Thursday, October 16, 2008

Facts and Figures :-

Hurricane Ike was the third most destructive hurricane to ever hit the United States. It was the ninth named storm, fifth hurricane and third major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.It was a Cape Verde-type hurricane, as it started as a tropical disturbance off the coast of Africa near the end of August, then tracked south of Cape Verde and slowly developed. On September 13th 2008, it became a tropical storm west of the Cape Verde islands.

By the early morning hours of September 5th, Ike was a Category 4 hurricane, hitting its peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and a pressure of 935 mbar .That made it the most intense storm so far in the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. At one point the diameter of Ike's tropical storm and hurricane force winds were 550 and 240 miles (885 and 390 km), respectively, making Ike the most massive Atlantic hurricane recorded.Ike also had the second highest IKE (Integrated Kinetic Energy) of any Atlantic storm in the past 40 years. Integrated Kinetic Energy is a measure of storm surge destructive potential, similar to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, though the IKE is more complex and in many ways more accurate. On a scale that ranges from 1 to 6, with 6 being highest destructive potential, Ike earned a 5.2 on September 11 at 12:30pm (EDT). In comparison to Ike, hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, both from the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season peaked at 5.1. As such, had Ike made landfall as a Category 3 or higher, the hurricane would have likely had a record breaking storm surge and the potential for damage could have been worse than what was seen with Hurricane Katrina.However, Ike made its final landfall in Texas, United States as a Category 2 hurricane.

Ike has been blamed for 177 deaths. Of these, 74 were in Haiti, which was already trying to recover from the impact of three storms earlier that year: Fay, Gustav, and Hanna. In the United States 96 people were killed, and 202 are still missing. Damages from Ike in US coastal areas are estimated at $27 billion (2008 USD), with additional damage of up to $4 billion in Cuba, amounting to a total of $31.5 billion in damages for the United States and Cuba alone.Ike was the third costliest U.S. hurricane of all time, behind both Hurricane Andrew of 1992 and Hurricane Katrina of 2005.

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