Houston, you have a problem
In April 1970, a Saturn V rocket dispatched the Apollo 13 mission towards the moon with astronauts James Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise. But the spaceship faced technical hitches and could not continue travelling to the moon. From the crippled Apollo 13 module, commander Lovell notified flight controllers back at the NASA Space Centre in Houston, Texas by saying “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”
Generally known for oil, its vast physical expanse, and NASA’s Johnson Space Centre, the city of Houston was in the news in August 2017 because of the floods caused by Hurricane Harvey. The rains from Harvey broke all past records in the US and the US National Weather Service even had to change the colour scheme of its satellite based precipitation map to indicate the extraordinary rainfall over the city. In a few days, almost 34 billion cubic metres of rain turned Houston’s highways into rivers and inundated thousands of homes. The flood killed 47 people and displaced about a million more. Harvey was followed a few days later by Hurricane Irma, which hit southern Florida directly, and again by the catastrophic storm Maria decimating the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.