The unprecedented destruction and humanitarian crises spawned by Hurricanes Maria and Irma revealed the significant role satellite communications play in disaster relief – especially in the Caribbean, where Puerto Rico’s, Dominica’s, and Barbuda’s communications grids were completely destroyed by the hurricanes. In an exclusive interview, CEO Matt Desch discussed the role Iridium’s satellite communication services continues to play in the disaster relief and recovery effort.
No one could have predicted the scale of the disasters:
In just 25 days between 26 August and 20 September, four natural and deadly disasters ripped through the Caribbean, Texas, and Florida.
The devastation and humanitarian crises inflicted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria were unprecedented in their scale and scope – with the prolonged and most pronounced effects felt most severely on the U.S. island of Puerto Rico and the island nations of Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica.
For the Caribbean, the devastation came in just 14 days.
On 6 September, Hurricane Irma devastated Antigua and Barbuda as a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph (295 km/h).
Just three days later, Hurricane Jose scraped by the islands as an immensely powerful Category 4 hurricane, bringing even more devastating ...