José Quiñones finally left those ranks.

It happened when four technicians installed a Tesla Powerwall solar battery pack onto a wall in their suburban San Juan home — a 275-pound white metal beast that can store enough electricity to keep a house running from sunset to sunrise.

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Video - Amid Promises of Aid, a Puerto Rico Still in Ruins

The New York Times - By DEBORAH ACOSTA and NATALIE RENEAU - October 3, 2017

President Trump said Puerto Ricans should be proud of the low death toll after Hurricane Maria. But a tour of the island by Times reporters showed that vast humanitarian and logistical challenges remain.

https://nyti.ms/2yHr8K3

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It's Early in the Flu Season, but It's Shaping Up to Be a Nasty One

           

cbsnews.com - by Jonathan Lapook - December 26, 2017

As the holiday season continues, the U.S. is also entering peak flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 650,000 people worldwide could die from complications of the flu . . .

 . . . It's very early in the flu season but it's shaping up to be a nasty one. Texas is one of 23 states already seeing high flu activity, more than double the number from the week before.

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CLICK HERE - Texas Department of State Health Services - 2017 - 2018 Texas Influenza Surveillance Activity Report

CLICK HERE - CDC - FluView - Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

CLICK HERE - TEXASFLU.org

 

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U.S. Study Sheds Light on How Zika Causes Nerve Disorder

           

FILE PHOTO: An aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured on a leaf in San Jose, Costa Rica February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate/File Photo

CLICK HERE - STUDY - CDC - EID - Postmortem Findings in Patient with Guillain-Barré Syndrome and Zika Virus Infection

reuters.com - by Julie Steenhuysen - December 13, 2017

A new study sheds light on how the mosquito-borne Zika virus causes a rare neurological condition, and the findings could have implications for companies working on Zika vaccines, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday . . .

 . . . To study the nerve disorder, Dr. Tyler Sharp of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dengue Branch in San Juan and colleagues in Puerto Rico examined the rare case of a 78-year-old man from San Juan who had been infected with Zika in 2016, developed Guillain-Barre and subsequently died.

An autopsy showed inflammation and erosion of the protective sheath known as myelin in two nerves, but no evidence of the Zika virus in nerve cells.

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Re-energizing the Island: Power in Puerto Rico

                                                    CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE

           

http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/USA-PUERTORICO-POWER/010051M33MM/USA-PUERTORICO.jpg

The primary transmission lines that criss-cross Puerto Rico are steadily coming back online following Hurricane Maria, with several different contractors responsible for bringing back power.  The island lost all of its power after the storm; it still has a goal to restore 95 percent of power by the middle of December.

Sources: Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority; company reports

C Chan, S DiSavino 6/11/2017

ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - New Puerto Rico utility head, same old challenges

 

 

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Power Restoration After Major U.S. Hurricanes

                                       CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC BELOW FOR THE INTERACTIVE VERSION

           

Sources: DOE, Reuters - By Travis Hartman | REUTERS GRAPHICS

Power relief efforts for Hurricane Wilma and Irma were aided by utilities’ ability to access power from utilities in other states through the existing interstate transmission system and the nearby availability of workers to help restore the system. Hurricane Maria knocked out power to all 1.5 million customers in Puerto Rico, and its island locale means it cannot draw on other nearby electrical grids. Additionally, with key infrastructure like ports and airports out of service, workers have been prevented from arriving, and efforts to assess the damage have been much slower.

http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/STORM-MARIA-POWER/010050ZK27Z/index.html

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Costa Rica Runs Entirely on Renewable Energy for 300 Days

submitted by Jeff Williams

           

"Eólica" or wind power plant in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. ICE Group / Twitter

ecowatch.com - by Lorraine Chow - November 21, 2017

Costa Rica has charted another clean energy accolade. So far this year, the Central American country has run on 300 days of 100 percent power generation from renewable energy sources, according to the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE), which cited figures from the National Center for Energy Control. . . .

 . . . Costa Rica currently receives 99.62 percent of its electricity from five renewable sources, the highest proportion since 1987. This year, 78.26 percent of electricity came from hydropower, 10.29 percent from wind, 10.23 percent from geothermal energy and 0.84 percent from biomass and solar. 

Costa Rica has emerged as a global environmental leader, with its frequent 100 percent renewable energy streaks and its 2021 goal of becoming carbon neutral—a deadline set a decade ago.

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Puerto Rico Energy Commission Opens Docket on Microgrids and Distributed Generation

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares testifying on Capitol Hill this week.

microgridknowledge.com - by Elisa Wood - November 17, 2017

Puerto Rico’s energy commission has opened a docket to investigate ways to encourage microgrids and distributed generation to build an energy system with more fortitude against hurricanes.

Island officials described the docket this week in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Half of the island’s population remains without power two months after Hurricane Maria’s strike.

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Hurricane Maria Has Made Puerto Rico the Land of Opportunity for Solar Power

           

Leaning on the lines.(Raquel Pérez Puig for Quartz)

qz.com - by Ana Campoy - November 11, 2017

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Seven weeks after hurricane Maria, the traffic lights are still down in San Juan. The narrow, cobbled streets of the city’s historic center, one of the island’s top tourist attractions, turn pitch black as soon as the sun sets. With appliances useless during the blackout, many of the city’s residents can’t cook, store food, or take a real shower.

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Power Line Fails; Darkness Returns to San Juan

           

A main power line failed Thursday in Puerto Rico, plunging several cities, including San Juan, into darkness. Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by Frances Robles - November 10, 2017

SAN JUAN, P.R. — A main power line that serves the northern half of Puerto Rico failed Thursday, knocking out electricity to seven cities that had only recently regained service and dealing a major setback to the island’s desperate efforts to regain normality.

Seven weeks after Hurricane Maria completely disabled Puerto Rico’s power grid, the island was generating just 18 percent of its electrical capacity, returning service to where it had been two and half weeks ago. On Thursday morning, the island had been at about 43.2 percent of capacity.

The disruption also me ant that many people no longer had running water, because pumping stations are powered by electricity.

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Puerto Rico's Storm of Misery

cbsnews.com - by Steve Kroft - November 5, 2017

Many Puerto Ricans have endured the longest blackout in American history following a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. Due to a multitude of factors, some say the lights won't be coming back on anytime soon.

It's safe to say that of all the places in the country, the one that is suffering the most right now is the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico . . . For the past 46 days, most of them have been without power, the longest blackout in American history. FEMA says it has distributed more food and water there than any disaster its ever been involved in.

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Climate Change Isn’t Just Hurting the Planet – It’s a Public Health Emergency

           

‘Local air pollution around the world kills about 6.5 million people annually.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Doctors have revealed that millions are already suffering the effects, in the spread of infectious diseases, uneven crop yields and longer allergy seasons

CLICK HERE - STUDY - The Lancet - Health and climate change - The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: from 25 years of inaction to a global transformation for public health

theguardian.com - by Christiana Figueres - October 31, 2017

A report just published in the Lancet from the specially created Lancet Countdown initiative, reveals just how bad climate change is for public health. The diagnosis reveals that hundreds of millions of people are already suffering the health impacts of climate change. Its insidious creep is being felt in multiple ways: rising temperatures are hastening the spread of infectious diseases; crop yields are becoming uneven and unpredictable, worsening the hunger and malnourishment for some of the most vulnerable people on the planet; allergy seasons are getting longer; and at times it is simply too hot for farmers to work in the fields.

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