Running Head: HURRICANE KATRINA Hurricane Katrina Hurricanes are tropical storms and are specifically known to occur in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. These storms have cyclonic wind circulation and are very destructive in nature…
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It is known to be the most devastating hurricane to strike in the history of the United States. It completely destroyed vast regions including New Orleans and Mississippi. It has been estimated that more than 1,700 people were killed and some thousands were found to be misplaced. Going by the records, Hurricane Katrina is regarded as the costliest storm because the damages caused by it were worth billions of dollars. The devastation brought about by Hurricane Katrina had maximum effect on the poor population. The storm exposed the abject poverty, political inefficiency and longstanding corruption in the southern states of USA. (Laforet, 2010) Factors that influenced Hurricane Katrina Scientists have proved that formation of tropical hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina is facilitated by the warming of waters of the oceans. Anthropogenic activities are responsible for global warming by way of massive emissions of dioxide of carbon, methane and other gases into the atmosphere. The scientists have estimated that huge loss of wetlands in the southeast of USA which is important for maintaining ecological balance is one factor that influenced the devastation caused the Hurricane Katrina. This loss of wetlands in New Orleans city was partly caused by man’s actions. When one of the dikes surrounding the city broke the city was left to remain submerged in the waters. No step was taken to clear the water. Three years prior to the Hurricane Katrina, the government designed a plan for reducing the destructive effect that can be caused by future floods and storms. The plan was to strengthen the levees surrounding the New Orleans city and execution of the plan needed an amount of $14 billion. Although storms of massive strength were already predicted, the Bush administration approved a much lower budget of $2 billion for the plan. Their excuse was that funds were needed for the security of their country and for the war in Iraq. Now that the government has demonstrated its indifference towards the woes of the people and its inability to make proper Risk Management Plans, Bush has tried to justify himself by explaining that it was not possible to anticipate the rupture of the levees which guarded the New Orleans city. (Valenzuela, 2005) Preventive Measures that could be taken Voices have been raised to declare that nothing could have been done to prevent the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Such declarations cannot be considered as true and rather they are completely wrong. Although all damages could not have been averted, concrete and planned measures could be taken to minimise the effect of the storm. The areas that were destroyed by the hurricane lie along a path that has already suffered by destructive hurricanes many times in the past. In spite of that nothing was done to prevent the devastating event like Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is one of the most vulnerable areas. It is surrounded by water on three sides and it lies below sea level. For many years there has been warning from engineers and scientists that if a major hurricane occurs, it would have devastating effect on New Orleans city which is guarded only by a network of levees and pumps. After the destruction caused by Hurricane Betsy in 1965, the levee system structure was altered to survive the force of category three hurricane, but Hurricane Katrina was of category four which is much stronger in force. It was predicted by the scientists that a hurricane
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