Queen Elizabeth delivered a message on Friday, September 1, expressing her sympathy towards the victims of Hurricane Harvey, which ripped through Texas and Louisiana last week.
The Queen wrote that she was “deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the devastation following the recent terrible floods caused by Hurricane Harvey.”
Queen Elizabeth added that she sends her sincere condolences and prayers to everyone affected by the disaster and to those who lost their loved ones and saw their properties destroyed.
The message was particularly addressed to the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
Trump, on his part, has been participating in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts although he was initially criticized for how he handled the situation. The POTUS received backlash for his lack of compassion for families affected by the storm, especially when he made a speech in Corpus Christi saying, “What a crowd, what a turnout,” instead of consoling victims of the calamity, ABC reported.
In a briefing on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the press that Donald Trump is pledging $1 million of his personal money to help Harvey relief efforts. Sanders added that Trump is asking reporters to help him decide which particular organization to donate the amount to.
When Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25 in Texas and Louisiana, more than 1 million residents were displaced and sought refuge in evacuation centers across the country. Throughout the storm, around 50 people were killed and over 200,000 homes were damaged.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, at least 49,000 homes were damaged in 66 cities across Texas. Hurricane Harvey is said to be the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in over 50 years.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott estimated the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey to cost $150 billion to $180 billion, Fortune reported. Given these numbers, the damage is more costly than when Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy hit New Orleans in 2005 and New York City in 2012, respectively
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin challenged Congress to raise the debt ceiling to free up more money for relief spending. “Without raising the debt limit, I am not comfortable that we will get money to Texas this month to rebuild,” Mnuchin said.
Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city is making progress with getting back on its feet. Public services and business are expected to be restored on Tuesday.
[Featured Image by Matt Dunham/Getty Images]