Knowing how Hurricane Patricia affected Mexico could help policymakers prepare for future disasters of this magnitude. The people who talk about global climate change as if it is some threat that humanity will experience in the future are wrong: it is here and it has been here for a long time. The melting glaciers and the increase in storms like this one throughout the world have been trends that were caused by global climate change. While mitigation is important when it comes to global climate change, so is adaptation. Storms like Hurricane Patricia are just going to happen more frequently today, and people are going to need to prepare for them adequately.
Hurricane Patricia is a storm that managed to break through several records for the area. The sustained winds of 165 miles per hour and the heavy flooding have managed to damage thousands of homes throughout the area. Fortunately, there were few reported casualties as a result of Hurricane Patricia. A hurricane is a sufficiently large storm that it is going to cause a lot of damage one way or another, but with this one, the damage primarily manifested itself in the form of reparable property damage. There has been a great deal of damage to the local infrastructure, which is going to have a huge effect on the ability of businesses to bounce back after the storm. The damage to telephone lines had a similarly problematic effect, although telephone lines can be repaired and restored to normal more easily.
Still, the flooding and the mudslides created dangerous conditions throughout the area, and these are still being addressed today. Many of the local citizens managed to hide in shelters during the storm, making it that much easier for them to at least stay safe during the worst parts of Hurricane Patricia. The worst parts of the storm lasted for around five hours, which were five hours of sheer terror for a lot of the unfortunate local individuals. For the thousands of people who emerged to find that their homes were ruined, the nightmare was only in the process of beginning.
The estimates are that three thousand to three thousand five hundred homes have been damaged as a result of Hurricane Patricia. These are certainly high numbers, but the situation could have been a lot worse for everyone involved. Around eight thousand six hundred fifty acres of farmland have also been damaged, which could potentially have a huge effect on the agricultural sector in Mexico in general. These acres have been damaged for years to come in all likelihood, which is going to have a huge effect on the agricultural output of Mexico. It is also true that the agricultural employees in the area are going to find that their lives have been permanently altered by this disaster on that basis alone.
Mexico is ultimately a country in which there is a tremendous gap between the rich and the poor. The gap is less tremendous there then it is in countries like Bangladesh, of course, were there are only a few rich people and they coexist with frightening slums. However, Mexico is still a place where the lives of the poor and the lives of the rich are so different that they might as well be living in different countries, or on different planets.
Mexico is an area where there are plenty of shantytowns and slums for the agricultural workers and the people who make their living by doing whatever it takes to get by, no matter how much of their mental and physical health they need to sacrifice in order to get that accomplished. These people have potentially lost their homes, their livelihoods, and any measure of financial security in the future as a result of the damage caused by Hurricane Patricia. This is a country in which people like this have very little in the way of a security or social safety net unless they are very wealthy. These individuals are going to be strongly affected by Hurricane Patricia even if their homes are still nominally intact.
It is true that even many wealthy people might manage to be affected by the storm. However, it is not going to affect them in anywhere near the same way. They might lose their villas or their second homes. They might have to cut back on some of their business expenses in order to compensate for the losses and the expenses that the storm itself would have caused them. However, they’re not going to have their lives ruined by this storm. This storm is not going to be the sort of event that will redefine their entire lives, which is a perfect illustration of what it is like to live in a country where the disparity between the rich and the poor is so high.
It is always important to consider the economic conditions of a country when evaluating the effects of a natural disaster. Certain countries are able to respond to natural disasters better than others. Certain countries are also able to bounce back from them faster than others. There is a reason why these sorts of hurricanes do not become international news in other parts of the world, and it is not always a function of differences in the climate.
Countries that offer their citizens more of a social safety net also have a tendency to respond more effectively during disasters like this one. It is also true that there tends to be less of a wealth gap in parts of the world that have larger welfare states. The comparative lack of a wealth gap, although there is going to be a wealth gap everywhere by nature, is going to make a huge difference when it comes to how the overall country is going to be affected by a storm that seems to have had at least a small effect on everything. Mexico is a country that is going to respond better to these disasters than some, but only relatively speaking.