Chapter 2 - 2005 Storm Surge by Hurricane Katrina
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AbstractHurricane Katrina attacked the United States in 2005, causing particularly catastrophic damage to the city of New Orleans and the coast of Louisiana and Alabama states. The storm surge generated by the hurricane caused over 1,800 casualties and huge economic damage, flooding large areas of New Orleans and adjacent cities. The author of the chapter led a team of researchers in a field survey that attempted to draw lessons from the disaster in order to improve storm surge protection in other locations around the world. Three general characteristics of the disaster could be ascertained through these field surveys: (1) The disaster affected a large area and required long distance evacuation, which involved people crossing state boundaries, sometimes by a distance of 300 km or more, 2) it was a high magnitude disaster which stopped the functioning of New Orleans for a long time; (3) the consequences of the disaster continued for a long period of time, during which many of the affected could not return to their original places of residence. However, the disaster patterns experienced by residents were different from place to place. After a variety of damage types were analyzed in different areas the author concludes that it appears to be necessary that disaster prevention plans for tropical cyclone hazard areas are based on multifarious conditions, including local topography and the level of preparedness and awareness of residents in a given region.

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