Hurricane Katrina (MEDC) • This was the USA’s worst natural disaster in living memory. • The storm hit land near New Orleans on the 29th of August 2005 at a speed of some 230 km/h (145 mph). • Katrina was a category 4 hurricane, but what set it apart from other hurricanes was the way it lingered rather than passed through.
Hurricane Katrina (MEDC) • Over 1830 people were killed in the USA. • Economists suggest Hurricane Katrina cost the US economy $80 billion. • The rescue operation was criticised for not doing enough to help the poorest members of the population. • Many of those left without help were from the poor neighbourhoods, many of which were the worst hit by the hurricane.
Cyclone Nargis (LEDC) • Some 134,000 people died in Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma in May 2008. • As many as 95% of all buildings in the affected area were demolished by the cyclone. • Winds exceeding 190 km/h (118 mph) and torrential rain devastated the area. • The Burmese government identified 15 townships in the Irrawaddy delta that had suffered the worst.
Cyclone Nargis (LEDC) • Seven of them had lost 90-95% of their homes, with 70% of their population dead or missing. • International frustration mounted as disaster management experts failed to get the necessary visas to enter the country. • The land in the Irrwaddy delta is very low-lying. • It was home to an estimated 7 million of Burma’s 53 million people. • Nearly 2 million of the densely packed area’s inhabitants live on the land that is less than 5m above sea level, leaving them extremely vulnerable. • As well as the cost in lives and homes is the agricultural loss to the fertile delta – considered Burma’s rice bowl.
Activity What are the similarities and differences between Hurricanes/Tornadoes/Cyclones in MEDC’s and LEDC’s?