CASE STUDY SUMMARY_SHIRVINSKI

For my case study, I chose to study Hurricane Sandy particularly the states, New Jersey and New York, since the hurricane was a massive event. In addition, it is well-documented and attracted a lot of media coverage. It related well to preparation and mitigation and was a wakeup call for those states regarding climate change and proper mitigation. 

Satellite image of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey on October 29, 2012. The hurricane had traveled along the East Coast and made landfall in New Jersey. The storm was stalled over the New Jersey area by a high pressure storm which caused it to sit over the area for 2 days. Sandy was typically considered a “post-tropical cyclone”, not a hurricane, but that did not stop it from bringing mass destruction. Another thing to note is the size of the storm system. The system stretched to be 1,000 miles wide which is 3 times larger than Hurricane Katrina. The main damage of the storm was caused by the storm surges. The storms arrival coincided with high tide, making the storm surge higher than expected. The storm surge flooded way beyond the boundaries predicted, causing immense amounts of damage. 

The storm killed 43 people in the continental United States, but 172 people all together. Many of those deaths are due to the rapid flooding which occurred in New York and New Jersey. As previously stated, the extensive amount of flooding was not expected. The population was prepared and expected the storm, but not that extent. Coastal and urban areas were inundated with flood water, debris and sand. The urbanization of New York City plays a role because there are limited spaces where floodwater can be absorbed, so city officials had to pump out the floodwater. New York City has power restored quickly and floodwater and debris removed fast, however the rebuilding process has taken a while for those coastal areas. Articles stated that there were still areas being rebuild six years later after the hurricane. 

 A coastal town in New Jersey taken over by debris after the surge has gone.

The states and individuals affected received funding from the government in relief packages. In 2013, Congress passed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act to ensure for better communication and recovery times for the next major disaster. There has been more of a focus on climate change as it has been proven that the storm was intensified because of climate change. The areas affected have spend time and money strengthening their mitigation actions like building high seawalls. It will be interesting to see what the next storm of this magnitude does and if those mitigation actions and preparation will help. 

 

CASE STUDY SUMMARY_JONES

The Great Hanshin earthquake, or more commonly known as the Kobe earthquake, occurred January 17, 1995 at around 5:46 am local time. It took place in the southern part of the island, in the southern part of the Hyogoken-Nanbu region of Japan. The earthquake caused a staggering $100 billion in damages, killing roughly 6434 people, (although you can find many varying numbers of deaths), injuring upwards of 43,000 and destroying roughly 152,000 buildings. This was on of the most damaging earthquakes in the post war era, with destruction being widespread and catastrophic. While the island had a history of earthquakes, the population were generally not prepared for a earthquake of this level of damage. Most of the earthquakes in which major damage had been endured, happened in the mid-1800s or earlier, meaning that a lot has changed in between then and the 1995 earthquake. Most of the prior earthquakes did not happen in large cities like Kobe, and it had been so long since a truly devastating earthquake like it had occurred, that the population wasn’t as ready as they should have been. this was before the widespread use of cellphones, which increased the disconnect between the decision makers in Tokyo and the people who are being affected, in addition to the fact that there were very slow decisions that made reacting in time impossible, in fact, it was reported that the Japanese mafia were among the first on the scene offering assistance. Japan has learned a lot since this quake, it has adapted to be able to respond quicker and use more advanced technology to respond when a quake happens. In addition it upgraded its building codes and redid a lot of old buildings that needed to be redone. In a 2004 earthquake fewer people lost lives however there were still destroyed buildings and landslides. It was however in rural Japan however the response was much different there are no clear protocols in the 1995 earthquake which caused a lot of issues. after the 1995 Kobe earthquake the fire police and the ambulance brigades were interconnected so that neighboring cities could come and help if needed. The immediate response is much better in Japan now as shown also in the 2011 earthquake hitting Tōhoku. the response was much faster and the government reached out to many different resources in order to better help the people on the ground

CASE STUDY SUMMARY_Fennel

On May 22, 2011 an EF5 tornado made direct contact with the City of Joplin and the surrounding Jasper County in Missouri. I chose to study this event as it was significant in bringing about swift reforms to hazard mitigation and preparation. The response to this event was similar to that of Katrina from a hurricane. Differences between the two events are primarily in duration, intensity, and area of destruction. This was something I was unable to report on in my case study but found very interesting.

