Puerto Rico left brown and muddy after Hurricane Maria • Earth.com

Last update: October 24th, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

This landscape usually appears as a lush and vibrant green, but now looks like a dark brown after Maria destroyed vegetation and kicked up sediment and mud. The entire island was left without power, and many are still relying on canned food for the coming days.

This image was captured on September 26, 2017 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on board the Landsat 8 satellite.

Hurricane Maria was a deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated Dominica, St Croix, and Puerto Rico in September 2017. It is regarded as the worst natural disaster in recorded history to affect those islands and was also the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Mitch in 1998. The tenth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record and the most intense tropical cyclone worldwide in 2017, Maria was the thirteenth named storm, eighth consecutive hurricane, fourth major hurricane, second Category 5 hurricane, and deadliest storm of the hyperactive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. At its peak, the hurricane caused catastrophic destruction and numerous fatalities across the northeastern Caribbean, compounding recovery efforts in the areas of the Leeward Islands already struck by Hurricane Irma. Total losses from the hurricane are estimated at upwards of $91.61 billion (2017 USD), mostly in Puerto Rico, ranking it as the third-costliest tropical cyclone on record.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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