Extreme Weather Has Long-Term Health Consequences


When Hurricane Otis smashed into Acapulco, Mexico, in October, the Category 5 storm left a trail of devastation in its wake. Because weather models had predicted that Otis would make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, mitigation plans for a stronger storm had not been put into place in time. Now authorities estimate that rebuilding the resort city will take years. Less widely known is that the storm will probably also have long-lasting effects on the health of its residents.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, the residents of Acapulco are dealing with poor housing conditions, infrastructure devastation, flooding, and water and food insecurity. In other words, they are extremely stressed, and they’re not alone. As global warming intensifies storms, heat waves, floods and droughts, these events are getting under people’s skin and disrupting well-being in ways that persist long after the events themselves have subsided.

A cyclone can disrupt access to and availability and quality of water and food in short order. Read more