The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was particularly active and severe, well above average, with seventeen named storms, ten hurricanes, and six major hurricanes. This compares to the long-term averages of twelve named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastrophic Cape Verde-type hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic in terms of maximum sustained winds since Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and the strongest storm on record to exist in the open Atlantic region. It was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to strike the Leeward Islands. 

One of the islands impacted by Irma was Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, which suffered significant damage. The Pan American Health Organization sponsored a visit to the island by Engineer Tony Gibbs in December 2017 to review the effects of the storm on the island’s two hospitals, located on both sides of the Dutch/French border, and to learn about the causes of damage.


pdf Read the report (2.51 MB)

Read about the study on wind speeds in selected islands during hurricanes Irma and Maria