Prior to 2011, the citizens of Joplin were wildly unprepared for any tornados to occur. Before 2011, the last EF5 tornado recorded in Missouri was in 1957 (F5 Raskin Heights) and a distant memory that did not bring about any changes to mitigation for tornados. Furthermore, perceived notions that tornados would not make direct contact with Joplin were aided by the statistic that hundreds of EF2 or lower tornados had hit the surrounding area without impacting Joplin. Only 1 EF2 or greater tornado was recorded in Joplin in the 50 years prior to the May 22, 2011 EF5. When the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued severe thunderstorm warnings in the days prior to May 22 no preparations were made and no building codes had been changed since 1988. Additionally, public perception of the dangers from tornados was greatly reduced due to assumptions of false alarms via the tornado siren system. This system was used once a year and went off twice in 3 minute intervals prior to the tornado entering Joplin at 5:11 P.M. CDT. This resulted in no immediate preparation and initial cues to leave the area and evacuate came from word of mouth rather than officials. NIST findings on the Joplin tornado found that no community shelters, safe rooms, or tornado-resistant buildings had been constructed in Joplin and Jasper County leaving the population of just over 20,000 highly vulnerable to the hazards present from the tornado.

LP DAAC - A View from Above: The Aftermath of a Tornado

Above is a photo of the destruction in Joplin a day after the tornado hit. Further findings in the NIST study found that 96% of the 161 deaths resulted from blunt force trauma and  from windspeed associated with EF3 or below tornados. This is significant because it does not reflect that the damage was caused by the labeled EF5 that the tornado reached. Below is a photo of the destruction path with associated windspeed for a better visual of the tornados progress from an EF2 to an EF5 as it progressed through Joplin.

The result of this direct path by an EF5 tornado had dire consequences for a population unprepared for such an event. Critical care facilities, first responders, and communications were all impacted in a way that slowed recovery in the immediate aftermath. Most importantly, the hospital in Joplin suffered damages that resulted in the death of 3 individuals in the ICU. Critical care facilities as well as public buildings such as schools did not have shelters or adequate codes to prevent the damages from the tornado.

The recovery of Joplin was due to a hands off approach by officials and the government as the public and private sector took over rebuilding and clearing Joplin. Funding from the federal government and thousands of volunteers lead to a robust recovery that could be observed as similar to that of the involvement in the private sector after Katrina. A statistic that I found amazing was the involvement of a recorded 92,000 registered volunteers by November of 2011 that contributed over 500,000 hours of community service. Other notable contributions included donations from organizations such as the Red Cross and actors such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt whoo donated $500,000. Schools and critical care facilities were reopened within months and entered 2012 with new codes that improved design and safety. After clearing 1.5 million cubic feet of debris, the public began to rebuild with the newfound knowledge to place storm shelters in their homes. Overall, the lessons learned from the May 22, 2011 Joplin tornado provided can example to the Mid West to increase readiness for storms by improving systems that were in place or by enacting them.

CASE STUDY SUMMARY_HARFORD

My case study is on the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. I decided to choose this event to focus on because it was the second largest eruption of the 20th century and having studied hazards for the past couple of years – I had never looked into this one and I was interested to do so.

