Hurricane Irma changed the color of the Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands as seen from the NASA satellite

Image - NASA

Hurricane Irma has not only caused significant material damage and taken the lives of 58 people, but it has also literally devastated the Virgin Islands to the point that the beautiful green color that we were used to seeing, has given way to brown.

A brown that shows us how extremely dangerous this cyclone became, which was about to inaugurate a new category on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

With maximum winds of 295km / h and a minimum pressure of 914 mbar, Hurricane Irma has left behind countless shattered houses, countless fallen trees, and a significant number of people who have lost everything. As always, there are those who have a worse time than others, either because they have fewer economic resources or because they are living in the place where a stronger hurricane passes.

The damage could be seen when the cyclone left the area, heading towards the United States where it has gradually weakened, as evidenced by the number of videos that have been uploaded to YouTube and other networks. But if that was not enough, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) of NASA's Landsat 8 satellite captured an image that would surprise more than one: in it, you see a brown Virgin Islands, when they should be green. Why? There are many reasons.

Hurricane Irma as it passes through the Virgin Islands

Image - NOAA

One of them is that the vegetation, simply, has not been able to withstand the strong gusts of wind and has ended up being torn away by the hurricane itself, which would not be surprising. Tropical plants, with few exceptions, do not have strong enough roots to remain well anchored to the ground, since as cyclones form each year, they do not have time to take root as well as, for example, an oak tree (Oak) or a pine. Further, the sea salt carried by the hurricane inland burns the leaves, causing the plants to end up dying.

Fortunately, it won't hurt anymore. Today, has been downgraded to a tropical storm. However, it will take weeks and even years to rebuild everything damaged.

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