Millions of people, all over the world, can hardly forget October 22, 2012. On that day, one of the most violent and tremendous cyclones was born in the Caribbean. In six hours, it was named Tropical Depression 18. It took only several days for it to transform from a tropic storm into a hurricane. With every passing hour, it became stronger. Sandy got in the list of the 10 biggest tropical storms in the Atlantic. It claimed hundreds of lives, destroyed thousands of homes, and left people without electricity, food, and clothing from the Caribbean to the East Coast of the United States. Thus, the main aim of this work is to investigate the formation and the total damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. The paper also explores the outcome of the disaster.
Hurricanes are mainly formed in the tropics out of moist air and high temperature. In most cases, they are born in the ocean, near the equator. Winds that constantly blast in various directions start to move warm and moist air into each other. Such a process is called convergence. As soon as masses of air crash into each other, the process of the updraft formation begins. Afterwards, the moist air starts cooling down, forming huge clouds of water. As soon as they grow big in size, they form thunderstorms. If thunderstorms do not die, they start to merge. Scientists call this formation tropical disturbance. Then, the tropical disturbance begins twisting forming a vortex. As a result, vortex formation starts to vacuum bigger masses of air into the disturbance itself. A storm transforms into the tropical depression, when the wind inside it reaches 23 miles per hour. If the storm continues enlarging and reaches 40 miles per hour, it becomes a tropical storm. In rare cases, when the wind speed grows to 74 miles, a hurricane forms (Steve Spangler Science, 2012).
Hurricane Sandy was very unusual. It was a hybrid of two most hazardous storms. It looked like a winter storm; however, it contained some tropical features. Hence, people started to call it Superstorm. As a result, the United States authorities announced the hurricane and blizzard dangers at the same time (CBS Interactive Inc., 2012). It was also the biggest Atlantic hurricane that had ever occurred. In its peak, its diameter reached 1100 miles (Hurricane Sandy, 2012).
In two days after its formation, Sandy turned to Jamaica. The wind speed was more than 60 mph. After that, it became even more devastating and received Category 2. Over the next day, the storm reached Cuba, and it was declared a hurricane. There, it was upgraded to the Category 3, as the wind speed was more than 110 miles per hour. It brought heavy destructions in the cities. Destroyed houses, uprooted trees, tones of mud and dust on the streets were the results of the hurricane. Cuba’s biggest city, Santiago de Cuba, was completely without electricity and water (Senauth, 2013, pp. 30-34). Sandy became the most devastating storm for the country since 2005.
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The storm weakened to the tropical storm with Category 1 as it reached the north of the Bahamas. The wind speed reduced to 90 mph. However, it caused as much destruction to the Bahamas as to Cuba. The greatest damage was made to the Cat Island. People ran out of fresh water and food, many farmers lost their crops. Afterwards, Sandy moved to the Unites States, becoming Category 1 (Sharp, 2012). The day before, Barack Obama announced the emergency declaration for several states (CBS New York, 2012). In the evening, the transport in New York stopped working. New York Stock Exchange as well as the Headquarters of the United Nations was closed for several days. State Deliver began the obligatory evacuation of more than 50 thousand of citizens from the coastal areas. On October 29, Sandy began its devastating journey in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The wind speed reached 80 mph. It caused heavy destructions. All the streets were in water, hundreds of uprooted trees and downed power lines blocked the streets. Many people were cut off from the civilization hoping for the rescue. Numerous houses were destroyed in Queens while some others were burned in the New York metro area. Many subway stations were flooded in Manhattan. Many hospitals were left without electricity (Sharp, 2012)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013) states:
A total of 117 deaths were reported on Red Cross mortality forms…Most deaths occurred in New York (53 [45.3%]) and New Jersey (34 [29.1%]); the other deaths occurred in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Maryland. The deaths occurred during October 28–November 29, 2012 …. Approximately half of the deaths (60 [51.3%]) occurred on the first 2 days of the storm’s landfall, with a peak of 37 deaths on October 30, 2012.
The storm killed 52 people in Haiti. Several people also died in Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Hundreds were injured (Bailey, 2014, pp. 4-8).
In Haiti, Superstorm destroyed more than 27,000 houses. Thousands of shelters were created all over the country. More than 70% of crops were damaged. In the United States, Sandy caused more than $62 billion of damage. New York and New Jersey were two states that suffered the greatest losses. Approximately, 72,000 houses and enterprises were destroyed only in New Jersey. In New York, the number reached 305,000. It has also become second most expensive national disaster since Hurricane Katrina (Porter, 2013)
According to the survey, more than 20% of respondents are still fighting with the causes of the hurricane. Five per cent did not recover at all (West, 2014).
Thus, Superstorm Sandy has become one of the most devastating and deadliest disasters in the Atlantic region. It took only six hours to transform from a simple storm into the tropic one. Furthermore, its power kept growing with the every passing hour. In several days, it became a hurricane. It made substantial destruction on its way from the Caribbean to the United States. New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut were main states that had experienced the greatest damage. The storm claimed hundreds of lives, destroyed thousands of houses and businesses. Many people were left without food, fresh water, and closing. Even nowadays, some cities in the USA still cannot recover from Sandy.