Hurricane Harvey has devastated Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, and the accompanying rain and floods have left thousands of people stranded on roof tops. While there are reports of at least ten deaths, there is no clear idea of the number of people who are missing. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has labeled it as one of the largest disasters that America has ever faced and also cautioned that return to normalcy would take time.

Both the airports of Houston are closed with hundreds of passengers stranded, and the hurricane has forced eight oil refineries to shut down.

This could have an adverse effect on gas prices across the country.

Local officials have begun to work on the clearing of streets and are trying to assess the damage and also locate victims. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expects more than 450,000 people to apply for federal assistance and is shifting adequate drinking water and meals to the people affected. Similar action is being taken by other government agencies, charities, and corporations.

Rescue operations on a war footing

New York Times reports that in Harris County, Hurricane Harvey has resulted in floods that have left thousands of people stranded in vehicles and buildings. Law enforcement agencies and firefighters are rescuing them by deploying every possible means that include normal boats, motorboats, and helicopters.

Governor Abbott, on his part, has activated the entire Texas National Guard to aid in rescue and recovery and increased the number of troops involved from 3,000 to 12,000.

According to official estimates, the number of people who had taken refuge in emergency shelters could be more than 30,000. Some of the shelters were as far away as Dallas which is more than 200 miles from Houston.

Mike Rawlings, the mayor of Dallas, has asked his men to be ready to accommodate the rush which could be in thousands.

Is this a result of global warming?

Any unnatural weather pattern raises doubts in the mind of people of whether it is related to global warming because of climate change. The fury of Hurricane Harvey has devastated Houston and, as Gov.

Greg Abbott of Texas has rightly said, it will take time for the city to return to normal.

Scientists usually attribute extreme climactic conditions to global warming that gives rise to hurricanes, floods, landslides etcetera. Man must take necessary action to arrest CO2 emission which is believed to be the largest single factor responsible for global warming which is a matter of concern for the whole world. To arrest it, man must shift focus from fossil fuels to alternative fuels. It could hurt the interests of a section of people, but they must realize that it would be for the benefit of humanity and must be given priority.