In very simple terms a hurricane is referred to a storm that normally forms over the tropical and subtropical waters. When the sustained winds of a storm reach the speed of 74 mph it is usually known as a hurricane. In order to measure the speed and the severity of the hurricane, usually, the Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is used. The scale to measure the severity of the hurricane on this scale ranges from 1 to 5. The count on the scale depends on the maximum number of sustained winds. It must also be understood that the higher the count on the scale the greater chances are there for damage to the properties and life. Usually, the point of origin for a hurricane is in the Atlantic Basin. This includes the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Northern Pacific Ocean. Very occasionally there is a hurricane that occurs in the central North Pacific Ocean.
One of the deadliest hurricanes that the world has seen is Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane had originated in the Atlantic Ocean and was measured a category 5 by the Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The damages that were caused by Hurricane Katrina to both lives and properties were huge. The hurricane claimed approximately 1,800 lives and damaged properties that were worth 125 billion dollars. The hurricane occurred in the year 2005 in the month of August and affected particularly the city of New Orleans and the areas surrounding the city. Due to the damage that is made due to the hurricane, Katrina was considered to be the costliest tropical cyclone to date and holds a tie position in the present with the Hurricane Harvey that occurred in the year 2007.
According to reports, Hurricane Katrina was the twelfth cyclone that occurred in the year 2005. Not only so, but it was also the fifth hurricane that took place and in fact, was the third major cyclone that took place in the same year. It was also recorded to be the fourth most intense hurricane that hit the United States. Hurricane, Katrina originated on the 23rd of August, in the year 2005. Initially, the storm was considered to be a tropical depression that had created a merger with the remnants of Tropical Depression ten. On the following day that is on the 24th of August in 2005, the depression gradually intensified more and thus took the form of a tropical storm and moved towards Florida. Just two hours before landfall the tropical storm gathered the momentum and took the form of a hurricane. Though it weakened after the landfall, Katrina once again continued to intensify and rapidly and reach Category 5 of the hurricane especially over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Thereafter once again the hurricane Katrina weakened and became a Category 3 hurricane before the second landfall on the 29th of August.
The impact of hurricane Katrina was huge. The storm had created huge flooding all across the 53 beaches of the United States. The impact of the hurricane on New Orleans was huge and approximately 80 percent of the city submerged underwater. Due to the storm surge, there was also devastation that was noticed on the coasts of Mississippi as well as Alabama. The records of destruction that was caused due to the hurricane, give Katrina the position of being one of the most destructive hurricanes that had occurred in the history of the United States of America. In New Orleans, it was seen that the majority of the roads that allowed travel inside the city and out from it were almost damaged and therefore, there was a major collapse that was noticed in connections with the city. There was a huge loss to the properties as well as to the lives of the people. The first deaths that were reported in the city were that of three patients who died during the evacuation from the hospital probably in the context of dehydration.
The after-effects of Hurricane Katrina were also long-lasting and very destructive. The primary effect that was seen is that of very severe destruction in the economic system of the United States. The then government that is the Bush government had to seek a lot of aid amounting to almost 105 billion dollars for the purpose of repairing and reconstructing the different things that were damaged. There was also a very big loss that the country had faced because there was a huge loss in the oil supply as more than thirty oil platforms were destroyed due to hurricane, Katrina. This further resulted in the complete closing of the nine refineries that are present. The annual production of gas was also affected due to the hurricane.
The effect that Katrina had on the environment was also spectacular and profound. There was severe coastal erosion that followed. In certain cases, it was recorded that there was a complete erosion of the beaches and the coastal areas. The damage that was caused by Katrina was so severe, that there was a closure of at least 16 National Wildlife Refuges. Almost half of the Breton National Wildlife was damaged because of the storm and the habitats of the sea turtles were completely damaged. Another great effect that happened to the environment due to the storm was that there was a huge loss to a large number of trees especially in the region of the Pearl Harbor basin in Louisiana. Also, though the storm took place in the year 2005, there are records that the mortality due to an indirect effect of the storm continued till the year 2011 due to certain reasons like the rise of the levels of carbon.
Another impact of the hurricane was that there was a rise in the number of crimes that took place due to Katrina. For example, there was an increase that was noticed in the looting because the people who survived the storm faced a severe scarcity of food and other basic amenities. There were certain disaster management activities that were carried on by the government, and there was aid especially monetary that was sent internationally as well. Overall, therefore, hurricane Katrina was extremely impactful in the United States.