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Hurricane Katrina

Through out the history of United States, hurricane Katrina was stronger, deadly and costliest more than other Katrina’s that had occurred before. It led to devastating effects on the costal areas of the Gulf north and the central areas. Also, areas of New Orleans, Louisiana were catastrophic due to flooding. After many hours of severe impacts, the storms had moved further into the inlands in the coastal areas of Mississippi, Albama to the areas of about 100 miles inwards. In this Atlantic season Katrina was the third major hurricane and the eleventh storm to occur in the tropics.

The hurricane had occurred due to the interaction of waves in the tropics and tropical depression Ten. Tropical storm had moved to Florida becoming a hurricane before making a landfall in Hallandale Beach, Aventura and Florida where it had crossed to the south of Florida from the Bahamas on 23rd August 2005 in form of a moderate hurricane 1. From here it had moved to with strength to the Mexican Gulf. Katrina strength made it becoming one of the strongest hurricanes to happen in the sea (Giles).

After the category 1, occurred there was the weakening of the storm but afterwards the second and third hurricane occurred in the morning hours on 29th August 2005 in areas of Louisiana to the south east and Mississippi Louisiana border line. Katrina second landfall 3rd category hurricane occurred on 29th August where wind was moving at a speed of 125 mph (205 km/h) at areas of Buras-Triumph and Louisiana. The Katrina winds extended outside to areas of about 190 km having a storm’s pressure of 920 mbar.

The third Katrina landfall occurred at the Louisiana boarder with Mississippi with the speed of 195 km/h. Katrina lost its hurricane strength at a distance of 150 miles in areas of Meridian Mississippi where in Clarksville Tennessee it reduced to tropical depression. The gulf Coast was the mostly affected by hurricane Katrina where major cities in Mississippi were devastated among them Bay, St. Louis, Pass Christian, Biloxi and Ocean Spring. Hurricane Katrina led to loss of many lives, it is estimated that about 1836 people died. It led to damage of property worth $81.

26 US dollars at that time. The federal government received a lot of criticism for its failure to respond to the catastrophes. Army corps of Engineers in New Orleans was reviewed due to its failure to provide flood protection through designing the levee system. (Amanda) The reaction of the several authorities for example local government, federal and states government to the disaster were also criticized for the way thy responded to the crisis. However, the National Hurricane Centre and National weather service received much appreciation for their weather forecasts.

The New Orleans was the most risky area as it lies below the sea level leading to extensive flooding. Mississippi and the Gulf port areas were hard hit as the damage experienced was massive. Looters were taking the advantage of the situation to loot properties. Hurricane Katrina was a major disaster in its form and its impacts. The entire Gulf coast was faced with public health problem. There was shortage of food, medicine and water to the thousand of the victims who were hit by the disaster especially in the areas of Florida.

Many people had deserted their homes by the morning of Sunday in New Orleans and had to seek shelter to safer areas. The Red Cross was faced with the uphill task of assisting these victims where about 45,000 people had been housed by the organization which had set up emergency shelters to assist the victims. Its magnitude was high “This is our largest mobilization in the history of the organization” Deborah Daley the Red Cross spokes woman. (http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2005/08/31/national/main807/64. shtml). The hurricane Katrina also devasted the data center in the Gulf Coast region.

The magnitude of hurricane Katrina was high as in total it resulted to 1835 death in the states of Albama, Ohio, Florida Georgia Louisiana Mississippi and Kentucky. Louisiana was the most affected recording about 1570 deaths, the United States government had proposed about $105 billion for the reconstruction of the affected areas. The economic impacts of the hurricane were far reaching where many roads and bridges were destroyed. Approximated areas of 5300km2 of forest were destroyed this translated into a total loss of about $5 billion to the industry.

Unemployment was massive as the forest industry employed initially close to one million people (Bruce). Hurricane Katrina also affected greatly the environment due to the erosion of the beach leading to devastated coastal regions. The hurricane led to land fall in an area of 150km to the Eastern side of Dauphin Island. In the Mississippi region a lot of sand was taken thus pushed Island to the land. Sea animals like fish, turtles and other water species were mostly affected. Many National wildlife refugees were closed due to their damage by the storm affecting many inhabitants.

The residual water was contaminated by the toxic substances like chemicals raw sewage, bacteria, heavy metal oil and other chemical substances. The government had responded to the crisis where the federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) provided the logistically assistance. May residents offered volunteer work especially form New Orleans. The Coast guard was able to evacuate 33,000 people in New Orleans. A joint Task force was put n place by United States Northern command to do military work. Military troops from all the states joined forces.

Civil Air patrol was put in place by the defense department to volunteer in the process of rescue missions. The US government through the congress allowed $62. 3 billion to help those affected by the disaster. The federal emergency management agency offered housing to hundred thousands of the affected families. Mutual aid was accorded by law enforcers and public agencies to the victims in Louisiana and New Orleans after the disaster. Other states had offered shelter facilities to the victims of areas mostly affected.

However, despite this assistance many had felt that the US authorities failed in the way the disaster was handled from the start to the end. ( Stephen) The critics argue that if the authorities had responded well, the magnitude would not be as high as it was witnessed. The concerned authorities were accused of lack of proper management and poor leadership in the way they dealt with relief work in dealing with the storm and its effects. They accused the government of delaying in dealing with floods in New Orleans and in the Crescent city where there was outspread chaos.

The government preparedness in response to such emergencies was also questioned. In New Orleans victims lacked food, water, medicine and shelter. This had led to many deaths. Issues of racism and classes had also taken root in the rescue mission. There was lack of coordination among the top leadership in the way they played their role in response to the disaster. The New Orleans governor was accused of failing to carry out the plans properly in evacuating victims. The victims were only offered with shelter but had no food or water; they were insecure and were living in unhygienic state resulting into unwanted deaths.

The delays in evacuating missions also increased the number of deaths where many had died just before being taken out of the cities. This could be averted if the evacuation process was hurried. The international community had also assisted victims of hurricane Katrina especially from Venezuela and Cuba. Medicines, medical personnel, food, water were provided. The aftermath of the disaster led to many recommendations being made on critical issues like management, communication, logistics, preparedness, in case another disaster occurs.

Works Cited

Galle, Julie. “Special Report: Vulnerable Cities: New Orleans, LA. ” The weather channel accessed on May 6, 2008 (http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2005/08/31/national/main807/64. shtml) Nolan Bruce, “Katrina Takes Aim. ” The Times- picayune. 28th August, 2005 Ripley, Amanda. “What Happened to the Gangs of New Orleans? ” Time Magazine, 22nd May 2006. Whittel, Giles. “Warning were loud and clear but still city drowned. ” The Times, 8th September 2005. Zunes, Stephen, “A Hurricane of Consequencies” Alternet. 4th September 2005.

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