What was Hurricane Katrina

The Hurricane Katrina that completely destroyed the American coast in the year 2005 is considered to be the most disastrous hurricane in the history of America. Owing to the great loss it brought to the American economy, both in terms of money and lives lost, it has been termed as the ‘costliest hurricane’ in American history. More than 1800 people lost their lives and many more rendered homeless. The approximate loss estimated was around USD 81Billion. This goes on to showcase the damage that the hurricane brought upon the US economy. The Hurricane formed on August 23, 2005 over the south eastern Bahamas as a tropical depression and was classified as a category 1 hurricane initially.

It got intensified as it entered the Gulf of Mexico and was termed a category 3 hurricane; which completely damaged whatever came in its way. It is to be noted that this process took a period of two days and the hurricane which weakened as it crossed the dry lands, regained intensity as it moved over the Gulf of Mexico. The speeds kept increasing and reached a maximum of 175 mph, thereby, causing it to be termed as a category 5 hurricane. The areas that were worst hit were Bahamas, Cuba, Louisiana, New Orleans and Mississippi. The impact of the hurricane rendered many of the poor and destitute with no place to go and the sudden flooding of the region led to loss of property in a matter of hours. Health related issues also showed up during this period since the chemical waste, sewage etc were spread all over the flooded areas.

It is to be noted here that a hurricane of this intensity was expected since many years before the actual impact and based on the data preceding the formation of Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had warned about such a catastrophe. The accuracy of the predictions of the various agencies like National Hurricane Center (NHC) and National Weather Service (NWS) was lauded. The inefficiency and the ill preparedness of the rescue originations were also brought into light by the Hurricane. The city of Louisiana had the highest number of casualties with the confirmed deaths piling up to 1557.

In New Orleans, more than 80 percent of the residential areas were submerged under the water due to flooding. The fear of another hurricane led to people relocating and the population of the city reduced to less than half the population before the hurricane. People of the United States of America are of the opinion that if the administration was better prepared to handle the catastrophe, damage would be considerably reduced. After causing huge destruction in major cities of America, Katrina finally dissipated on August 30, 2005.

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