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Among the hurricane disasters that ever hit the United States of America in this decade, the hurricane Katrina was one that was classified as the most devastating. According to Goodnough and Treaster, 2005), Louisiana City experienced a very powerful storm ever seen in the history of America on. The tragic event took place on the Sunday of August 28.This caused hundreds of thousands of the gulf coast residents flee in order to save their lives. In addition, it left many people homeless and destroyed the infrastructure forcing the then president George W. Bush to declare a state of emergency in the Louisiana gulf coast city. Five years later America still lives with the effects of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina accompanied by efforts of trying to rebuild the gulf city.
According to the report About Hurricane Katrina by Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA), the storm started and formed as depression in the tropics of southeastern Bahamas on August 23. Moving in the northwestward direction, it grew into a category 1 hurricane before making its first landfall after turning westwards two days later towards southern Florida. On 26 August, it turned southwest as it crossed Florida towards the Gulf of Mexico. It continued to strengthen more and then later into a category 4 hurricane with strong winds of at 150 miles per hour in Louisiana. The third and last landfall of the Katrina occurred some four hour later in Mississippi where the winds were at 125 miles per hour (FEMA) before going to an extension of over 400 miles per hour later on during the tragedy.
The coming of the storm was not a surprise to the city dwellers. According to a New York Times article, by Romero (2005), most of the companies and firms in the energy sector were evacuating their employees in the Mexican gulf. This cut the normal oil production of the area by a third the normal daily production. There was even a prediction of a high disruption in the production of oil from the area as compared to the effects of the hurricane Ivan which occurred the previous year. However, despite all these warning reports from several meteorological departments, Clarence Ray Nagin, the then mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana ignored the recommendations that were given then by the Charity Hospital’s Emergency Preparedness Group and therefore did nothing to prepare the city for the coming hurricane. He advised the residents of New Orleans not to be keen about the storm and did not even order for a mandatory evacuation, only to do it at the last minute. Further, there was general ‘stressed response and recovery effort by all levels of government, especially in Louisiana, a situation that was worsened by strains on catastrophic response by the authority is case of a back-to-back disasters (Walker, 2006). Empathically, the was an overwhelming strain on the available resources and information supply, coupled with negligence by the authorities.
The hurricane Katrina left devastating effects in the history of the United States some of which are being felt till today. The effects of the hurrican to the US economy are far-outreaching. Ozochukwu (2009) analyses the impacts of salt water intrusion on the agricultural industry. Salt water intrusion is the process where salt water moves to non-saline water environments (Ozochukwu, 2009). The hurricane is one of the causes of this phenomenon. Saline water does not support plant life (Ozochukwu, 2009). When much of this happens in agricultural lands the plants will die reducing to none the produce from the fields. None the less, plants have been known as major preventers of soil erosion. Their absence translates to a high level of erosion of rich agricultural soil leading to low productivity. This negatively affected the forestry department in Mississippi region. Since agriculture is a major booster to most of the world’s economies, the sector needs to be guarded.
Deaths and displacement of people in the affected areas was experienced. According to information by FEMA on hurricanes, approximately there was evidenced an estimated damage of $75 billion during this hurricane in addition to the over 1,200 deaths experienced in Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana altogether. This was one of the most catastrophic humanitarian crises ever in the American history. This hurricane left most of the Louisiana residents without the very basic needs as clean water, shelter and food. Most of their poor house went flat, schools destroyed, medical health providers like charity hospital at Louisiana university were brought abase too.
On the contrary, the response of the government towards this crisis was not appealing to the general public and was described as flawed despite seeing this possibility of flooding. Initially, the evacuation efforts were not thoroughly done and many of the city dwellers who were left suffered more hardships, some in the hands of armed gangs. This exposed the governments insensitivity to humanitarian efforts if this was to be compared to its dedication on the fight against terrorism attacks, yet preparation for a national disaster of such magnitude wasn’t manageable. In addition, major agencies, coordinated by FEMA and the department of homeland security, who were involved in the response process made .............
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