Category: Natural Disaster

Two US Cities Possibly About To Be Destroyed By Natural Disasters

Two US Cities About To Be Destroyed By Natural Disasters

In the last hundred years humanity has gone through its most progressive era of technological advance. Science and technology has flourished and this process is still going strong. With so many breakthroughs in so many fields, it seems that only the sky is the limit now, and who knows what peaks we could reach next: maybe making a neighboring planet habitable or finding the elixir of eternal life. But if you look at the big picture, you simply can’t get too enthusiastic about human status. Before dreaming of conquering new worlds, take a look in our “own back yard”.

No matter how advanced we might think we are at this point in space and time, I can’t help but notice how miserably we fail when confronted with natural disasters. It’s very little we can do to actually counter nature’s wrath, and all our technological power can be at most used for rebuilding, rather than avoiding natural events. And it seems that here, in the US, the worst is yet to come, as two major cities have yet to face critical disasters.

1. New York will face its most powerful hurricane yet

You might think New York can’t be subjected to anything worse than what has already happened: terrorist attacks, violent neighborhoods, crime and the already infamous hurricanes Irene and Sandy. But you might want to reconsider, as the worst is yet to come. If you think the flooded subways, the damaged buildings and the few billion $ were too much to handle, you can’t even fathom what the next hurricane will bring. Bothe Irene and Sandy were category 1 hurricanes, meaning they were as low on the scale as they could possibly go. The next one, that will hit sometime this decade, will be category 3; we’re talking about a hurricane powerful enough to collapse skyscrapers or to flood the JFK Airport under 25 feet of water. And this won’t be a singled out case. Such a hurricane, studies show, will hit every 10 years from now on. As a result of such force, estimated damage costs have rose to about $500 billion. As for encountering such a force, there’s nothing else to do but perhaps flee for safety when the sirens start blowing.

Avoiding this sort of calamity is very unlikely, as New York’s geographical position makes it nothing less than a hurricane magnet. New Jersey and Long Island form some sort of tunnel (a bottled-neck passage) that easily redirects any forming storms towards New York’s coast. So when the wind starts blowing, New York has no other chance but to face the disaster head-on.

2. Seattle could be swallowed whole by volcanic mudflows

The city of Seattle is well known for repeatedly falling victim to all sorts of earthquakes throughout the years, big or small. But what’s to come will be far more destructive and terrifying than everything else this city had to face so far: the threat of ending it all buried in hot mud. According to recent studies and calculations, it could all be set in motion by an eruption of Mount Rainier, which is known to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the face of the planet.

I’m not making this up: Mount Rainier is on the Decade Volcano List. The Decade Volcanoes are 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas.

The spewing of magma and brimstone will be devastating to some extent sure, but it won’t be anything else but the icing on the cake. The destruction will be brought forth by a little something called a lahar. Don’t get fooled by its harmless name; lahars are true harbingers of destruction chaos. They are giant flows of debris, mud, water, trees and pretty much everything else they assimilate along the way, and are very fast-moving. What’s even scarier as that this entire concoction of destruction is as consistent as wet cement and can reach tremendous heights. Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars. The United States Geological Survey has installed a lahar warning system for the area.

A lahar swallowing everything in its path A lahar swallowing everything in its path

Believe or not, this event won’t be a first. Sedimentology studies show that this sort of event happened around 5,600 years ago, when a gigantic lahar called Osceola Mudflow (which originated in Mount Rainier), drowned a portion of Puget Sound under about three cubic kilometers of water and debris. The Osceola lahar produced by Mount Rainier (Washington) resulted in a wall of mud 140 metres (460 ft) deep in the White River canyon, which covered an area of over 330 square kilometres (130 sq mi)!!! The USGS states that Mount Rainier is behaving in similar fashion to how it has behaved for millions of years – erupting periodically. In other words, at some point, this WILL happen again.

A similar event occurred in 1985, in Colombia, when 25,000 people lost their life. Just to get the big picture, know this: the Colombian event that claimed 25,000 souls is only 2.5% of the volume of what couldo hit Seattle. In 1998 some scientist released a lahar detection system. But it was a failed attempt, as the system did not deliver. Its readings were based solely on volcanic eruptions, but lahars don’t necessarily need volcanoes in order to form.

It’s true, we’ve come a long way, and history proves it. But we’re nowhere near powerful enough to take on God’s wrath. And probably we will never be. There’s no way of fighting back nature, but with enough vigilance, preparation and determination, we might end being survivors rather than victims. No matter what the future holds, we must never abandon hope.

