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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA Assignment Cover Sheet Internal

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Name: Ajay Thampi Tharayil Jayadeep

Mail ID Email: 1 1 0 1 1 2 5 6 2

Course code and title: BUSS 5277 School: School of management Course Coordinator: Paul Reynolds Day, Time, Location of Tutorial/Practical: Assignment number:1 Assignment topic as stated in Course Outline: Due date: 28 October 2013 Program Code: DHmo Tutor: Dr Chris Krolikowski

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I declare that the work contained in this assignment is my own, except where acknowledgement of sources is made. I authorise the University to test any work submitted by me, using text comparison software, for instances of plagiarism. I understand this will involve the University or its contractor copying my work and storing it on a database to be used in future to test work submitted by others. I understand that I can obtain further information on this matter at Note: The attachment of this statement on any electronically submitted assignments will be deemed to have the same authority as a signed statement. Signed: Date: 28 october 2013

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Katrina: A tropical Monster.

Ajay Jayadeep 110112562


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Type of negative event Hurricane Katrina can be considered as the biggest and most destructive natural disaster to hit modern America. It was formed in the Atlantic hurricane season of 2005 just over the islands of Bahamas. It was a category 1 hurricane when it made first landfall in Florida. The real damage was caused afterwards when the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico transformed it into a category 5 monster. Upon its second landfall on August 29th in southeast Louisiana it slowed down to category 3, where it changed the geographical dimensions of the coastal city of New Orleans. It was the costliest hurricane ever recorded with estimated property damage reaching up to $81 billion, triple the amount of the second costliest hurricane.(Knabb, Rhome et al. 2005) The entire gulf coast from Florida to Texas suffered substantial damage due to the resultant storm surge. The city of New Orleans suffered the maximum number of casualties with death tolls reaching over 1200 due to the hurricane and the resultant flooding of the city. The reason for such a devastating flood can be traced to the failure of the flood protection levee system that protects the city which has a considerable amount of land below sea level.(Dolfman, Wasser et al. 2007)

In later studies the actual damage was estimated to be between $96-125 billion including insured losses of around $40-$66 billion. Most of it was contributed by the resultant flooding in New Orleans. According to professor Bernard Weinstein of University of North Texas, the net economical loss can be as high as $250 billion considering the production loss of petroleum rigs in the area and the resultant sliding of GDP to 1.3% in the last quarter from a robust 3.8% in the third.(Weinstein 2007)

Classification of the event Hurricanes are natural events. However, hurricanes with a similar magnitude of Katrina were extremely rare in the past. Many scientists believe that human interference with the nature that
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includes global warming and the resultant rise in sea level may be a contributing factor to the increased strength of these tropical storms. The studies conducted by Grinsted et al (2013) the maximum damage to property came from the resulting storm surge of the hurricanes than the hurricane as such. Comparing the storm surge index with the global surface temperature and the Main Development Region (most hurricanes are formed in this part of the Atlantic Ocean) temperature, they predicted that with every 0.4C increase in global surface temperature the chances of Katrina level hurricanes doubles. He also predicted that by the end of the century we will see 2 to 7 times more category 5 storms.

In other similar studies conducted by Holland and Bruyre (2013) an index of human related climate change(Anthropogenic Climate Change Index - ACCI) was created and used to derive the correlation between global warming and tropical cyclone activity (Cyclone is a type of tropical storm similar to hurricane) They conducted simulations with human influenced climate changes and naturally occurring climatic conditions. Stronger category 4 and 5 storms were found to be affected by changes in ACCI with a 40% increase in rate of storms with increase in a degree Celsius. Another important finding was that this phenomenon has a saturation point and currently the climatic conditions suggest that the chances of having a category 4 or 5 hurricane cannot increase any more as we have already reached 50% saturation.(Holland and Bruyre 2013)

The other noteworthy factor in the case of New Orleans is that the majority of damage was caused by the storm surge and flooding due to the inadequacy of the flood protection levee system which failed during the storm. There were over 50 breaches in the levee system which was 90% complete at the time of the storm. The failure of the levee system is entirely responsible for the flooding of the city making it a human induced crisis more than anything else. The United States Army Corps of Engineers were blamed for the design flaws of the flood protection levee system built by them. In essence the negative event that hit New Orleans is not just a natural calamity but also a human triggered crisis.


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Effects on the image of the destination Destination image is the sum of all impressions and emotional content that a destination presents to a potential tourist.(Oxenfeldt 1974) The most important asset of a tourism destination is its image. A crisis can cause panic and change the psyche of the tourist for a long time. The rapid advancements in technology play a key role in changing the image perception of a destination. Global media portrayed New Orleans city as dead, lawless and in ruins not to be able to return in a decade or so.

According to Ichinosawa (2006) risk induced stigmatization of a destination can lead to serious negative impacts on the socio-economic developments of the economy. The ripple effects caused by the negative event can prove to be lingering for a long time in the minds of the average tourist making it nearly impossible for the tourism industry to bounce back easily. (Ichinosawa 2006)

In order to completely understand the effects of Katrina on the Image of New Orleans, a holistic look at the economic structure of the city is required. The economy of the city stands on three pillars, with tourism, port operations and education. Tourism industry of New Orleans does not need an introduction, from the iconic French quarter, internationally renowned restaurants, Jazz and heritage festivals to Mardi gras and the sugar bowl makes the city one of the most visited tourist destinations in the continental US.