Figure 1: Pyroclastic flows from Mount Pinatubo June 15 1991 https://mb.com.ph/2021/06/15/looking-back-at-mt-pinatubos-1991-eruption/

In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo, a once dormant stratovolcano for over 5 centuries became active once again following the Luzon 7.7 magnitude earthquake a year prior. Over the course of a few days before the eruption, magma reached the surface of Mount Pinatubo by which sulphur dioxide clouds had begun to erupt and a lava dome had formed due to a loss of the once contained gas. This activity of gas-charged magma indicated a cataclysmic eruption was imminent and by June 15th this is what occurred. More than a cubic mile of material and an ash cloud of 22 miles rose into the air and continued to do so until the following morning. As a result of the eruption, a typhoon (which blew the ash in all directions – in seven days it reached the Galapagos Islands), high speed pyroclastic flows (figure 1), lahars and ash flows were created and remained a hazardous threat to the people in the region for several years. For example, a sulphuric aerosol cloud remained in the atmosphere and circled the earth for several years – up to one year after the eruption the earth was in a period of climatic cooling by 2.3°C and resulted in a counterbalance of global warming (by 1994 most aerosols had gone). Moreover, lahars remained a great threat to the areas surrounding Mount Pinatubo for decades after because the ash deposits would remobilise during monsoon and typhoon weather and result in vast downwards debris flow.

Furthermore, in terms of preparation and mitigation strategies, given that the last time Mount Pinatubo erupted was around 600 years prior – the Philippine government reacted reasonably quickly and efficiently in terms of evacuation. Figure 2 shows the mapped-out danger zones where people are the most vulnerable which was around 40km away from Mount Pinatubo and everyone in these zones (~331,000 people) was transported to evacuation camps. 657 people died in 1991 and 184 were injured – the numbers increased with the years due to remobilisation of lahars – however half of these deaths were due to collapsing roof tops from wet tephra containing many people who refused to evacuate.

Figure 2: Map of the danger zones surrounding Mount Pinatubo: https://pubs.usgs.gov/pinatubo/tayag/

In terms of recovery, the Government responded quickly with rehabilitation and reconstruction plans which included foreign aid from countries such as the UK and USA alongside support from private sectors including NGOs such as the WHO and UNICEF. This included construction of a “megadike” to control and protect remobilising lahars in future monsoon seasons. 25 years on in 2016, there was a review on the area, and it proved that the mitigation post eruption has been successful and it is evident that the preparation in terms of evacuation before the eruption was effective and helped save hundreds of thousands of lives.

CASE STUDY SUMMARY_SWISHER

 

The 1900 Storm: Galveston, Texas

1900 Galveston hurricane - Wikipedia

 

I chose the Galveston hurricane of the 1900 because it is the deadliest natural disaster to hit in America.  I did not know a whole lot about it and I have enjoyed digging deeper into the events that took place in Galveston.

The Galveston hurricane of the 1900 is to this day the deadliest natural disaster to happen in the Untied States.   The town of Galveston, Texas is a barrier island off the Texas coast established in 1838.  This town became more and more popular resulting in around 37,784 moving into the area.  Unfortunately this are did have a record of tropical storms and hurricanes which was hard on the town because it was a little less then 9 feet above sea level.  This resulted in the town asking for the state for money to put in breakwaters, a barrier built out in a body of water to protect a coast.  The state refused so in 1878 Galveston planted cedar trees on the coastline, and filled in areas with up to 9 feet of sand to better protect them from these massive storms.  By September 4th, 1900, the weather station in Galveston received it’s first notice of a hurricane coming northward from Cuba.  It was classified as a tropical storm at this point.  By September 8th, this tropical storm turned quickly into a category 4 hurricane.  The wind speeds recorded reached up to 80mph winds with gusts of 100mph.  It is still debated how fast the wind was blowing as most of the gauges flew from weather building.  Many scientist believe the wind speed reached up to 120mps as there was many heavy debris such as bricks flying at a horizontal angle through the air. To make thing worse, there was a 15.7 foot storm surge that flooded the town.  Due to the combination of buildings collapsing and the land flooding, around 6,000 citizens were pronounced dead mainly from drowning after being pinned under the debris.

