Vocabulary for Hurricanes:
A hurricane is a huge storm with rain and very strong winds. In Asia, the same kind of storm is called a typhoon.
Why was a hurricane named “Katrina”? Hurricanes are given the names of people. Names are assigned in alphabetical order each year. One year, all the names are women’s names, and the next year all the names are men’s names.
Hurricanes are categorized into five groups; a Category 5 hurricane is the most severe. Your book says that Katrina was a Category 3 hurricane, but the YouTube video that you can watch says it was finally Category 5.
A levee is a kind of dam that keeps water back. Much of the city of New Orleans is below sea level, and the levees are dams that keep back the water. In Europe, parts of Holland are also under water, and protected by the same kind of dams, which there are called “dykes.”
The terrible damage from Katrina was because the levees broke, and not so much from the storm itself.
Hurricanes are common in the Carribbean and along the Gulf coast of the U.S., Mexico and Central America. The map below shows all the hurricanes of a later year, 2010:
Vocabulary for Earthquakes:
The severity of earthquakes is measured on the Richer Scale. Click here for an explanation of what numbers on the Richter Scale mean.
The epicenter of an earthquake is the middle, where it is the most severe.