Breaking News, Environment, News

Large Storms Affecting Caribbean, US

Map plotting track and intensity of Hurricane Irma. Image: OverlordQ
Map plotting track and intensity of Hurricane Irma. Image: OverlordQ

Everyone is talking about Harvey, Irma, Jose and Katia.

They are the names of very large storms, affecting the area around the Caribbean*, Mexico and the southern United States.

Hurricanes are given names, like “Irma” to make it easier to refer to them.

People in these areas are used to dealing with storms. But these storms are much larger than normal. They have very high winds—up to 120 kilometres an hour—with lots of rain that can flood people’s houses and force them to leave the area. (In this case, leaving your home is known as “evacuating.”) In Florida, more than 6.4 million people have been told to evacuate before Irma gets there, according to a report from CBC News.

Many people are helping the storm victims. Governments are sending money to help rescue people, and later, rebuild their homes and businesses. Fire fighters, police officers and paramedics are helping people and animals caught in the storm.

And thousands of people have donated money or volunteered to help out. Groups have created online posts (for instance, on Facebook), to share items that people need. For instance, power generators to help people who have lost electricity.

Others have opened their homes, churches, mosques and synagogues to shelter and give food to people who had to leave their homes due to the wind and rain.

*Some of the islands in the Caribbean include The Bahamas, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Haiti, The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Related Links
How are storms named? This article in the Evening Standard explains:

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Who helps, during a storm? Make a list of all the people who come to the aid of those affected by a big storm like Harvey or Irma?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
Reread the article and pay special attention to the people and places that have been affected by the hurricanes.

Next, write a short summary of today’s article. Something you might hear as a news broadcast on television or the radio.

How did focussing on those affected prior to rereading influence the summary that you wrote?

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Language Feature: Proper Nouns
Storms are given names in alphabetical order. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia will be followed by Hurricane… Lee.

Write your own list of storm names, starting with the first letter of your name. Be sure to use all 26 letters as you loop your way back around. And don’t forget to capitalize each and every name!