Impact on people and property

Photograph of hurricane destruction

Hurricane destruction

The intense winds of tropical storms can destroy whole communities, buildings and communication networks.

As well as their own destructive energy, the winds generate abnormally high waves and tidal surges.

Sometimes the most destructive elements of a storm are the subsequent high seas and flooding.

MEDCs are better placed to reduce the effects of tropical storms because they have more financial, educational and technological resources to help deal with them.

They better able to observe and predict storm behaviour and can invest in infrastructure to withstand storms - as well as spending more money on repairing the damage caused.

The main hazards that a hurricane can bring are:

  1. Storm surge: this is a rise in the sea levels as the high winds push the sea up and towards the coastline. This wall cause extensive flooding to lowland areas which can cause damage to property and kill people.
  2. Flooding: intense rain can also cause damage to property and crops in the fields. Heavy rain can cause inland flooding.
  3. Highwind speeds can also cause devastation to homes, buildings, property and local infrastructure.