Topic: Natural Disasters
THE EDITOR, Sir:
AS THE nation rejoices at the passing of another hurricane we should not forget the complacency of some people regarding hurricane precautions - whether in disregarding evacuation notices or simply carrying on with business as usual.
There seems to be a mis-conception that hurricanes less than Category 5 in magnitude are just nuisances and pose no threat; which is far from the truth. In fact, the category system is not only based on a hurricane's wind speed, but also the extent of damage consistent within a specific band of wind speeds. Possible damage to buildings is as follows:
CATEGORY 1: Well-built, light-weight buildings not secured to the ground are likely to be damaged.
CATEGORY 2: Major damage may occur to similar buildings. Damage to roofing material, windows and doors may occur on other buildings.
CATEGORY 3: Small buildings may be structurally damaged.
CATEGORY 4: Complete failure may occur to roofs of small buildings. Otherwise, extensive damage may occur to roofing material, windows and doors.
CATEGORY 5: Considerable damage may occur to roofs; severe damage to windows and doors; and small buildings may be overturned or blown away.
Of course, this does not include the associated effect of landslides, mudslides, flooding, storm surges, falling trees or other debris. So, the potential for destruction exists with every hurricane and should not be taken lightly. It is much better for us to err on the the side of caution and be safe, than be sorry for not doing so.
I am, etc.,
PAUL HAY Consultants
15a Cassia Park Road