President Donald Trump visits Corpus Christi after hurricane Harvey to show support.
Faced with a catastrophe of such epic proportions Trump would be wise to reconsider these policies and his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
Trump and William “Brock” Long, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) vowed to help push a major recovery package through Congress.
On August 29th, Mr Trump visited Corpus Christi. “We want to do it better than ever before,” said Mr Trump. “We want to be looked at in five years, in ten years from now as, this is the way to do it.”
Local reports suggested that he had indeed succeeded in raising the morale of many Texans affected by the hurricane and subsequent floods.
- After the briefing in Corpus Christi, Mr Trump and his entourage headed to Austin, the Texan state capital. He toured an emergency management centre and praised the agencies for working together. The president sounded an unusual note of caution. “The sad thing is that this is long-term,” said Mr Trump. “Nobody’s ever seen anything this long, and nobody’s ever seen this much water in particular”.
- He repeated that he will go to Congress to get relief for Texas. “Probably, there has never been anything so expensive in our country’s history,” he said. “There has never been anything so historic in terms of damage and in term of ferocity as what we have witnessed with Harvey”.
- Mr Trump’s budget proposal includes steep cuts of FEMA funding and other programmes to prepare for disasters. Earlier this month he rolled back an executive order, signed by Barack Obama, which requires stricter building standards for federally-funded infrastructure projects in areas that are prone to flooding.
Weather-related disasters are increasing, yet t the number of deaths caused by them is falling
Tropical Storm Harvey dumped almost 50 inches (1.27 metres) of rain in some areas in just over four days, with more set to come. That is a record for a tropical system in mainland America. A lack of sufficient drainage in the city of 6.5m people, which is built on thick clay soil on a floodplain, has exacerbated the flooding.
Texas and its neighbouring states are prone to such natural disasters—as is the country as a whole. Since 1970, the number of disasters worldwide has more than quadrupled to around 400 a year. Another dataset of less serious types of weather- and climate-related events, defined as causing at least one death or a set amount of monetary damage, shows an increase, too.
Although the number of such disasters keeps rising, far fewer people are dying as a result of them.