Aerial images show Ida’s devastation

Aerial footage shows the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida off the coast of the US state of Louisiana, hit by winds over 200 km/h and extreme rain as the storm hit Sunday. Ida was the fifth-strongest wind-ranked hurricane to date to touch land in the continental United States.

The monster hurricane Ida touched land at 1:55 pm EDT on Sunday as a category 4 storm with a maximum sustained wind of 241 km/h and gusts up to 277 km/h, and a minimum central pressure of 930 hPa, at Port Fourchon, state of Louisiana. Hurricane Ida destroyed homes, buildings, caused severe flooding and left millions of people without energy.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, today released aerial footage of the destruction caused by the Category 4 hurricane in Louisiana. Many buildings were totally destroyed and most of the houses and buildings on the coast suffered some kind of damage.

NOAA

NOAA

NOAA

NOAA

NOAA

NOAA

NOAA

NOAA

The US Coast Guard, which has been conducting helicopter rescues, also released aerial footage of cities hit hardest by Louisiana’s extreme wind and rain in the wake of the powerful category 4 hurricane that hit the region on Sunday.

US Coast Guard Heartland

US Coast Guard Heartland

US Coast Guard Heartland

Another set of aerial footage of Louisiana’s worst-hit areas was released by US Representative Garret Graves, who made a reconnaissance flight on Monday.

Garret Graves

Garret Graves

Garret Graves

Ida stunned the scientific community by its rapid intensification, despite having been predicted by the US National Hurricane Center. At 11 am on Saturday, Ida had sustained winds of 136 km/h. Just 26 hours later, when it touched land in Louisiana, sustained winds were 105 km/h higher: 241 km/h. Ida experienced a 24-hour intensification before the landfall of 88.5 km/h, making the storm the fourth fastest intensifying hurricane on record before touching land in the United States.

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Historical records show that since 1950, nine storms have intensified by at least 40 mph (64 km/h) in 24 hours before touching land. Of these, four in just the last five years. Record holder was Humberto, from 2007, with 105 km/h. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) minimum qualification for rapid intensification is a 56.3 km/h increase in winds in 24 hours.