This population was aware of flooding  which they did their best to prevent.  However, hurricanes were all too common for this population.  Advisory’s were announced on radio for citizens to move to higher grounds but many ignored this.  There was over 20 million dollars in damage, if you compare that to the value in 2009, that was around 516 million dollars.  Many states did events to help raise money for the island and donated around 1.25 million dollars.  It took the town of Galveston around 6 months before the last body they found.

After this tragic disaster, the community first developed a new form of municipal government.  Then they set forth in putting in a sea wall along the coast line in 1904.  This wall started off as 3 miles long, 17 feet above sea level, with the base as 16ft wide and 5 ft wide at the top. This sea is now currently 10 miles long but has the original width and height.  Before the rebuilding process, the city decided to raise the cities level to more than 16 feet in some areas.  Due to 2/3s of the houses and businesses being destroyed this effort was not as difficult as it seemed was finished in 1912.  Eventually the first building codes and regulations where put into place in 1914.  The wind load section made building required to resist a horizontal wind speed of 30 pounds per square foot.  The roofing however has no restrictions unless there was a building that had a height of 100 feet and a width four times the height.

August 16, 1915 another hurricane follows in the previous 1900 hurricane.  This one was similar as it too was a category 4 hurricane with over 100mps winds. The water from this was 3 inches higher than the 1900 hurricane.  All the new efforts in preventing a horrible disaster paid off. Only 11 people died from this Hurricane.  While people were safe inside the sea wall, 90 percent buildings outside the wall were demolished.

CASE STUDY SUMMARY_SOBHI

I chose to do a case study on the 2010 eruption of Mount Merapi, Indonesia. Before I chose this topic, I knew that I wanted my case study to be about a volcano eruption, because I have always thought they were super cool. After doing some research on volcano eruptions from the past, I came across Mount Merapi, which fascinated me with its stratovolcano shape and the fact is the most active volcano in Indonesia. After doing some more research I learned a lot more about it and it got more and more intriguing.

The eruption of Mount Merapi in 2010 was a level 4. It was caused by the subduction of the Indo-Australian plate underneath the Eurasian plate. The volcano stands on a destructive plate margin at a subduction zone, the Indo-Australian plate is dense, so it sank under the Eurasian plate edge which has a lower density. In turn, the temperature-pressure rises, rocks begin to release water, magma rises then, boom an eruption occurs.

The eruption left an aggrieved memory for the history of volcano eruptions in Indonesia. As a result of this event, a total of 353 people were killed and 577 people were injured. Residents were not very aware of this type of hazard or the risk they faced. Many Similar events had occurred before in this same location, yet that did not prepare the residents at all. A man whose family was a victim of the disaster states “After the 2010 tragedy, Merapi residents came to acknowledge they had lived alongside the 2,914m volcano for so long that they had become dangerously inured to its threat.” Also, many did not have the proper means to aid them in escaping this event. An example of this is of a family who during this eruption gave up on trying to escape and decided to remain at home and die together because they only had one motorbike that could not transport their family of six in a single trip.

Mount Merapi's eruptions - Photos - The Big Picture - Boston.com

The whole event lasted for about one month and caused Volcanic bombs and heat clouds, spread over ten kilometers from Mount Merapi, Pyroclastic flows advanced three kilometers down the mountainsides which were greatly populated, ash traveled 30 km away and covered almost everything in its path like the village of Bronggang, all roads were completely jammed with people in their vehicles trying to escape the disaster, later heavy rain brought about lahars that traveled into towns and destroyed bridges.

Eventually, everything was restored and back to normal, and this time even better because this time they had better Roads and bridges for evacuation, dams built in valleys to block lahars, and A newly enhanced warning system. Also, the government and non-government groups in Indonesia started a variety of training sessions in communities to help people be more prepared and better at evacuating. After this recovery phase, the residents claimed that they became much more aware of the possible disasters around them and their risks. Suwarni, a woman who manages a gift shop on Mount Merapi said, “Now, even if there is a small sign of some activity from the volcano, people react quickly.”

