Hurricanes and Typhoons
Hurricanes and typhoons are the biggest storms and Natural disasters in the world. Both kinds of storms start in the high seas, and if they move to land, wind, rain, and floods can lead to major destruction. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. However, Katrina is very small compared to Typhoon Typhoon. Type hit Japan in 1979 and was 2,000 kilometers in diameter. The hurricane that hit Galveston on the Texas coast in 1900 killed 12,000 people. Today, the city is protected from the sea by walls 5 meters high.
Hurricanes and typhoons are spiral-shaped. Storm clouds revolve around a hole called the ‘eye of the storm’. The strongest winds are those near the eye of the storm, but the eye of the storm is calm as if nothing was around it.
Hurricanes are easy to track, but even today, scientists cannot predict when they will start and where they will hit on land. Instead, meteorological centers (air observation houses) control the paths and forces of hurricanes every hour. The fifth category is the strongest category in a hurricane with winds blowing faster than 250 kilometers per hour.
Hurricanes and typhoons need a lot of heat. Therefore they always start in the tropics. These storms are named according to where they started. Beginning in the North Atlantic is called a hurricane, and those starting in the North Pacific are called typhoon. Those of the same type of storms in the Southern Hemisphere are known as tropical cyclones.
When a hurricane crosses a coast, it can carry seawater to land, causing floods, in which case the sea rises several meters above its normal level. When Hurricane Karina came ashore in 2005, such a storm caused chaos in New Orleans. The Mississippi River overflowed its bed, and strong winds ripped the houses from its foundation. A million people left their homes because of the flood.