United States | New Orleans | Florida | Mississippi | Louisiana | In numbers: the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina 17 years after it hit the United States | ecpm | Globalism

17 years ago, southeast United State It was a spectacle of what is to this day considered the deadliest and most destructive cyclone in its history.

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On August 23, 2005, the United States National Hurricane Center reported a tropical depression formation near the Bahamas starting to move north causing heavy rain.

Two days later, it made landfall in southern Florida as a Category 1 storm called Katrina and weakened when it made landfall; However, only an hour later it will regain its strength upon entering the Gulf of Mexico.

By August 27, Katrina had become a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, qualifying as the third major hurricane of the season. In addition, NOAA’s initial forecasts varied, as the hurricane did not continue to move north into Georgia, but rather turned west, pointing at Louisiana.

The federal government, led by Republican George W. Bush, declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi on the same day.

But the worst is yet to come. On August 28, 2005, Katrina recorded winds of up to 280 kilometers per hour, becoming a Category 5 hurricane within a few hours.

Hurricane Saffir Simpson rating. Hurricane Katrina reached Category 5 after it recorded winds of up to 280 kilometers per hour. / BBC News World

At this point, scientists had already expected Hurricane Katrina to cause a major catastrophe, threatening primarily New Orleans, the most populous city in Louisiana, with 70% of its surface below sea level.

In light of this, Mayor Ray Nagin ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city and opened safe points, such as the Louisiana Superdome, which has come to house up to 26,000 people.

A day later, Hurricane Katrina made landfall again, destroying the levees of New Orleans and devastating the city, as well as the Mississippi coast, causing a total of thousands of deaths and millions of dollars in damage in at least five states.

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