CASE STUDY SUMMARY_DANKO

I chose to do my case study on the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire. I remembered hearing news stories about the fire, so I decided to look into it when it came up in a list of the most devastating wildfires in US history.

The wildfire was started on June 28th of 2013, with the official cause being lightning. The initial reports did not view the fire as an immediate threat, so suppression efforts were put off until the next day. Unfortunately, the circumstances were prime for massive wildfires. The area was (and had been) in extreme drought for a significant period of time (figure 1 shows the drought conditions days before the blaze), the weather was hot, and the relative humidity was low. The terrain was made up of grasses, and low shrubbery, also known for strong fires.  Sometime during the blaze, a thunderstorm system with microburst ended up drastically changing wind speed and direction. This is when major tragedy struck. On June 30th, 19 firefighters from the granite mountain hotshots were killed after a sequence of miscommunication and poor planning. Their deaths made the wildfire one of the deadliest wildfires, with the most firefighter deaths in one event since 9/11.

The town was relatively unprepared, with many houses up against brush or other fuel materials. Additionally, the population was primarily elderly and low income, which could have impacted their abilities to retrofit their homes. By the time the fire was contained, over 8,000 acres had burned, and over 100 residences were damaged or destroyed. Arizona did have a disaster relief plan, which was credited with the organization of aid to the community. However, the fire was not deemed a disaster by FEMA, limiting federal funding. Media coverage surrounding the firefighters’ deaths played a large role in the recovery of the community, as public donations and help came pouring in.

 

Overall, a rapid change in weather conditions, drought,  and bad communication turned a wildfire into a tragedy that reached national levels.

 

Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial Video

On This Day: Remembering the Yarnell Hill Wildfire | News | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Figure 1: Drought map days before the fire https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/remembering-the-yarnell-hill-wildfire

 

CASE STUDY SUMMARY_O’HARA

The 2011 Mississippi River flood, aka, “The Great Flood of 2011”, was one of the most extreme flood events the region had seen in decades and occurred due to a culmination of multiple extreme weather events that had occurred in a sequence over the previous months that only exacerbated the effects of the normal spring flooding and created extreme flood conditions that produced record crest heights for the Mississippi and its tributaries, producing the worst flooding the region had seen since the “Great Flood of 1927”, affecting six states along the Mississippi (Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and most significantly Louisiana). I chose this topic because I am doing a project for another class relating to one of the structures and flooding in the Louisiana levee system, and I have always been interested in that topic, so I wanted to do my case study on these floods so I could learn more about the strength of the structure as well as the levee system as a whole.

NWS Map showing % of normal Precipitation in the first few weeks of the 2011 Mississippi Floods

The 2011 floods in the Mississippi River Valley actively affected the region between March 19th and June 25th, but the primary flooding occurred between Mid-April and Mid-May. To mitigate the effects of the floodwaters, the US Army Corps of Engineers utilized the system of levees and floodways distributed throughout the region that are specifically meant to make floods predictable and somewhat controlled. During this flood, all three spillways in the system were opened to control the flooding in certain cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans, marking the first time ever all three spillways were in use at the same time.

Overall, insurance companies estimated the damage across all 119 counties affected by the flood to be around 2.8 billion dollars, with more than 21,000 homes and businesses and 1.2 million acres of agricultural land directly impacted, with over 43,000 people experiencing the effects. Despite this being the most major flooding event in the past 100 years, the overall loss of life was minimal, with only a few fatalities due to flash flooding during the peak of the storm. And while the levee system did take a major hit during the flood – with all levees damaged and over $800 million in congressional funds needed to repair them – the presence of the intricate and well-planned levee system is estimated to have prevented $62 billion in additional damage in the Mississippi Valley.

