Management of Tropical Storms

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  • Created by: crissyd
  • Created on: 30-01-16 12:21

KATRINA 2005 - Prior to the storm

Red Cross and Salvation Army opened shelters and feeding units prior to the storm

Evacuation began on 27th Aug for people in vulnerable, rural areas to avoid traffic from New Orleans - they would begin evacuation 30hours before the storm

Mayor Nagin opened Superdome with food and water for 15000 people - 26000 turned up

Unprepared for the numbers unable/ unwilling to leave - 20% of pop. have no way of leaving the town and no money, living in poor housing 4ft below sea level

Army corps of engineers maintain levees but admitted that budgets did not allow for all necessary repairs - only made to withstand a Cat3 hurricane

President Bush declared pre-state of emergency - not done since 1992 - indicated concerns at the highest level of government

The night before - National Weather Service predicts 18-19ft storm surges which will cause overtopping of levees

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KATRINA 2005 - During the storm

Backup generators provided reduced lighting to superdome as power was lost in New Orleans

Levees along Industrial Canal explosively break causing rapid flooding - some homes completely submerged

FEMA report of oak trees blocking paths for search and rescue teams in Ninth Ward - New Orleans and stationary flood waters preventing aid trucks entering

ABC correspondant, unaware of broken levees, just reported overtopping - New York Times headline on 30th read "New Orleans is one lucky big mess"

Depleated police force sturggles as 249 officers abandoned their posts during the hurricane

Toilets in superdome back up and overflow - FEMA 'unaware' of people also stranded in New Orleans Convention Centre 

Sandbags flown in by Army corps of engineers to block 17th Street Canal floodwall but unsuccessful as bags were too small

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KATRINA 2005 - After the storm

Helicopters carry sick and wounded to Louis Armstrong Airport which became makeshift hospital

Local efforts - Mike Hennek, owner of Palmer Bus Service, started local relief effort collecting food supplies to caravan down to Lousisana in buses and trucks

Wallmart worked with Red Cross to send water, dry food and chainsaws (question over where the gov. officials were?!)

Sept 1st - Good Morning America, Bush says "I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees" - experts warned people 

Takes 3 days to evacuate all 20000 people from Superdome - National Guard evacuates the convention center in 24hours 

17th Street Canal successfully plugged with bigger sandbags and water is pumped out of New Orleans into Lake Pontchartrain - envrionmental concerns over pollution

Donations for Katrina relief topped $1billion - biggest outpouring since 9/11

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KATRINA 2005 - Criticisms

FEMA didn't fulfill promises made prior to the storm - Jefferson Parish expected gasoline and diesal shipments aswell as GEN packs to help work the sewage system

Michael Brown, FEMA director, forced to resign - accused of deliberately slowing down efforts in an effort to ensure that all assistance and relief workers were coordinated properly

However, FEMA placed the blame at the local state level - no coordination between Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco - called Louisiana dysfunctional 

President Bush criticised for not returning to Washington quick enough and was the first top official to accept blame for Katrina crisis

People of America questioning whether government at every level is prepared to respond to major disasters - after 9/11 congress gave millions of dollars to improve evacuation plans yet New York still relies on a vulnerable public transport system, and in the event of a catastrophic earthquake, LA has no plans to evacuate millions of people or to house them.

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NARGIS 2008 - Prior to the storm

Indian weather systems warned the cyclone was going to hit Burma 48 hours before it did

There was no adequate housing or protection in towns - houses were bamboo or thatched 

Emergency services were not prepared - Burmese army and police were trained to impose internal order, not in disaster relief

The government knew of the cyclone and did not warn the areas in danger - they had no way of knowing as they didn't have radios or televisions etc 

The rest of the world were ready to use the 2004 Indian tsunami to deal with a similar situation

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NARGIS 2008 - After the storm

The UN and Red Cross declared 2.5million were in urgent need of assistance 

More than two weeks later, relief had only reached 25% of people in need

Delays in international help forced aid workers to gather supplies from local markets - as a result prices were inflated which impacted local Burmese people too - this continued for 2-3 weeks until aid began to arrive from outside the country

Bangladesh and India were some of the first countries allowed to help 

Burma denied Indian search and rescue teams and media access to critical areas

Thailand sent $100 000 in supplies including thirty tonnes of medical supplies

Mercy Malaysia trained 180 doctors in Yangon for deployment in the Irrawaddy Delta

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NARGIS 2008 - Criticism

Whilst the junta's slow reaction may be understandable (Burma had never seen a catastrophe like Nargis before) their reaction during the aftermath has been criticised heavily:

The military regime made self-reliance and independence central in their propaganda - so to admit they were helpless in a disaster would be a terrible loss of face (even though the alternative - more deaths and popular hatred for the SPDC - would undermine their legitimacy in the longer run)

Also, the arrival of foreign aid workers in the Delta and Rangoon would simply expose how poor and underdeveloped Burma has become under military rule - a great opportunity to destabalise an already tense political situation

The SPDC can use foreign aid to widen the gap between their supporters and the rest of the pop. by diverting relief supplies - Ironic developement as the SPDC routinly accuse the old British colonial regime of dividing the Burmese pop. whilst they became rich on the natural resources

Governement (to keep support) has to provide 400 000 members of the armed forces and their families with basic necessities - whilst making no effort to make them available to the general pop. - explains reports that supplies were being held in army storehouses whilst the people in the delta recieved poor quality rice. 

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