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While Americans continue to debate climate change, European scientists said there’s no doubt that climate change made Hurricane Irma stronger, according to Bloomberg News.

When these increasingly powerful storms strike, minority and poor communities are located in areas that are the most vulnerable  to flooding and dangerous winds, The Washington Post noted. That was true in Houston, where multifamily dwellings, which house mostly Black and Hispanic families, were constructed in floodplains and floodways.

That issue was on the minds of celebrity performers, like Stevie Wonder and Beyonce, Monday night at the “Hand in Hand” hurricane relief benefit, ABC News reports.

Wonder criticized climate change deniers, calling them “blind or unintelligent.”

Beyonce, a Houston native, had a more personal message about the widespread damage from Hurricane Harvey. She too blamed climate change for increasingly intense storms around the world, and underscored that we are all in this together.

“Natural disasters don’t discriminate. They don’t see if you’re an immigrant, Black or White, Hispanic or Asian, Jewish or Muslim, wealthy or poor,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re from [Houston neighborhoods] Third Ward or River Oaks, we’re all in this together.”

ABC News reported that Hurricane Harvey is blamed for at least 70 deaths, and Irma, which followed days later, caused the deaths of at least 22 people in the United States. Property damage from the two storms is estimated at between $150 billion and $290 billion in Texas and Florida.

The telethon raised more than $44 million for the hurricane victims.

SOURCE:  Bloomberg, Washington Post, ABC News

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