Hurricane Katrina was recorded as the most deadliest and destructive Atlantic tropical cyclone. It occurred in the season of Atlantic hurricane. It is a natural disaster which is recorded as one of the costliest disasters. In addition, this is a natural disaster classified under five other deadliest hurricanes, in the whole history of the US. Hurricane Katrina appeared as the sixth most intense hurricane in the 2005 season (Brenner, 2007). An approximate of one thousand eight hundred and thirty three people died as a result of this natural disaster. There were subsequent floods during this disaster making it a deadliest hurricane in the United States. An estimation of eighty one billion dollars property was damaged by this disaster. This is approximated as triple damage made by another disaster called hurricane Andrew. Hurricane Katrina formed on August 23, 2005 over the Bahamas and crossed over to southern Florida in form of moderate category hurricane. It caused severe death and flooding at this point before strengthening faster into the famous Gulf of Mexico (Brenner, 2007).Hurricane Katrina is a natural disaster because it formed due to tropical depression twelve. This was as a result of interaction of remnants of tropical depression ten and an intensive tropical wave. This interaction resulted to the system being upgraded to tropical storms on 24 August morning. The storm was then given the name Katrina at this point. The tropical storm was station less and moved forward to Florida. At this point, it developed to two hours before it caused land falling between Aventura and Hallandale beach on the eve of August 25. This storm weakened over the land, but later regained the status of a hurricane an hour after checking into the Gulf of Mexico. It then intensified rapidly after draining into the Gulf. It grew forming Category five hurricanes from a category three hurricane (Berkes, Colding & Folk, 2003).
Nature-society interactions in New Orleans were greatly influenced by Hurricane Katrina. The landscape of Katrina also contributed to the outcome of policy decisions and social relations being made near and distant (Brenner, 2007). The hurricane stroke at the policies and social relations at the municipal, national, and the state in general. It eroded completely all the aspects involving social reproduction apart from those that were associated with policing and the military. Hurricane Katrina virtually exposed the contours of over looming visceral racism, the cost and efforts of enduring environmental and social injustice (Elizabeth Maddock, 2007). The Hurricane struck the historical geography that reeled from the effects of privatization, devolution, states’ rights and military neoliberalism in a state which was notorious.
Within this common land of depletion, New Orleans was well know to be worse off as compared to many other cities of the United States. Its schools were falling and the prison population was growing rapidly. Its public house was inadequate extremely under-funded. It had extreme levels of concentrated poverty at high levels in the whole nation.
The urban resilience gives a clear understanding of the response of the urban ecosystem to major traumas, demographic challenges, global climate change and national economic challenges (Elizabeth Maddock, 2007). There was a great challenge in New Orleans when it came to recovering from the trauma and the destructive events that took place within the city. A lot of damage had taken place which cost the nation a lot of money. It had a dramatic impact on the economy of the country which took the country a lot of effort to completely recover and stabilize. Generally, communities and cities contain a diversity of political and social institutions, interconnected local and advanced local networks, sub cultures and cultures, informal and formal, associations, organisations, coalitions, and groups. There were noted levels of poverty in the country after the heavy storm because it resulted to a lot of damage to personal property. Despite the applied analytical utility of the concept of resilience, there still exist dilemmas and conceptual limitations which are not solved with the current theorizations. It has been argued by several critical and analytical scholars that the concept of resilience is a completely misguided term that shifts attention from clearly examining vulnerability and production and centrality of social inequalities in the organisations of ecosystems of urban settings(Elizabeth Maddock, 2007).For the situation of Hurricane Katrina disaster, for instance, most scholars have argued that the government policies and actions to reconstruct the Gulf Coast were aimed at quickly restoring the status quo instead of advocating and enhancing the long-term sustainability of the situation and increasing the resilience of the urban ecosystem. The planning processes and the fragmentation of the post-disaster management in combination with a well defined rush by aid agencies and organisations to rebuild the New Orleans have made some known scholars to argue that the government interventions and the current policies did not address the root causes of the hurricane Katrina storm and the floods that raided the city (Elizabeth Maddock, 2007). In examination of the urban resilience in most post-disaster cities, urban resilience and vale would be perceived as manifestations of an evolving city in a global economy. In referring to a specific socio-economic, regional, cultural, and political contexts would give an explanation to the tenacity, strength, or weakness of the urban resilience. These regional and extra-urban contexts may be may in extension be placed in a larger context of developments and global systemic activities. A comparative analysis will easily perceive the subordinate and the governing system that they are related to each other in an interconnected way (Brenner, 2007).
