Many people are feared dead after Hurricane Katrina pummelled swathes of the southern coast of the US, causing extensive damage.

I know these things must be cyclic and that they have happened before, but this one does appear to be one of the biggest storms in at least the past 100 years.
And what is more alarming, is that is still considered to be the start of the Hurricane season, so there will be more to come. Whether or not they will be of the same magnitude as Katrina we shall have to wait and see.

You can see the path of hurricane Katrina at the BBC Site.

There can be no doubt that our weather is changing. Even in my 38 years on this planet, and from those years that I can remember, the change in weather patterns is very noticeable. Tornados in the UK were unheard of or very rare, so far this year alone there have been 5 ‘major’ tornadoes. Now these would be considered cat 2 or 3 at worst by US Standards, but 5 years ago when I left for the US, there were one or two a decade, let alone a year.

Forget about whether or not the people should have built in the areas affected by Katrina, they did and that should be the end of it. No one could have predicted this sort of storm many years ago, but they are appearing now in regularity which is alarming.

This appears to be much worse than the Tsunami that ocurred on Boxing Day of 2004, and the damage is likely to be way more than in that region in financial but maybe not in terms of the cost of human life, although it appears many have lost their lives. It will be some months before the true cost becomes clear.
I have friends who have family in the area, and I already have heard from one of them that his sister lost everything they own apart from their lives. She was persuaded to go stay in Fort Worth until the storm passed, but was almost going to stay there and ride it out, because I don’t think they expected it to be as bad as this, despite the warnings from forecasters.

The devastation is massive and the economy of the area has been thrown into chaos. Those opponents of gambling won’t be too shocked about that, though we are talking about tens of thousands of employees who have lost their source of income for the foreseeable future. In the case of New Orleans which is situtated well below sea level, it may be years before that area ever returns to normal. The defences that were put in place will struggle to deal with the amount of water left behind from this storm let alone any future storms for the rest of the season this year.

My thoughts are with all of those affected by this storm. For those who want to donate any funds, the American Red Cross site is under quite a load at the moment so you can also make a donation via Amazon.