Port operations of the city include mining, transportation and warehousing. Port of New Orleans along with port of South Louisiana together handles the most bulk tonnage of goods in the world with figures reaching up to 5000 ships from 60+ countries. The ports handle petroleum from the Gulf of Mexico and food products. Last pillar is the educational sector which constitutes of a number of universities making it an excellent destination for higher education. After Katrina the city came to a standstill. At its peak, the city lost about 105,300 jobs. Tourism industry alone lost about $2.9 billion in wages in the months of September 2005 to June 2006. This was an estimated 22,900 jobs just in the tourism sector.

Impacts on the competitiveness The competitiveness of the destination suffered a severe downfall as an aftermath of Katrina. New Orleans has a much celebrated Jazz culture as well as an equally important historical
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significance of the French Quarter. As the floods submerged the entirety of the city, the tourist perspective changed to the fact that the whole city is in ruins. Other coastal cities in the same geographical area seemed to take up an increased tourist income left off by the city.

The damage caused to the city was so vast that it was coined as a cultural Chernobyl due to its similarity to the infamous Ukrainian nuclear disaster of 1986 which led to the evacuation of an entire city. The comparison is made to acknowledge the social and physical scale in which the hurricanes wrath decapitated the unique culture of the city. As measurable as the physical damage is the real enemy here is the social impact which practically wiped out around half of the native African American population which was the heart and soul of the citys cultural distinction and uniqueness. The severed cultural bonds lead to the loss of essence of the city to an extent where some deem it to be irreparable in the near future.(McKernan 2008)

Crisis Response The federal government had started setting up aid for the city even before the hurricane actually made landfall. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had deployed mortuary teams with refrigerated trucks to secure the bodies. The coast guard was exceptionally applauded as they rescued about 33500 of the 60000 stranded civilians from the city. The next important response was from the Joint Task Force (JTF) based from the military camp of Shelby, Mississippi formed by the United States Northern Command who acted as the military response for rescue and maintain law and order (58,000 national guards). The Department of Defense arranged for aerial reconnaissance and help form their Civil Air Patrol. The first major financial aid was provided by the congress early in September with funds of $62.3 billion for reconstruction and aid.

International response included monetary donations or assistance by over 70 countries. Cuba and Venezuela (both considered as hostile to US government interest) were the first countries to offer assistance, pledging over $1 million, several mobile hospitals, water treatment plants, canned food, bottled water, heating oil, 1,100 doctors and 26.4 metric tons of medicine, though this aid was rejected by the U.S. government. Kuwait made the largest single pledge, $500 million; other large donations were made by Qatar and United Arab Emirates (each $100 million), South Korea ($30 million),Australia ($10 million), India, China (both
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$5 million), New Zealand ($2 million), Pakistan ($1.5 million) and Bangladesh ($1 million). (Saffer 2005)

The crisis response of the government was good in many senses, but a lack of leadership in rescue operations called out criticism from all over the world. The sheer magnitude of the event made it near to impossible for any form of rescue mission to be extremely successful ( Water levels reaching 25ft and spreading over 20 square miles) Given the fact that the city is mostly below sea level dint help either.

As a preventive measure for similar catastrophic events, the levee system was updated and an additional $14.5 billion was allocated to repair and improve the 139 mile long flood protection system. The new system, known as Hurricane Storm and Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) is built to prevent the 100 year storm surge.(2009)

Recommendations The survival and thriving of the citys tourism industry proved to be extremely hard as the employees were scattered, customers were dislocated and infrastructure turned to rubble. In order to survive a similar hurricane in the future the government and the local population should work hand in hand to create and maintain evacuation plans and training for survival. The new infrastructure being developed as a flood protection system takes into account the learning from Katrina to reinforce the safety of the city. (Corey and Deitch 2011)

The lack of leadership in the rescue and relief procedures should be eliminated with clear cut plans as to which department handles which part. Lastly, my fickle mind tells me to look up in the sky and pray that such a monster may never return.


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(2009). "Technical Report: The Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System in New Orleans, Louisiana." EQCAT Inc.

Corey, C. M. and E. A. Deitch (2011). "Factors Affecting Business Recovery Immediately after Hurricane Katrina." Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 19(3): 169-181.

Dolfman, M. L., et al. (2007). "The effects of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans economy." Monthly Labor Review 130(6): 3.

Holland, G. and C. Bruyre (2013). "Recent intense hurricane response to global climate change." Climate Dynamics: 1-11.

Ichinosawa, J. (2006). "Reputational disaster in Phuket: the secondary impact of the tsunami on inbound tourism." Disaster Prevention and Management 15(1): 111-123.

Knabb, R., et al. (2005). Tropical Cyclone Report Hurricane Katrina 23-30 August 2005.

McKernan, J. (2008). "Hurricane Katrina: A Cultural Chernobyl." Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society 38(3): 217-230.

Oxenfeldt, A. R. (1974). "Developing a Favorable Price-Quality Image." Journal of Retailing 50(4): 8.


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Saffer, P. (2005). "From abroad, offers of aid for Katrina victims." People's Weekly World 20(14): 12.

Weinstein, B. ( 2007). "Hurricane Katrina." Swiss Re(January 25).


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Assessment feedback

Assignment no. and Title Name: Ajay Thampi Tharayil Jayadeep ID: 110112562

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Note: In an academic essay you are expected to demonstrate to your reader that you have a position and perspective on the topic.

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Summary comment The Graduate qualities being assessed by this assignment are indicated by an X: GQ1: operate effectively with and upon a body of knowledge GQ2: are prepared for lifelong learning GQ3: are effective problem solvers GQ4:can work both autonomously and collaboratively Assignment grade/mark GQ5: are committed to ethical action and social responsibility GQ6: communicate effectively GQ7: demonstrate an international perspective


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