Based on the information gathered, it is clear that the disaster management organizations, as well as the people living in the region, are well prepared for floods purely because the Mississippi River Valley has been susceptible to floods for centuries and experiences them every few years. The primary way in which these organizations work to become more prepared for future floods is by drafting reports and hosting meetings that directly address what they did well and what they believe they could have done better during the previous flood. So, while the attitude towards intense preparation and improvement of methods and structures the disaster organizations continue to make over the years is extremely impressive and praiseworthy, unfortunately, this extensive preparation is necessary, just so that another storm does not come in and devastate the region. But, due to extreme flood events occurring much more frequently than ever before, the residents and the organizations of the area are forced to be much more prepared and aware of the dangers than ever.

CASESTUDYSUMMARY_PEXTON

I decided to choose the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami, which devastated the northeastern coast of Japan.  A prime reason for choosing this particular event was that I had heard about this event prior to this class, albeit I had never done any real research on the topic.  Additionally, I was interested in learning what types of mitigations are used in a country that experiences earthquakes at a high frequency.  I also have an interest in visiting Japan for travel and potentially for my career.  Lastly, I chose this event because it was a domino effect in which it was the perfect example of anything that could happen, did happen.  This does not mean that Japan’s mitigations we bad; it just means that they were not prepared for a disaster that would go down in history.

 

On March 11th, 2011, a 9.1 magnitude (Mw) earthquake occurred with its epicenter located 80 miles east of the city of Sendai and its hypocenter located 18.6 miles below the seafloor.  The years of stress that were built up in this subduction zone also factored into the magnitude of the earthquake.  Prior to the earthquake, there were multiple foreshocks, and following the earthquake, there were many aftershocks, several of which were above a 6.0 magnitude.  This earth was one of the strongest earthquakes in history, yet it was not the primary cause of the damage that the northeastern coast of Japan would experience.  It was mainly the tsunami that was generated from vertical movements from the Pacific plate subducting under the Okhotsk plate.  The tsunami’s maximum runup height was close to 130 feet and inundated as far as 6 miles inland.  The tsunami was quick, given it was local, and it arrived at the coast of Japan within 30 minutes.  Again, the tsunami caused extensive damage as it swept away houses, cars, vegetation, and other debris.  The earthquake and tsunami also caused many other hazards, such as landslides, liquefaction, wildfire, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which was on the same level as Chernobyl. 

 

The death toll of this disaster was reported to be around 18,000 to 20,000 people but is not concrete due to missing persons.  The elderly were the main demographic that was affected as more than half of the deaths were people aged 60 or older.  It showed that beyond sea walls, there were not many other mitigations.  Additionally, there was a heavy reliance on sea walls not failing, so when they did, that’s what made the event more disastrous.  Some of the sea walls that had failed were as tall as 18 feet.  The humanitarian response was immense as several countries, including, but not limited to, Canada, China, Australia, and the United States.  Most countries sent resources to help with search & rescue, clearing debris, and reconstruction. This matter was resolved in months to a couple of years except for the area of Fukushima. The nuclear disaster that ensued at the Fukushima Daiichi plant was caused by the tsunami damaging the backup power supply, which caused the reactors to meltdown.  Mass evacuation of the area occurred due to the radiation, and it took years for residents to be able to return; there are still dangerous areas to this day. 

My conclusions revolved around how Japan did the best they did in light of how the severity of the event was on a historical level and could have been worse if they lacked the mitigations they had prior.  The problem was the mitigations usually stopped at the sea walls, so after this incident, new building regulations were imposed and began reconstructing areas and adding other mitigations with the assumption that the sea wall would fail.  Additionally, the sea walls were raised.  Japan also needs to educate its population on tsunamis in the sense of comparing a given wave height to a common object like a house.  This means their population needs to evacuate in the event of a tsunami as mitigations are more so geared at defending property, granted they do protect people.  Lastly, an event comparable to this one was the Indian Ocean tsunami, which led to over 200,000 deaths due to the lack of mitigations, so it shows how much worse this could have been for Japan had they not had the mitigations they did.

