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Hurricane Galveston - Case Study Example

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Hurricane Galveston Name Institution Date Hurricane Galveston Prior knowledge about the hurricane In the 19th century, Galveston was a rapidly developing city located in Texas. The majority of its estimated population of 42,000 was employed in the trade industry which mainly dealt in cotton exports…
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Hurricane Galveston Hurricane Galveston Prior knowledge about the hurricane In the 19th century, Galveston was a rapidly developing city located in Texas. The majority of its estimated population of 42,000 was employed in the trade industry which mainly dealt in cotton exports. Galveston had experienced numerous storms before the hurricane that would nearly wipe it off the map. Even though there were numerous weather aficionados who believed that there was a need for a sea wall to stop potential storms from destroying large parts of the city, many citizens did not believe that this was necessary. The then US Weather Bureau was not as established or knowledgeable as other weather institutions in neighboring nations like Cuba. Still, the US Weather bureau faithfully relayed information about the impending storm in Cuba. By September 4, the bureau was reporting that the storm was actually a tropical storm that was rapidly expanding. Other cities such as Pensacola also received warnings. Between 5thand 7th September, the reports to Galveston were less constant due to the damage that was being done to telegraphic lines that were used to relay messages. Moreover, when reports came of an impending hurricane, many Galveston residents were quick to dismiss this presumption because of the presence of fair weather as well as clear skies. The Galveston hurricane, which is today presumed to have been a ‘Category 4’ hurricane, reached Galveston on September 8. Winds roaring at 145 miles per hour whipped waves into the city which submerged entire bridges and destroyed private homes and government structures. More than 6000 people perished and there was $700 million dollars worth of damage. It was approximated that more than 3,500 buildings had been destroyed. The Great Storm in pictures. Survivors searched through the debris The First Baptist Church at 22nd Street and Avenue I. Analyzing knowledge through the ESS Model Interactions that take place when hurricanes take place occasionally have localized impacts because the winds affect regions across small distances. Hurricane Galveston was the exception. The hurricane generated high waves and flooded Galveston city’s coastal inlands, thus impacting the lithosphere. During the hurricane, the huge waves caused the drowning animals and birds, human beings, and eroded entire embankments and beaches. The storm also eradicated soil fertility and destroyed vegetation over a wide expanse. In addition, the floods caused the pollution of drinking water sources, which would affect the health of remaining citizens and spawn epidemics. Hurricane Galveston impacted the lithosphere by polluting the soil and removing its fertility. It affected the hydrosphere by channeling harmful contaminants into the groundwater sources. These pollutants then affected the biosphere since both people and animals would drink the water, thus exposing themselves to harmful effects. Example of Cloud Formation in the Event of a Hurricane Reflection on how Galveston’s citizens might have escaped the hurricane One of the problems that obviously contributed to Galveston’s citizens not taking caution in their response to the warnings of the impending disaster lies in communication. It has been established that Cuban meteorologists had actually notified the U. S. Weather Bureau on the impending hurricane. Moreover, it would seem that this advice was ignored due to political issues as well as superciliousness on the part of the American weather experts of that era (Lake, 2003). The city council government of Galveston had also been reluctant to seriously commit to building a sea wall that would stop flood waters from swarming into the city in the event of hurricanes and other storms. Panoramic shot of the coastline of Galveston. In addition, even though the citizens of Galveston were informed about the coming storm, they seemed reluctant to take the warnings seriously because they had survived previous storms which they judged to be worse than the impending one. There seems to have been a disconnect between government systems of communication and the citizens of Galveston. If the American government had ensured that its messages to the citizens were taken seriously, there might have been a different reaction to the news that there was an impending hurricane. In addition, there would also have been many lives saved if the warnings from the Cuban Weather bureau were taken seriously. 1. If there had been any seawall during the Galveston Hurricane, would it have been of any help at all? If there had been a sea wall, there would definitely have been less destruction experienced within the city. Moreover, even if the sea wall only functioned to delay the destruction of some parts of the city, it would have allowed more citizens to be able to flee from the oncoming floods. 2. If warning signals would have existed back then to notify people of this type of weather phenomenon like we have today, would it have saved some of the lost of lives? Warning signals would have been made small difference. This is because there appears to have been some form of distrust between Galveston’s citizens and the government. It appears that Galveston’s residents had already been informed about an incoming tropical storm. Moreover, they did not take heed because they had survived previous storms and presumed the incoming one would not be much worse than the previous ones. A more in-depth method of disseminating information to the residents might have been more convincing. 3. If people had been better informed about how to track hurricanes and provided with all the information and safety tips through media like we are today, would some of the lost and destruction been prevented? If such information were then available, many lives, if not all, would have been saved. Even some buildings might have been saved because people would take extra precautionary measures and add boards where necessary. 4. If buildings back then would have had to follow all the building requirements that by law we have to today, would some of the buildings been able to resist this hurricane? It is unlikely that many buildings would have been saved. Hurricanes have winds that can rip into reinforced boards or crash heavy objects against standing structures. It is not likely for even the most reinforced buildings to be able to withstand extremely destructive hurricanes. Reference Lake, J. (2003). Galveston's summer of the storm. San Francisco: Chaparral Books. The 1900 storm: Galveston, Texas. (2013, July 06). Retrieved from http://www.1900storm.com http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4698184173683583&pid=1.7&w=313&h=186&c=7&rs=1 http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4712546543995069&pid=1.7&w=313&h=188&c=7&rs=1 Read More
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