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Natural Disasters and Crisis in North America

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Crisis in North America. Natural disasters wherever they occur take the lives of many people and cost millions of dollars to rebuild the towns. Forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions are all very destructive. As they impact on vast areas the losses incurred economically are huge in addition to the loss of lives of the people.

These disasters mainly depend upon the geographic location of a place. For example in North America the forest fires occur in the west coast region where the climate is dry and there are plenty of shrubs in that region. Hurricanes usually occur in the Gulf of Mexico. California state experiences the landslides. The plate boundaries in the west coast and Hawaii are susceptible to Earth quake and volcanic eruptions.

Natural Disasters and Crisis in North America

Crisis in North America

Landslides:

Landslides are usually caused due to the downward and upward movement of the layers of Earth on a slope generally a mountain. This may happen because of falling or sliding rock or flowing soil. Earthquakes, heavy precipitation or floods may also cause these landslides to occur. These may cause damage to the houses that are near the slope or block a road or sometimes causes the loss of life. Landslides are very common in the US and are present in all the states causing a damage of 1 to 2 billion dollars and taking 25 lives yearly. In addition to this the landslides blocks the highways, structures used for fisheries, dampens tourism, mining, timber harvesting etc.

The Thistle landslide of 1983 was the costliest landslide till date in the US. The direct and indirect expenses incurred due to this landslide went up to 400 million dollars. It was actually caused due to the high precipitation experienced by Utah in 1982 and 1983.

Forest Fire:

Forest fire is caused mainly due to drought and dry climate and high temperatures. The lack of precipitation and hot climates cause the ponds and streams to dry. When the trees get dried up the people cut them for wood. Their inefficient practices of cutting wood result in lot of saw dust and waste to pile up in the area. This when tried to burn with a wrong procedure sets the forest ablaze. The serious forest fire earlier left the people in distress. The cyclonic storm which associated with the fire made it even worse. These storms travelled a speed of 80 miles/hour and made the lives of the people horrible. They had to leave their homes and farms. The fire and the wind together destroyed everything that came in their way. Many people died of asphyxiation. Some who were lucky could save themselves by spending time in rivers and ponds.

If the damage caused by this fire is huge the consequences are also worst. There was no plant life in that region for almost twenty six years. The region did not support any other life either. This made the government realize the necessity for better forest policies to avoid such great damage in future.

Hurricanes:

Hurricane Katrina is assessed as the costliest hurricane in the history of the US. The hurricane lasted for 8 days and left the region in ruins. The winds blew at a speed of 175 miles per hour. The destruction cost reached 84 billion dollars. The deaths recorded were 1833 but many more were missing. The Bahamas, South Florida, Cuba, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle and most of the eastern coast of North America has been hit by this hurricane and damaged. The hurricane covered an area of 90,000 square miles on the eastern coast and three million people suffered the damage. They were left without even a home and electricity.

Overcame crisis in North America

The US government spent 105 billion dollars for rebuilding the Katrina affected regions of the eastern coast. But the destruction of the Gulf coast’s highway infrastructures, oil platforms, refineries could not be restored. The vast forest area of Mississippi was destroyed. All these indirect costs increase the damage of another 5 billion dollars.

Though there are technologies to identify the natural disaster there is no technology to stop them. So the after effects of the disaster should be borne by the people, how advanced the country may be.

To rebuild the towns after the occurrence of a disaster is a huge task and it requires large amount of money and effort. The charity organizations then join hands to supply food, medical help to the people in the victimized places and try to rebuild their lives with the donations they receive from the generous people all around the world.


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