Hurricane Katrina



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Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall. At least 1,833 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane; total property damage was estimated at $81 billion (2005 USD), nearly triple the damage brought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. President Bush examines the flooded areas from Air Force One.

Within the United States and as delineated in the National Response Plan, disaster response and planning is first and foremost a local government responsibility. When local government exhausts its resources, it then requests specific additional resources from the county level. The request process proceeds similarly from the county to the state to the federal government as additional resource needs are identified. Many of the problems that arose developed from inadequate planning and back-up communications systems at various levels.

Some disaster recovery response to Katrina began before the storm, with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparations that ranged from logistical supply deployments to a mortuary team with refrigerated trucks. A network of volunteers began rendering assistance to local residents and residents emerging from New Orleans and surrounding parishes as soon as the storm made landfall (even though many were directed to not enter the area), and continued for more than six months after the storm.

Of the 60,000 people stranded in New Orleans, the Coast Guard rescued more than 33,500. Congress recognized the Coast Guard's response with an official entry in the Congressional Record, and the Armed Service was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.



The 2010 Chile earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile on Saturday, 27 February 2010, at 03:34 local time (06:34 UTC), having a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale, with intense shaking lasting for about three minutes. It ranks as the sixth largest earthquake ever to be recorded by a seismograph. It was felt strongly in six Chilean regions (from Valparaíso in the north toAraucanía in the south), that together make up about 80 percent of the country's population. The earthquake triggered a tsunami which devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile and damaged the port at Talcahuano. Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries, and the wave caused minor damage in the San Diego area of California and in the Tōhoku region of Japan, where damage to the fisheries business was estimated at ¥6.26 billion (USD$66.7 million). The earthquake also generated a blackout that affected 93 percent of the country's population and which went on for several days in some locations. President Michelle Bachelet declared a "state of catastrophe" and sent military troops to take control of the most affected areas. According to official sources, 525 people lost their lives, 25 people went missing and about 9% of the population in the affected regions lost their homes.

Despite President Michelle Bachelet's earlier statement that Chile would only ask for international aid once it had assessed the extent of the damage, leaders of many countries and intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations and European Union, responded to the earthquake and sent messages of condolence to the government and people of Chile over the loss of lives and property. Argentina, Mexico, the United States, United Kingdom, People's Republic of China, Singapore, Haiti, and Pakistan were among the countries that responded earliest following the quake. Appeals for humanitarian were issued by the UK-based Oxfam, Save the Children and others. Chilean television host Don Francisco led a telethon called Chile helps Chile with the goal of raising 15 billion pesos (about US$29 million) needed to build 30,000 emergency houses ("mediaguas"). The charity event, which ran for 24 hours in Santiago starting on Friday 5 March at 22:00, was summoned by the government and organized by several Chilean NGOs. At 23:00 on Saturday the goal was doubled, collecting 30.2 billion pesos (about US$58 million). The Chilean NGO Un Techo para Chile constructed 23,886 transitional houses for families affected by the earthquake.


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