At least five deaths and dozens of injuries have been attributed to Hurricane Harvey, as it pummeled parts of the Houston region with 24 inches of rain and swirling winds. The storm has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, from a Category 4 at its height, but the catastrophic flooding is only expected to intensify as rains continue, according to the National Weather Service.
Like in the case of previous disasters like Katrina and Sandy, the heaviest cost of Harvey’s destruction is likely going to be borne by the most vulnerable communities in its path. Humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief has created interactive ESRI maps that show exactly where these communities are. Here’s what disaster historian Jacob Remes tweeted out about Harvey:
6. We will hear claims about how disasters don't discriminate by race or class. This is a lie. Because disasters are social, they do.— Jacob Remes (@jacremes) August 27, 2017
The mapmakers have used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social vulnerability index to show the geographic distribution of households with elderly or disabled members (in orange), immigrant and limited English-speaking populations (in purple), and pockets of poverty (in green). The darker the color, the higher the concentration of these factors in each region:
Click through for a closer look.