Discuss the Impacts of Storm Events on the British Isles and evaluate the Responses to them [40marks]

Topics: Wind, Storm, Met Office Pages: 2 (1159 words) Published: February 12, 2015
Discuss the Impacts of Storm Events on the British Isles and evaluate the Responses to them (40 marks). In October 1987, the worst storm ever to hit the British Isles struck. It was caused by warm air from Africa meeting cold air from the Atlantic Ocean, forming an intense depression over the Bay of Biscay on the 15th of October. The depression moved northwards and then changed direction, heading directly for Britain. The depression was so intense that winds over the Hampshire coast exceeded 100km/h and in Sussex and Kent, winds were recorded at gale force 11. The impacts of this storm were disastrous. Not only was the storm incredibly powerful, but incorrect information broadcast by the BBC from the Met Office told the public that the storm would just miss the country and that, other than heavy rain, the weather would be okay. This meant that many people went to bed without preparing for a night of very strong winds. With proper warning, it is possible that people would have made the conscious decision not to park cars near old trees, or spend the night in solid shelter. However, I feel that it is unlikely that many people would have taken these precautions, as is so often the case with any storm or natural disaster, so I do not feel that there would have been a drastic reduction in the number of casualties or the scale of property damage. Social impacts were the most significant, as, overnight, 19 people were killed in England alone. In perspective, that is 5 times greater than the death toll of St. Jude in 2013, another major recent storm. Furthermore, 5 million homes were rendered powerless as electricity cables were broken by falling trees. Falling trees also presented a hazard to property, and cars and houses alike were crushed, leaving people without any method of transport to get to work and with rain pouring into their homes. In terms of environmental impacts, a total of 15 million trees were blown down. Several ancient and rare trees at Kew Gardens...
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