A research on the transformative resilience clearly shows the decisions and effects of actions caused by humans on the trajectory and pace of a post-trauma involving an urban ecosystem making an effort to recover from a trauma (Adger, 2005). Resilience cannot be perceived as a stagnant property of the urban ecosystem. It is neither as a result of processes resulting from aging that comes from natural ecosystems. The concept and factor of natural resilience is very vital when it comes to investigation into the consequences and causes of a trauma as well as directing a future research.
There were far-reaching economic challenges of the disaster. It cost the Bush administration an approximate of one hundred and five billion shillings for reconstructions and repairs in the affected regions. Typically, this never accounted for any damage directed to the economy brought up by the potential interruption of oil supply, export of commodities like grains, and the demolition of the Gulf of the Coast highway infrastructure (Adger, 2005). The Hurricane Katrina destroyed thirty functional oil platforms. It also brought about the shutdown of nine known refineries. There was an approximate shut in oil production that came directly from the Gulf located in Mexico in the continuous six month period of twenty four percent. There was a shutdown in the gas production that amounted to eighteen percent.
There were voices directed to the government claiming their criticism in responding to the disaster. Sentiments were pointed towards the government that there was lack of leadership and mismanagement of the nation (Adger, 2005). This criticism came as a result of alleged subsequent arguments in the Crescent City and the delay in responding to floods of the New Orleans. A heated debate arose about federal, state and local government’s duty in the preparations and response to natural disasters such as hurricanes. Initially, criticism was prompted by the use of media and televised images. They displayed visibly frustrated and shaken political leaders. Besides these images were those of residents standing helplessly and stranded by the flood waters shelter and food. In an effort to respond to this criticism, President George W. Bush gave a directive to Michael D. Brown, known to be Homelands security Department’s secretary (Brenner, 2007).The president and the Secretary Cher off later faced harsh criticism for lack of coordination and proper planning. Brown made a public claim that the governor, Blanco, work against their efforts and was not helpful (Brenner, 2007).
Neighbouring countries responded to this disaster immediately and did not hesitate. There was an intensive international response globally (Brenner, 2007). Countries all over the world pledged different forms of assistance with almost eighty countries pledging monetary donations. Venezuela and Cuba were the first countries noted to offer their help by pledging water treatment plans, many mobile hospitals, bottled water, canned food, several doctors and a sum of over one million dollars. The most shocking thing is that the Unites States government completely rejected this aid. Other countries which offered to assist include Kuwait which made a pledge of five hundred million, South Korea, Qatar, Pakistan Norway India, China and Australia (Brenner, 2007).
Adger, W. N., & Hughes, T. P. (2005). Social-ecological resilience to coastal disasters. Emmetsburg, MD: National Emergency Training Centre.
Berkes, F., J. Colding, and C. Folk (eds0 2003). Navigating Social-Ecological Systems: Management practises and Social Mechanisms for Building Resilience. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Comfort, L..K. (1999). Shared risk: Complex systems in seismic response. Elsevier, Oxford, U.K.
Brenner, Mark. (2007). A memorial website to harmonize the victims of murder in New Orleans. htpp/thinknola.com/wiki/Care-Forgot#10.2FO7-E2.80.93-1-murder.