MFSP

California Wildfires Are Spiraling Out Of Control

California Wildfires Are Spiraling Out Of Control

In these past days my attention was caught by the massive wildfires that have been rampaging the north of California. The media have given this phenomenon a lot of attention, and with good reason: the fires are massive and seem to be spreading at a more-than-alarming rate. The reason for the wildfire seems uncertain at this point, but if you come to think about it, there’s no ONE reason for the fire. As suggested, the starting point of the wildfires is most likely the numerous dry lightning strikes that took place over this past week, mostly in northern California.

But maintaining the gargantuan flames requires way more than simply the source of the outburst.

Years of severe drought (especially the last 4) have left their mark on the local vegetation, leaving behind numerous thickets of dried vegetation, which burnt violently, helping the fires spread “at the speed of light”. In my humble opinion, the impact would’ve been lesser if these past 4 years, the right investments and measure of precautions would have been taken by the local authorities. The signs of what was coming were evident, but collective lack of reaction is costing us dearly, as the aftermath will undoubtedly be far more expensive than the preventive measures involved.

So far the wildfire has stopped at nothing. It continued his destructive course even over a highway in Napa Valley. As the fires continue to spread, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (Cal Fire) has placed over 13,000 people under order of evacuation and listed about 7,000 structures as threatened, most of which are homes. The Rocky Fire (as the blaze was named) has already engulfed 68,000 acres so far and destroyed well over 50 buildings since it eruption last week, in arid canyons near Clearlake. The costs of the destruction haven’t been estimated so far; they’re to be accurately calculated once the ordeal is over. I for one am even afraid to fathom the deficit that this will add to our already declining economy.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/04/us/california-wildfires/

Smoke from the blaze is visible up to 80 miles South of Napa. But despite seeming at its peak, the ordeal is far from over. This upcoming week is thought to be even hotter and drier than the previous periods of time, according to Cal Fire estimates. So dampening the impact of the flames is still out of the question. But despite the grim scenario, firefighters are doing their best in order to control the pace of destruction. Over 10,000 firemen have been deployed in the area, along the state line, including even off duty personnel who was called back to work due to the state of emergency. According to Cal Fire, 3,200 men are assigned directly to the Rocky Fire vicinities, along with70 bulldozers, 19 water-dropping helicopter units and 5 air tankers.

The Obama administration was informed of the cataclysmic proportions of the wildfires in California, but didn’t seem to react promptly or decisively in the matter, having very little to say about the upcoming state of events. According to official news releases, most of the president’s time is filled with the unveiling on August the 10th 2015 of the final version of his plan in order to tackle climate change, which is set on reducing carbon emissions from the power sector by 32%. But this has very little to do with tackling the current unfolding disasters that are already taking place. The current lack of infrastructures is leaving the U.S. vulnerable to immediate disasters. The government’s plan is to reduce future climate impacts, but it’s hardly touching the subject of how natural disasters are affecting the lives of millions of Americans today. The Clean Power Plan (as the program is called), is most likely doomed to fail, as did others before it, if the funding of necessary infrastructure to withstand natural disasters scenarios will be delayed even further than it already has.

Survive!

Salvation, however does not lie in governments, does not necessarily dwell in collective efforts. I’m afraid we’re past that point already. They will promise and they will bargain, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to you, to your adaptability and survival instincts. We’ve been set on the road for destruction for many years now, and the Rocky Fire does nothing more than to demonstrate that it has already hit the fan, that the hard days that were coming are already here! So get ready, while there’s still time. Take all the survival precautions necessary: stack up on resources and reserves, start learning about what it takes to survive in hard times and be ready to defend yourself and the ones you love.

by My Family Survival Plan

The Worst Drought Of The Millennium! What It Means And How We Can Fight It

The Worst Drought Of The Millennium - What It Means And How We Can Fight It

The South-West it’s now in its 11th year of drought. A decade has past and things don’t seem to be getting any better. 2014 was actually the warmest year recorded in California over the past 400 years, but recent scientific studies show that this is nothing compared with what’s to come.

Scientists from the most prestigious universities in the country (Columbia, Cornell and also NASA) had joined forces, and after investigating the matter, released an official paper in the scientific journal Science Advances, warning that the south-west and the central plains are about to face drought conditions unprecedented in the last 1,000 years.

