Hurricane Katrina with winds of 160 mph (255 km/h) on August 29, 2005 at 0045 UTC.
Duration Aug. 23 - 31, 2005
Highest sustained winds 175 mph (280 km/h)
Damages $25-120 billion (Likely to be the costliest Atlantic hurricane of all time)
Fatalities 1,014 direct, 577 indirect (with some estimates well over 10,000)
Areas affected Bahamas, South Florida, Louisiana (especially Greater New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle, most of eastern North America
Part of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season
1. J.P.JYOTHIRMAI (III/IV I.C.E.)
2 .V.N.RAMYA (II/IV I.C.E.)
VIGNAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE,
Early in the morning of August 30, 2005, breaches in three places of the levee system on the Lake Pontchartrain side of New Orleans caused a second and even greater disaster. Heavy flooding covered almost the entire city over a sustained period, forcing the total evacuation of over a million people. The city was now uninhabitable with 80% of its area below sea level.
On September 3, 2005 US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff described the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as "probably the worst catastrophe, or set of catastrophes" in the country's history, referring to the hurricane itself plus the flooding of New Orleans.
Hurricane Katrina may be the deadliest hurricane in the United States since the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which is estimated to have killed about 8,000 people. It may also be the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Mitch in 1998 killed 18,000. Damage was reported in at least 12 states. Hurricane Katrina will be remembered for its vast devastation of the Gulf Coast regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and especially for the massive flooding of the historic city of New Orleans.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a lucid statement on August 23 saying that Tropical Depression Twelve had formed over the southeastern Bahamas. The naming and numbering rules at the NHC require a system to keep the same identity if it dies, then regenerates, which would normally have caused this storm to remain numbered Ten. However, the NHC gave this storm a new number because a second disturbance merged with the remains of Tropical Depression Ten on August 20, and there is no way to tell whether the remnants of T.D. Ten should be credited with this storm The system was upgraded to Tropical Storm Katrina on the morning of August 24. Katrina became the fourth hurricane of the 2005 season on August 25 and made landfall later that day around 6:30 p.m. between Hallandale Beach and Aventura, Florida.
Hurricane Katrina on a NASA sea surface temperature map.
Eye of Hurricane Katrina seen from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft. Image taken on August 28, 2005, before the storm made landfall.
Â¢ By hurricane intensity
Katrina was the third most intense hurricane to hit the United States in recorded history. In the Atlantic Basin it achieved the status of the fourth lowest central pressure ever recorded.
Â¢ By cost
Many estimates predict that Katrina will be the costliest storm in history to strike the United States.
Â¢ By death toll
Katrina was the second-deadliest named storm to hit the US, and may be declared the deadliest when the final toll is known.
Â¢ Other USA hurricanes
Katrina has been compared with Hurricane Camille because both were major hurricanes which made landfall in the same general area. Katrina has also drawn comparisons to Hurricane Betsy, because of its similar track and potential effects on New Orleans.
Katrina storm track August 26 at 11 PM
Accusations of price gouging:
Hundreds of reports have poured in to Louisiana and other authorities regarding sharp increases in prices on products like gasoline and bottled water, or of hotels failing to honor reservations in favor of accepting larger offers for rooms by desperate travelers.
Effects outside the immediate region:
Â¢ Most experts anticipate that Katrina will be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Some early predictions in damages exceeded $100 billion, not accounting for potential catastrophic damage inland due to flooding (which would increase the total even more), or damage to the economy caused by interruption of oil supply (much of the U.S. energy operations are in the Gulf Coast region), and exports of commodities such as grain. Other predictions placed the minimum insured damage at around $12.5 billion (the insured figure is normally doubled to account for uninsured damages in the final cost). There are also effects on ocean shipping, the casino industry and tourism.
Â¢ International oil prices are rising ,a rise of about 3% since Katrina made landfall.
Space Shuttle program:
Â¢ The hurricane has passed over the Michoud Assembly Facility and materially interrupted the production of external tanks for the Space Shuttle, leading to a further interruption of the shuttle flights Evan McCollum, a Lockheed Martin Space Systems spokesman in Denver has reported that "there is water leakage and potential water damage in the buildings, but there's no way to tell how much at this point" .The next Shuttle flight, STS-121, could be postponed to May or later during the second half of 2006 .
Â¢ Global warming has been suggested by some studies as being a factor for the influx of increasingly stronger hurricanes, including Katrina.Other scientists acknowledge the possible long term effects of global warming on cyclonogenesis, but attribute the strength of Hurricane Katrina to a 12 year cycle.
Â¢ Another environmental factor in the extent of damage caused by Katrina has been the destruction of wetlands in the affected regions, which traditionally have a mitigating effect on hurricane damage acting as a sponge to slow floodwaters.
Â¢ Untreated sewage, decomposing bodies and livestock as well as a complicated mixture of toxic chemicals and oils originating from both domestic, agricultural and industrial sources are still mixing into the floodwaters creating a serious health risk across the whole of the flooded area. The immediate threats include disease contagions being spread from decomposing bodies, both by water and by animal vectors such as mosquitoes. Longer term threats will reveal themselves as the floodwaters recede, leaving behind them a biochemical residuum which could severely impact both surface and groundwaters as well as soils and urban environments. An immediate challenge is how to safely dispose of the vast quantities of polluted water inside New Orleans. Many news reports currently state that the water inside New Orleans will simply be pumped straight back into Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico; the effects of this kind of action remain extremely unclear and could result in serious of contamination of both of these water bodies.
1. Katrina from NOAA/GOES 12. Courtesy NOAA/NESDIS: http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/ 2005/08/28T1515Z).