It was a windy night in MysticLand. The silvery sliver of the moon was hidden behind swirling grey clouds. The wind whooshed through Felix’s garden, getting caught in the branches of trees and making the most frightful sound.
This sound leaked into Verum’s dream. She dreamt that the Bruha had placed her atop a swirling hurricane. And Verum sprinted to keep up with it. She felt like a hamster on a wheel!
Just when Verum was about to grow whiskers in her dream, she woke up. Her crystal ball was making a familiar humming noise. It was time to world-gaze! Rubbing her eyes, Verum approached the crystal ball. The news today shook her awake. A Category 4 storm, Hurricane Ida, struck Louisiana, United States (US) on 29th August.
Verum whispered, “Hurricane Ida reached land near Port Fourchon in Louisiana, located 160 kilometers south of New Orleans. The speed of the winds in a hurricane can remain the same for a long time. This speed decides which category the hurricane belongs to. Since Hurricane Ida had winds of 150 kilometers per hour, it was a Category 4 storm.”
Orak, who had been unable to sleep, sat next to Verum and said, “Did you say 29th August? That’s the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive hurricane in US history.”
“What happened when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana?” said Felix, walking up to his friends.
“Hurricane Katrina was a Category 3 storm. It was spread across a big area. Hurricane Katrine struck New Orleans and caused heavy flooding. The city’s levee system – a complex system of pumps, gates, and berms (narrow strips of land created to protect or separate an area) – failed. This took 1,800 lives and caused billions of dollars of damage,” explained Orak.
“Hurricane Ida didn’t cover as wide an area as Hurricane Katrina. But it was stronger,” compared Verum, “Scientists now asked if it is better to have a weaker hurricane spread across a wider area? Or is a tighter and stronger hurricane over a smaller area better? But there isn’t an answer to this.”
“Did it cause a lot of damage?” said Felix.
“The power was knocked out in New Orleans. And as the city has a lot of hospitalized Covid patients, this loss of power was quite dangerous,” said Verum, “Many people were trapped in their homes. Even as the rescue teams worked to reach these people, they requested others to not return to New Orleans just yet. I’m still awaiting further details.”
“Do keep us updated, Verum,” said Orak.