Case study and revision notes for A Level hurricanes topic

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  • Created by: Pheebie
  • Created on: 19-05-13 10:03

Diagram of Hurricane Formation


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Causes of Hurricanes

  • Energy from warm sea, die out over land.
  • Heat from the land sucks them quickly towards the Land e.g from Atlantic to North America.
  • Different wind speeds= different catagory.
  • Winds tend to blow Westerly e.g. West coast of Africa gets non-few hurricanes.
  • TYPHOONS- Pacific Ocean (e.g. North China)
  • CYCLONES- Indian Ocean (e.g. SE Africa)
  • HURRICANES- Atlantic Ocean (e.g. America)
  • Cold Ocean currents can prevent hurricanes e.g Peruvian on South American Coast.
  • El Nino years- hurricanes are more frequent

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Saffir- Simpson Hurricane Scale


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Hurricane Sandy (Oct 2012) MEDC/ LEDC Impacts


  • 113 casualties in USA , 2 in Canda.
  • 1 person missing in USA
  • $50bn in property damage.
  • Impacted US elections.
  • Fundraising got $41million in 1 week


  • 54 causalties in Haiti, 11 in Cuba, 2 in Bahamas and 1 in Jamaica.
  • 21 people missing in Haiti.
  • Property damage- $2bn in Cuba, $55,2million in Jamaica & $300million in Bahamas.
  • 200,000 left homeless in Haiti.
  • UN Sent aid to 500,000 people in Santiage de Cuba, Cuba.
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Prediction & Preparedness, Hurricanes- Sandy 2012

  • Info from Satellites and land & sea recording stations.
  • Hurricanes follow erratic path do prediction is normally no more than 12-18hours in advance.
  • USA set out compulsory evacuation in red 'top priority zones.
  • LEDCs have made some progress in predictions and evacuations helping to lower death toll.
  • The NY Stock exchange was closed for the 1st time since 9/11. False predictions can be costly to the economy. 
  • All flights leaving New Jersey were cancelled.
  • People managed to 'tweet' services for help when phone lines were down but still got 3G.


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Global Warming and Sandy

  • Hurricanes are naturally occuring but may be enhanced by global warming.
  • Sea temperatures have risen by 0.6c in Atlantic were the hurricane has formed.
  • Sea levels have risen 1 foot around New York and New Jersey over the past 100 years.
  • Some scientists believe the blocking high pressure which pushed it in land was caused by global warming.

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Cyclone Nargis, Burma Impacts 2008

  • 1.5million people affected.
  • 138 dead or missing.
  • $4bn worth of economic damage.
  • 450,000 homes destroyed.
  • 600,000 hectacres of farmland lost along with 60% of farming impliments.
  • 75% hospitals or clinics destroyed.
  • Diahorrea, dysentery and skin infections spread amongst survivors.

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Cyclone Nargis, Burma Management 2008

  • Lack of info- confusion amongst aid & rescue services.
  • Government refused to admit scale of disaster & were reluctant to accept foriegn aid. 
  • Food was left with monks rather than untruseted government agencies.
  • Donor countries pleged $50bn but U.S. & French ships were refused ebtry to Bura's ports.

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Hurricane Katrina 2005

  • 200,000 never returned to the area.
  • Homes that were destroyed and some were never rebuilt.
  • Design faults with levees failed as they were built too low and water seeped through them.
  • FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) were blamed for poor evacuation error and poor emergency response.
  • Managing director of FEMA lost his job.
  • President George Bush was crtiticised for not reacting quick enough.

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Hurricane Katrina 2005 (2)

  • $125bn total damage, most expensive in U.S. history.
  • 68,000 left unemployed.
  • 973 deaths.
  • 80% of New Oreleans is below sea level, this was flooded.
  • Food, shelter and water supplies quickly depleted.
  • Charities & volunteers came to help distribute aid.
  • Damage to oil refinary caused a price hike in fuel costs.

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