Case Study Summary— Ortez

I decided to work on Hurricane Mitch as my family members in Honduras were able to experience it personally. One of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes on file, Hurricane Mitch occured on October 22, 1998 causing at least 11,000 deceased in Central America. Documented as one of the most distressing hurricanes of the 20th century in the Atlantic Ocean, Mitch caused destructive disasters throughout Central America. In October 1998, a tropical easterly wave moved through West Africa and off the coast through the Atlantic Ocean. Summers that year had become extremely hot allowing sea temperatures in the Caribbean to reach up to 80°F. The rising air was replaced and a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained surface winds known as a tropical depression, was developed. Winds of 290 km per hour became stronger and stronger as the air kept rising and moving at a faster pace. The low pressure extended to 905 mb allowing it to be the lowest recorded pressure for any hurricane in the month of October in the Atlantic during that time. It spiraled toward the center in a counter-clockwise pattern and out the top in the opposite direction increasing in speed. Mitch was announced as a tropical storm and later classified as a Category 5 hurricane on the 23rd of October 1998.

Honduras and Nicaragua were especially hit hard by Hurricane Mitch. Lingering over the Western Hemisphere, the hurricane moved with several days of continuous rainfall over the Swan Islands, an island chain off the coast of Honduras. Heavy rain caused rivers and lakes to overflow affecting about 18 different departments. Nearly 50%-60% of the roads and bridges were damaged, crops were lost and around 3,800 water supply systems providing water to 2.9 million people, were affected. This did not make it any easier for its inhabitants as Honduras and the other countries in Central America were just recovering from the economic effects left by El Niño, Southern Oscillation events in 1997-1998. There were floods, forest fires and droughts that weakened the country. With the hurricane still in place, 45,330 Honduran residents were told to evacuate and sheltered in localities provided. More than 11,000 people were estimated to be dead after the storm and about 9,191 were reported missing just days after it struck. As communication was lost and many individuals went missing, it was a challenge keeping record to determine the exact amount of deaths in the population.

Officials responses to formal evacuation drills and disaster preparation notices were precise and simple. It was necessary to improve building codes for the homes and stay aware of the storm’s location. Many residents in the southern portion of the country believed to not be as affected like those in the north as the storm was predicted to form in the Atlantic Ocean. The Honduran and Nicaraguan community were not well educated on the storm and were not given enough effective resources in order to combat the hurricane. As usual, the southern region of Honduras is normally not taken into consideration during any conflict and the residents here were the most affected throughout the storm. It is unfair to have seen thousands of humble residents losing their belongings just because the Honduran officials did not take action to prepare better for Hurricane Mitch. These residents did not fully prepare for evacuation drills and any forms of disaster responses, buildings were poorly built and many families decided to move into other countries such as El Salvador and Guatemala as they were less affected by the storm. In response to this hazardous event, all the Red Cross branches throughout the nation remained on alert, especially those in the Bay Islands that were at highest risk. The Red Cross brought together actions with the local authorities and reinforcing them with vehicles and health assistance. In various departments temporary refugees were settled to shelter families that had to be evacuated from their homes. A relief team operated in both countries with enough plastic sheets and blankets, kitchen tools, clothes, shoes, and hygienic use kits. Through the local media an information campaign has been launched and information is being updated and published in the local newspapers. Mitigations of The 1998 massive hurricane, Hurricane Mitch, have allowed Central America to prepare for any other event to occur in the future. Now, when you go to the different countries in Central America, you will see building codes of open lower floors, better roof tiles and shatters implemented. Simple house designs and landscaping are taken into consideration. For the landscaping, sand and concrete are the biggest options provided.