Natural Disasters





Natural Disasters

Question 1

  1. After hitting the Jersey shore, the storm spread the seawater into the highways and seawalls of the low-lying streets therefore inundating the tunnels, which subsequently threatened the safety of large populations of people within the subways owing to the presence of the electrical systems that were also damaged (Matveenok n.p).
  2. Due to the strength of the hurricane, the structure of surrounding skyscrapers was threatened as they creaked. This led to the destruction of a crane, which was toppled over 74 stories at the Midtown area. Significant damage also occurred when a large tanker ship was sunk to the ground at the Staten Island location (Matveenok n.p). The South Ferry Station in Manhattan was also destroyed leading to a costly loss of $545 million, which alongside human lives loss and private property damages crippled the financial system within the city.
  3. Airlines within the region experienced large profit loss due to the disaster. Due to the hurricane and its interruption with the infrastructure systems, over 15,000 flights were cancelled internationally due to power outages (Tollefson n.p). Additionally, this was experienced at most gas station within the New Jersey and New York city which were closed down following the occurrence of the disaster that also affected the fuel supply chain.
  4. Superstorm Sandy has been categorized as one of the most expensive natural disasters ever-recorded (Matveenok n.p). In terms of property damage, the estimated losses were worth $20 billion whereas loss business was approximated at $30 billion.
  5. The cost of damage imparted by the hurricane in Jamaica totaled to $100 million primarily due to the damage of property. Some of the problems experienced included electricity disruption and food shortages whereby 200,000 people were rendered homeless (Tollefson n.p). The damage was severe in Puerto Rico where 15,000 homes were swept away leading to the costs summing to $ 2 billion. In Bahamas, the total damage caused by the storm cost $ 100 million.

Question 2

At first, Superstorm Sandy developed as a low-pressure system due to the presence of a ridge at the north of Jamaica. Two elements that contributed to its strengthening were the warm water and low wind shear at the north (Tollefson n.p). According to Martin Hoerling, a meteorologist at NOAA also attributed global warming to significantly leading to its strengthening as it facilitated to the rise in sea temperatures at the United States East Coast (Matveenok n.p). The temperatures were 3 °C above the normal temperatures thus leading to increasing water retention that allows for high rainfall levels and stronger storms. An additional factor to consider was the blockage of hurricane by a high-pressure ridge at Greenland, which led to the causation of a doubling back due to the negative oscillation created at the North Atlantic and its combination with the Artic front further increasing the jet stream.

Question 3

As previously elaborated, several factors led to the strengthening of the storm. In addition, some of these factors also contributed to the enlarging of the subsequent storm that hit the New Jersey Coast. Firstly, due to the creation of the North Atlantic oscillation, the jet stream doubled on itself at the East Coast due to the formation of a kink (Matveenok n.p). The storm became much stronger and this was further worsened with its combination with the Artic front that stemmed from the blocking pattern observed over Greenland. Lastly, due to the increase of the New Jersey cost sea level by almost a foot, it led to the increase in the storm surge.

Question 4

Lower Manhattan experienced worse after effects from the hurricane due to its low sea levels that led to most parts being inundated with floodwaters.

Question 5

Firstly, there is need for the city planners to protect the eastern and southern American coasts through the establishment of stronger storm surge barriers similar to those in Thames in order to avoid devastating loss of human lives and property in the wake of extreme natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy. The idea is substantially effective as it also facilitates transportation by serving as a bridge for vehicles and trains and acting as a major storm surge defense as elaborated by Malcolm Bowman, the leading counsel at State University of New York and an ex[pert in storm surge modeling (Matveenok n.p). Additionally, as reiterated by the program director of the Nature Conservancy, Adam Freed, through the developed of a storm surge barrier, it will provide a holistic approach to natural disaster management through addressing pressing concerns such as electric engineered systems and infrastructure repositioning as well as serve as a sustainable solution in long term risk management planning. .

Question 6

Currently, the predictions made regarding the hurricane season indicate that 2016 and 2017 will experience some of the most dangerous and active hurricanes observed in the past decade. They will also cause a high number of landfalls as compared to the 2004 and 2005 season (“The Most Accurate Predictions – Hurricane – El Nino – Climate” n.p). The contributive factor that will facilitate the developed of these storms and hurricanes as elaborated by the Global Weather Oscillations is ‘climate pulse hurricane enhancement cycles’ that will create favorable conditions for these natural disasters (Dilley n.p).

Works Cited

“The Most Accurate Predictions – Hurricane – El Nino – Climate.” The Most Accurate Predictions – Hurricane – El Nino – Climate. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

Dilley, David. “Strong 2016-2017 Atlantic Hurricane Seasons Predicted – GWO”. PRWeb. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

Matveenok, Alexandr. “National Geographic Superstorm New York What Really Happened.” Youtube, uploaded by GWO, 27 Dec 2012,

Tollefson, Jeff. “Natural Hazards: New York City Versus The Sea”. Scientific American. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Jan. 2017.

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