After last years record breaking hurricane season, Curacao was named the best Caribbean island to visit to avoid nature’s wrath by the Dow Jones Island Index.This index rated 40 destinations according to safety from nature’s dark side.
The Dow Jones Island Index, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s October 29, 2005 edition, listed 40 vacation destinations and their ranking according to environmental factors over the last 20 years. Index results were measured from 12 factors reflecting the potential risks that island tourists often face. These factors included the number of hurricanes to strike land, UV indexes, coral bleaching, beach erosion and other natural disasters. Other factors included the presence of active volcanoes, number of shark attacks and change in average land and oceanic temperatures.
Overall, Curaçao was voted the fourth least-risky island, and number one in the Caribbean. Curaçao is located outside of the hurricane belt.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s report, the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1990. Warming ocean temperatures melt glaciers and cause water to expand, making sea levels rise. Islands are particularly at risk, since they are surrounded by water and are usually located in low-lying areas. Rising waters can flood low areas and erode sandy beaches and fragile coasts. This gradual warming is also fuel for hurricanes, which strengthen in warmer waters.
The Dow Jones Island Index was created based on data collected from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History.