Often times, and rightly so, natural disasters are associated with death, destruction and diplomacy. But there is another concern that is often overlooked when it comes to natural disasters: pollution.
Pollution comes in many forms and ultimately effects many different areas of the environment.
Take Hurricane Katrine for example. The category 5 hurricane smashed into New Orleans in 2005 leaving hundreds dead and homes and businesses destroyed. But, what about now? The city has mostly rebuilt itself and continues to capture tourists from all over the globe.
The issue of pollution and how it is still causing issues 14 years later is the true concern. According to the the US Coast Guard and the EPA, there were over 575 hazardous spills because of the major hurricane.
Another huge pollution factor is debris. Over 100 million cubic yards of trash and debris was swept into the ocean or piled up on land because of the storm. I’m not an expert – but that’s a lot of trash.
So what does this all mean? Good question.
To me, this shows the importance of hurricane predicting and how to prepare for storms. We cannot stop hurricanes from happening, but we should be able to better prepare for them and anticipate them in a better way.
Hurricane Katrina’s impact still lingers on because of the pollution it created years ago. This is just one storm as well. There have been other major storms even within the last year or two that have contributed to the pollution problem.
What can be done to minimize pollution after a major storm or disaster?
Jewart, Dylan, et al. “The Effects of Hurricane Katrina on Water Pollution.” Arcgis.com, http://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=c0ee2261c1554530aeeb43dee86c67e0.