Hurricane Irma, Harvey and Jose – Damage to Bonaire?
With all eyes focused on Hurricane Irma and the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and with Hurricane Jose now looming, guests and friends want to know about Bonaire. How much if any destruction resulted from these storms? The short answer – life on Bonaire, located outside the hurricane belt, remains business as usual. We feel grateful and lucky.
Bonaire: Outside the Hurricane Belt
The only inhabited islands outside the hurricane belt, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Providencia Island, San Andres and the islands off Venezuela like Isla Margarita, largely enjoy tranquil weather and rarely to never experience hurricanes.
Reef Damage however needs observation
Damage to reefs and the underwater environment on Bonaire, however, are yet to be determined. We risk wave action and/or wind reversals related to these monster storms that still loom. Rumor has it that the Dutch Government is sending aid to St. Maarten and that planes from St. Maarten and several other islands in the storm’s path were on Bonaire for safekeeping ahead of the hurricanes.
Historically the ABC Islands, Bonaire, Aruba and Curacao have seen little hurricane activity. The ABC’s, considered to be outside the Hurricane Belt, an area in the Atlantic Ocean including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico that experiences hurricanes during the Atlantic hurricane season enjoy dry weather most of the year. Hurricane season lasts from about June 1st to November 30th. Tourists can visit Bonaire year round without worry about hurricanes.
We win the award for Last Place
Check out this summary from Storm Caribe regarding historic hits and misses of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Caribbean.
According to the summary Bonaire and it’s nearest neighbor, Curacao, are tied for last place in the Caribbean region for number of storms in recorded history. The two islands have each had a total of two category 2 hurricanes between 1944 and 2010 and 4 tropical storms in the same period. In the last 150 years (since 1851) only 12 named storms have passed by these two islands, none of which was considered severe. The chart hasn’t been updated since 2010.
Bonaire did have quite a scare with the edge of Hurricane Matthew brushing the island on September 29th, 2016. Reefs experienced some damage but most residents saw little to no damage to their property.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with those suffering the wrath of the current storms. We have no words to express our despair as this unfolds.