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Hurricane Maria Left Thousands of Puerto Rican Children Experiencing Symptoms of PTSD, Survey Finds
Hurricane Maria was the deadliest storm in modern U.S. history. And the damage didn’t end when the storm clouds cleared back in September 2017. Especially not for Puerto Rico’s youngest.
A new study—the largest post-disaster survey ever conducted in the U.S.—found that students from grades 3 to 12 across the entire island had, to put it bluntly, gone through some serious shit. As a result, more than 7 percent reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. While this isn’t exactly surprising, it’s still pretty awful.
Published in the JAMA Network Open journal last week, the study involved distributing individual surveys in Spanish to all the students in the island’s public school system between February and July 2018. It required an effective partnership between the Puerto Rico Department of Education and researchers at the Medical University of South and Carolina, Carlos Albizu University in San Juan, and the University of Mississippi. More than 96,000 students, divided equally between genders, wound up completing the survey. Kids could skip it, but those who answered remained anonymous…
New research explains why Hurricane Harvey intensified immediately before landfall
A new study explains the mechanism behind Hurricane Harvey’s unusual intensification off the Texas coast and how the finding could improve future hurricane forecasting. Hurricanes are fueled by heat they extract from the upper ocean. But hurricane growth often stalls as the storms approach land, partly because as the ocean gets shallower, there is less water and therefore less heat available to the storm. As a result, most hurricanes weaken or stay the same strength as they get close to making landfall. But Hurricane Harvey intensified from a Category 3 storm to a Category 4 as it neared the Texas shore in late August 2017, and scientists have been puzzled as to why it was different…