Hurricane Irene

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Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene

No matter how hard you try, you cannot possibly avoid them. Be ready to face huge costs if you are not prepared to meet them.

Of all of nature's geological hazards, hurricanes are one of the most devastating forms natural disasters take since they cause destruction on a mass-scale. On August 20, 2011, Hurricane Irene formed above the Atlantic Ocean. It moved forward to the Caribbean coast and Puerto Rico, where it gained its strength and was then labelled as a Category 3 hurricane since it had a wind speed of up to 129 miles per hour. A landfall had been reported in North Carolina due to our unwelcomed guest, but that was during its initial phase on August 27 when it was just a Category 1 hurricane (since it had a wind speed up to 95 miles per hour). The storm passed through the east coast of USA and Canada and stayed there for two consecutive days. After that it decreased in strength and was labelled as a “tropical storm”. The hurricane caused around 43 deaths in Canada and USA alone.

Declared by the U.S. President as a “Federal Emergency” on August 25, 2011, hurricane Irene led Beaufort County, NC, and North Carolina to receive disaster recovery funds, amongst other states. By March 2012, a total of $160 million had been allocated to North Carolina in lieu of the recovery and relief efforts.

A State of Emergency had been declared by the commissioners of Beaufort County, which resulted in an evacuation for all existing houses in the 1 century old plain. This also included mobile homes.

Sometimes also termed as tropical cyclones, hurricanes have a centre that has relatively low pressure and higher temperatures as compared to its surroundings. Hurricanes in the northern hemisphere have a counter clockwise flow, whereas those in the southern hemisphere flow in a clockwise direction. The combination of low air pressure and higher temperature results in humidity, which has warm water as its main source. Since warm water vapours result mostly in summers, the probability of occurrence of hurricanes during this time of the year is the highest. Also, hurricanes weaken in strength and intensity when they travel over land, owing to the absence of warm water and the extra surface friction of the land. This also means that the worst damage of tropical cyclones usually happens on coastal areas.

There are three main parts of a hurricane: eye, eye wall, and spiral-shaped clouds of rain in the surrounding area of the eye ball. The central part (the eye) is the calmest part of the storm; it is more like a vacant hole with a clear sky above it, and measures from 20 to 50 kilometres in diameter.

A number of factors lead to the formation of hurricanes. Hurricane Irene was a major hurricane in the history of America, and debate still continues over its causes. Amongst one of its strongly cited causes, global warning is one. Although there exists no empirical evidence of this proposition regarding the ...