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Elsa is held responsible for the deaths of at least three people in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Civil Protection Agency reported a death on Saturday in Soufrière, St. Lucia. And in the Dominican Republic, a 15-year-old and a 75-year-old woman died in separate incidents on Saturday when walls collapsed on them in heavy rain, the country’s emergency call center said in a statement.
Elsa, the fifth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, formed as a tropical storm on Thursday. It was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Friday and downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday.
Ana became the first named storm of the season on May 23, making it the seventh in a row this year to develop in the Atlantic prior to the season’s official start on June 1.
The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming more and more apparent. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes and higher incidence of the strongest storms over time – although the total number of storms may decrease as factors such as stronger wind shear could prevent weaker storms from forming.
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict there will be 13 to 20 named storms this year, including six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major category 3 or higher hurricanes in the Atlantic.
Last year there were 30 named storms, including six major hurricanes, which caused meteorologists to deplete the alphabet for the second time and switch to Greek letters.
It was the highest number of storms in history, surpassing the 28 storms in 2005, and comprising the second highest number of hurricanes ever recorded.
The coverage was contributed by Johnny Diaz, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Daniel Viktor, Chris Stanford, Eduardo Medina, Isabella Grullón Paz, Alyssa Lukpat, Jesus Jiménez, Mike Ives, Jacey Fortin and Azi Paybarah.