These incredible before and after aerialÂ pictures show the destruction wreaked by Superstorm Sandy on the Atlantic CoastÂ of the U.S.
The shocking before and after photos of theÂ New York and New Jersey shoreline reveal in minute detail how much the land wasÂ altered in just a few moments.
They are part of a large-scale survey of theÂ damage by the U.S. Geological Service, which is attempting to analyse theÂ devastation caused to houses, public services and the lives of people from theÂ battered seaside towns.
‘Sandy taught us yet again that not allÂ Cat-1 hurricanes are created equal,’ said USGS Director Marcia McNutt.Â ‘TheÂ superstorm’s enormous fetch over the Atlantic produced storm surgeÂ and waveÂ erosion of historic proportions.
‘We have seized this opportunity to gatherÂ unique data on a major coastline-altering event.’
As major storms approach, the USGS conductsÂ pre-storm and post-storm flights to gather images along the length of theÂ coastline likely to take the hit of the storm’s landfall.
Pictures from these points of impact helpÂ scientists understand which areas are likely to undergo the most severe impactsÂ from future storms, and improves future coastal impact forecasting.
USGS oceanographer Nathaniel Plant said SandyÂ caused ‘significant beach and dune erosion and minor disruption ofÂ infrastructure in the south, to extreme and often catastrophic erosion, overwashÂ and sediment deposition and inundation on northern beaches like Mantoloking, NewÂ Jersey.’
Overwash occurs when waves are higher thanÂ protective sand dunes, sweeping sand from the beach inland.
This can wreak havoc on roads and publicÂ transport, bury buildings and put lives at risk.
The photos will help USGS identify areasÂ particularly vulnerable to severe coastal change.
Before Sandy, the service predicted erosionÂ of 91 per cent of the Delmarva coastline, 98 per cent of beaches and dunes inÂ New Jersey and 93 per cent in New York.
It recorded drastic changes on Fire Island inÂ New York, where the beach all but disappeared overnight, seaside homes reducedÂ to matchsticks and 3ft of sand dumped in back gardens.
USGS coastal geologist Cheryl Hapke said: ‘OnÂ average the dunes eroded back 70 feet – the equivalent of 30 years of change.
‘Our data also showed that dunes lost as muchÂ as 10 feet of elevation.’
Source: The Daily Mail