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Natural Hazards In The United States Of America And The Caribbean


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This is a video I made for my Humanities class about one of the natural disasters around the world.

Published in: Education
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Natural Hazards In The United States Of America And The Caribbean

  1. 1. Natural Hazards In the United States of America and the Caribbean<br />By: Alessandra Roberto<br />
  2. 2. Hurricane Gustav<br />Hurricane Gustav was the second most destructive hurricane of 2008. It was the third hurricane and seventh tropical cyclone of the season. (8)<br />It killed approximately 153 people in the United States and the Caribbean. It is known mostly because of how many people evacuated; more than 3 million people.<br />Gustav cost over $6.6 billion. $4.3 billion was used to re-build damages made in the United States, $2.1 billion for Cuba and $210 million for Jamaica. (8)<br />
  3. 3. Meteorological History of Hurricane Gustav<br />The hurricane started building up to a tropical storm on the afternoon of August 25th 2008 about 420km southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It then made landfall near Jacmel, a town in Haiti. During the night of August 26th, the storm grew stronger, and moved over water into the Gulf of Gonâve. This is when the storm started weakening, but it was still interacting with Haiti. On the night of August 27th, Gustav edged closer to Jamaica, moving more south than predicted. It had also re-strengthened almost reaching the status of a hurricane. (8)<br />On August 29th, it had been named a hurricane. It reached a Category 3 hurricane at 11:00 am on August 30th while nearing Cuba. Only three hours later, Gustav had reached a Category 4 strength. Isla de la Juventud and on the mainland near the community of Los Palacios in Pinar del Rio Province, both got struck by the hurricane. The Gulf of Mexico had been introduced to this hurricane by the early hours of August 31st. It then weakened to a Category 2 until landfall along the Louisiana coast. On September 1st, Gustav was downgraded to a Tropical Storm and then on September 2nd, Gustav became a threat to severe flooding in Mississippi Valley, after becoming a Tropical Depression. (8)<br />
  4. 4. Hurricanes<br />Moisture rising off the warm sea starts to form clouds. If the winds are slight, a mass of cloud can start to build up over one area. As the water vapor rises, the pressure falls and more air moves in to fill the ‘gap’. Under the influence of the coriolis effect, the incoming air is deflected to the right and the clouds start to spin anti-clockwise. As the moist air rises, it cools and the water condenses out as rain. This releases latent heat (latent heat is the heat released or absorbed by a substance as it changes its state). Latent heat warms and expands the surrounding air so the cloud grows and, as warm air is lighter than old air, the pressure drops further. More air is sucked inwards and upwards in a continuous cycle. This is known as a tropical depression. The cloud then becomes wider and deeper as the wind speed increases. At this stage the storm is called a tropical storm and this is when meteorologists name it and start tracking it’s position. As the wind speed increases to about 64 knots, it is officially known as a hurricane. Size isn’t a necessary feature to measure the amount of destruction the hurricane will make. Hurricane Andrew, the most devastating hurricane for over a hundred years, was relatively small. (1)<br />
  5. 5. The Region<br />The region where Hurricane Gustav hit was in the Caribbean and on the southeastern coast line of the United States of America. It is widely known for it’s constant attack of hurricanes and earthquakes. (1)<br />A Hurricane is often formed near Africa and is made by hot air chasing cool air around in circles. They originate where the coriolis effect is strongest. (1)<br />The Coriolis effect:<br />As the Earth spins, anything moving on the surface is deflected to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.<br />Under the influence of the prevailing winds, hurricanes forming off the coast of west Africa move westward across the Caribbean and then north across the southern coast of the U.S. (1)<br />
  6. 6. Place and Space<br />The concept of place and space gives one the ability to:<br />Recognize, describe and explain patterns and relationships in space, including natural and human environments.<br />Recognize and explain similarities and differences between places.<br />Understand constraints and opportunities afforded by location.<br />Understand issues related to place and space on a local, national and global scale.<br />The first bullet point relates to hurricanes because in the Caribbean and southeastern United States, it is very common to have constant hurricanes and earthquakes and this is a pattern that occurs many times in a year. <br />Also, this issue relates to Place and Space because the issue is all about how a natural disaster moves from place to place on a global scale affecting both natural and human environments and Hurricane Gustav and the constraints it left behind show similarities to other hurricanes that happened in the past.<br />
