Hurricane Irma: Atlantic’s seasonal hurricane devastates Florida

Developing countries need to set up effective disaster management centres to face natural calamities

The Atlantic hurricane season is the ongoing formation of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin, and hurricane Irma is a part of it.

Hurricane Irma is a category 5 declared hurricane that struck the State of Florida recently leaving behind i marks of destruction and then further moved on to Cuba passing by as a category 2 hurricane.With no power left in majority of Florida, roofs of houses have been ripped apart, fallen trees everywhere and not to mention deaths of many people,the death toll is up to 12 in Florida and a total of 49 people have died in other places such as Barbuda, Barbados, Saint Martin, Anguilla, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1 and is going to end by November 30. Hurricane Irma began to develop on August 30 and was initially a category 2 hurricane, but its intensity increased in the following days and it became a category 5 hurricane on September 5 within a span of few days. It has been reported to be the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide so far in 2017. Majority of the people had evacuated and were waiting in shelters for the hurricane to pass.

What are categories of hurricanes?

Hurricanes are marked in categories 1,2,3,4 and 5 depending upon their intensity. When a tropical storm has winds up to 39-73 mph it becomes a hurricane of category 1. A category 1 hurricane does not cause that much damage as compared to other category hurricanes. As the intensity increases they are given categories as 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Category 2 wind speed is of 96-110 mph

Category 3 is considered to be a major hurricane, with wind speed of 111-130 mph.

Category 4 can cause high level damage, and has wind speed up to 131-155 mph.

A category 5 hurricane causes catastrophic damage. It is the most disastrous and extreme form of hurricanes with wind speed higher than 157 mph (252 km/h). Between 1924 and 2017 only 32 hurricanes have been recorded as category 5 hurricanes.

Although Irma was a category 5 hurricane but due to the United States having extremely developed satellite and weather forecast system the authorities were well informed and prepared to handle the situation, which resulted in less casualties as most of the people had been evacuated earlier.

I believe in the developing countries there is a dire need to set up effective disaster management centers to face the natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes.

The writer is a student of Islamic International University Islamabad, doing BS in English programme.

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