Written by Naina Mahajan, a grade 6 student.
Liam Neeson, an Irish actor once aptly said, “For all of nature’s wonder and beauty, it is also hostile and unpredictable.” In this case, nature was rather hostile.
Recently, a devastating hurricane, Ida, struck parts of North America, causing huge damage and loss of life.
So, what are hurricanes?
A hurricane is a really strong wind that’s often accompanied by rain, and can cause life-threatening damage to buildings, and therefore, to people. They are called by different names in different regions, hurricanes being the name for them in the Atlantic regions. They are rapidly rotating storms, with low-pressure centers, called eyes. The eye of the storm is the calmest part.
Fun Fact: Do you know the difference between hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones?
They are all the same thing! They are ALL tropical storms, but are called by different names based on the locations where they occur!
- Hurricanes take place in the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific.
- Typhoons occur in the Northwest Pacific Ocean
- Cyclones take place in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
Now about hurricane Ida
Hurricane Ida was a hurricane that formed on August 26, 2021, and dissipated on September 4, 2021. Hurricane Ida is a Category 4 major hurricane. In simple terms, that means it’s very bad news. Well, sort of.
There are five categories of hurricanes, Category 4 being the second-most severe. Wind speeds of a Category 4 hurricane range from 209 km per hour to 251 km per hour. So, the wind speed of all hurricanes under this category comes within the range of 209 – 251 km per hour
Hurricane Ida was so severe, it affected many places including Venezuela, Colombia, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Gulf Coast of the United States (mainly Louisiana), the East Coast of the United States (especially the Northeastern United States), and Atlantic Canada.
It destroyed many homes and caused about $50.04 billion worth of damage. It has killed around 82 people since the first landfall it caused in Louisiana, and many places are still without power and electricity because of the hurricane.
There are currently rescue operations being put into place for the evacuation of people who were affected by the hurricane.
What can people do in case a hurricane strikes?
There are certain times of the year when there are rather high chances of hurricanes striking. In India, the main cyclone (the Indian and South Pacific name for hurricanes) season is normally from July to November, with a peak in late August/early September.
Here are a couple of the preparatory measures that can be taken in case of a hurricane:
- Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them close to every phone and on the refrigerator. Also, have them on your cell phone.
- Have an emergency supply kit ready, in case you need to suddenly evacuate. This includes a first-aid kit and other things you might need, like flashlights, emergency food, water, medicine, etc.
- Besides all this, one of the most important rules during a hurricane is: to stay indoors. Keep away from glass windows and such, because if they break, the debris could fly into your house and injure someone. Do not go outside, even if it seems calm, because sometimes the weather gets calm in the middle of a storm (perhaps because the eye of the storm is passing through) and then quickly gets bad again.
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