  7. 7. Social Impact<br />The social impact is probably one of the biggest impacts because the future of the country depends on how the society reacts to the disaster. The hurricane destroys peoples lives and hurts the hearts of the people whose loved ones have died. <br />Also, many people were dying of starvation so some other country’s were needed to bring food and water to feed the people. (6)<br />The hurricane affected the mental health of the citizens because of all of the stress and trauma they went through while dealing with the consequences of Gustav. (7)<br />
  8. 8. Economic Impact<br />Hurricane Gustav had a huge political impact on the United States and the Caribbean because with all of the damage that it created after passing through Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico and Louisiana, the cost to repair the necessities was way over $6 billion. (5)<br />Also, Gustav was headed straight for the coast of Louisiana and there were many important companies there like Louisiana’s sugar industry which makes approximately $500 million annually. Louisiana’s coast is made up of 11 casino’s that take in $1.3 billion annually. Almost all of Louisiana’s chemical plants and oil rigs are planted in the area where Gustav hit. (5)<br />
  9. 9. Political Impact<br />After the big hurricane surprised the citizens, an election had to be taken place to build the nation once more and to create homes for all of the people who were left homeless and hungry. (4)<br />Also, the citizens were dying of starvation, so this meant that the government needed to find a way to control the amount of food given out to each individual until they could reinforce, their food supply. (6)<br />The hurricane could have also affected the presidential election because Gustav hit Louisiana during the Republican National Convention. (4)<br />
  10. 10. The hurricane damaged many things like houses, hospitals, schools, trees, crops and all of these things are very greatly needed in a society to survive, so if the hurricane destroyed it all, there is no longer helpful ways to survive and get through the disastrous times. <br />Also, the hurricane would have caused major oil spills which would have tainted and destroyed the lands where farmer’s crop or kill the fishes in the sea. (7)<br />Environmental Impact<br />
  11. 11. Possible Solutions<br />There isn’t one solution that can cease the occurrence of hurricanes because they happen natural without mankind interfering. There are many ways to hinder the destruction left behind by the hurricane though; waterproofing the houses so they don’t get flooded, build stronger houses, evacuating the country or shutting down any expensive industries that are not worth losing. All of these ideas need both, money and preparation. If the country is low on money, then some of these ideas mentioned won’t work because of the cost. If the country doesn’t know the hurricane will hit, then the people won’t be prepared for whatever’s coming and that could cause serious damage to the number of the population. (3)<br />In my opinion, a good possible solution would be to create underground tunnels that lead into a big area under the ground where people can stay and live for a few days until the storm has passed. This solution is not ideal and will not solve all of the problems, but it keeps the majority of the population alive. <br />Some scientists are trying to stop hurricanes completely. Their idea is still being tested. Since the hurricanes are fueled by warm water on the surface of the ocean, their plan is to mix the cool water at the bottom of the ocean, with the water at the surface creating a cooler temperature at the surface of the ocean. Scientists believe that this idea will help to stop hurricanes from occurring. (2)<br />
  12. 12. Bibliography<br />(1)&quot;Hurricane Gustav.&quot; Mongabay. Mongabay, Web. 31 Jan 2010. &lt;;.<br />(2)&quot;5 Simple Solutions to Fix Hurricanes.&quot; abc News. abc News, Web. 31 Jan 2010. &lt;;.<br />(3)&quot;Interactive: Hurricanes.&quot; Hurricanes and Cyclones. 03 Mar 2009. Guardian, Web. 31 Jan 2010. &lt;<br />(4)&quot;Nine Political Impacts of Hurricane Gustav.&quot; Virginia Virtucon. 31 Aug 2008. Virginia Virtucon, Web. 31 Jan 2010. &lt;;.<br />(5)&quot;Hurricane Gustav and the Economy.&quot; US Economy., Web. 31 Jan 2010. &gt;.<br />(6)&quot;Louisiana: Dept. of Social Services Issues Early Food Stamp Benefits.&quot; Hurricane Gustav Resources. Hurricane Gustav, Web. 30 Sep 2008. &lt;;.<br />(7)Dubnick, Mel, Vicki Banyard, Nancy Kinner, Dante Scala, and Kurk Dorsey. &quot;Experts Available to Discuss Impact of Hurricane Gustav.&quot; University of New Hampshire. 09 Jan 2009. Hurricane Gustav, Web. 31 Jan 2010. &lt;;.<br />
  13. 13. Bibliography (Images)<br />&quot;Natural Disasters.&quot; Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;;. <br />&quot;Natural Disasters.&quot; Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;;. <br />&quot;Hurricane Gustav.&quot; Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;;. <br />&quot;Hurricane Gustav.&quot; Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;;. <br />&quot;Hurricane Gustav.&quot; Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;;. <br />“The Caribbean and the United States.” Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;<br />&quot;Republican Convention.&quot; Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;;. <br />&quot;Money.&quot; Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;;. <br />&quot;Hurricane Gustav.&quot; Web. 4 Feb 2010. &lt;;. <br />