Activity sheet 1 Rebuilding after Hurricane Mitch

1. Below is a table to summarise the main effects of Hurricane Mitch compared to Hurricane Andrew, a hurricane that hit the Bahamas and Florida, U.S.A. in August 1992. By quoting information from the table describe and try to explain the differences between the effects of the two hurricanes.

Hurricane Mitch Hurricane Andrew
Wind Speed 290 km per hour 224 km per hour
Rainfall 30 - 180 mm 18 - 20 mm
Death Toll 10 - 12,000 65
Total Damage ($) 10 billion 30 billion
No. of homeless 1 million 25,000

2. Managing the aftermath of a hurricane like Mitch takes a lot of careful planning. Some action needs to be taken in the short-term, whereas other measures may be more long-term; in other words over the next 5-10 years. Imagine you are leading a relief team to help the people in a Nicaraguan village devastated after Mitch and answer the following :-

a) In order to help the people in the most appropriate way, you may need the assistance and expertise of some members of the village community. Whose help and advice would be useful to you?

b) Listed below are a number of possible actions that could be taken after a hurricane. Sort them out into what you consider to be short-term measures or long-term measures.

c) Look again at all the short-term measures that could be taken. Rank these in terms of which you think is the most important to the least important. Do the same for your list of long-term measures, and be prepared to justify your rank orders.