The long cycle of drought in the region (well over 35 years) and little annual precipitation will most likely mean the end of the damp climate we got accustomed to the past 2 centuries. The impact of man on the climate does nothing more than to accommodate the arid conditions that are soon to take over a large portion of U.S. territory. Ben Cook (Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies) had this to say: “Nearly every year is going to be dry toward the end of the 21st century, compared with what we think of as normal conditions now. We’re going to have to think about a much drier future in western North America.

The forth-coming aridity will have a devastating impact on agriculture and cattle herds. The prices will grow uncontrollably when the drought sets in, affecting an estimate of about $60 million people from regions who depend on scarce water resources or are based on infrastructures designed during an abnormally moist century (San Antonio, San Diego, Omaha etc). The scientists who conducted the research agree that the desert cities like Phoenix and Lax Vegas will suffer the most damage. Data shows that in the past, on a spam of 4 centuries (9th – 14th century), the region had been subjected to a previous period of intense drought, whom paleoclimatologists have deemed the Medieval Climate Anomaly, believed to have been the cause of perdition to some previous civilizations. But the drought that’s to come in 2050 is believed to be much worse than everything else on record. “We are the first to do this kind of quantitative comparison between the projections and the distant past, and the story is a bit bleak. Even when selecting for the worst mega-drought dominated period, the 21st century projections make the (previous) mega-droughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden”, says Dr Jason Smerdon, climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and co-author of the study.food grows where water flows

The mega-drought will spell disaster in more ways than one. The upcoming water shortage does not mean only reduced drinkable water, but it also puts a strain on the vegetation. Dried up vegetation highly increases the risks of wildfire. California and Arizona aren’t the only targets of the phenomena. The study suggests that the affected area will be in fact much larger, comprised of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, North / South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas and Louisiana. The chance of extended drought (over 40 years), say the scientists, is over 80%, unless measures are taken in order to attenuate the impact and lower the speed of climate change. The scientists involved in this project say that the level of accuracy of the measurements is really high as, unlike other recent studies, they also took into consideration the rise of carbon emissions. 17 separate computer simulations based on the rate of constant rising emissions and complex climate changes gave more-than-accurate results. Not only will the amount of precipitation (rain, snow) be considerably reduced, but high temperatures will speed the evaporation process, leading to arid and inhospitable conditions.

Last year, the Obama administration announced a budget $200 million in order to counter the recent Drought in California. When asked if this would be enough for the upcoming mega-drought, Dr Cook said no. He thinks that these kind measures are only enough for droughts with a certain amount of climate impact, going on for at least a period of 10 – 15 years. The mega-drought of 2050 will surpass all expectations. It will come down to more than a fixed budget. It will take a collective effort from all of the U.S. citizens to prepare for what’s coming.

Drought Monitor – California, 2014

Drought Monitor – California, 2014

Water conservation tips for everybody

We must be more protective of our water resources! Here are a few tips and tricks on how we can dampen the impact of the mega-drought that’s about to hit:

  • Check the plumbing for leaks and repair what’s damaged, in order to reduce leakage
  • Dripping faucets should be replaced a.s.a.p.
  • Don’t let the water run down the drain if you could find another use for it (for ex. watering plants)
  • Install an instant hot water heater
  • Make sure your appliances are both energy and water efficient
  • Purchase a low-volume toilette, that uses only half the water in comparison to most models
  • Get a ultra-low-flow shower head
  • Dispose of food in the garbage rather than using the sink disposal unit
  • Don’t purchase water toys that require a constant stream of water
  • Don’t install ornamental water fountains
  • Harvest rain water
  • Make sure your lawn sprinklers don’t waste water on non-green areas (like sidewalks or paved areas)
  • Check sprinklers periodically to make sure they’re as water-efficient as possible
  • Plant drought-resistant plants and lawn
  • User mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation
  • Avoid over-fertilization (fertilization requires water)
  • Turn irrigation off in fall and winter and water manually if you must
  • Get a weather-based irrigation controller (a system that sets the irrigation timing and intensity according to the existing weather conditions, not going off when it’s raining)
  • Install a water-saving pool filter
  • Cover your pool or fountain to avoid evaporation

Water conservation tips for farmers and ranchers

Planning ahead and considering the upcoming climate changes can prolong your business. Be efficient and reduce water consumption for as much as possible.

  • Chose the water irrigation system that will make you lose the least amount of water to evaporation, run-off or percolation
  • Find ways in which to improve your current irrigation system, making it less wasteful and more efficient
  • Get a water storage system
  • Store water in ditches in the field
  • Use water measurement tools
  • Reduce soil evaporation with conservation tillage
  • Monitor soil moisture constantly
  • Stack up on food and water reserves for your animals
  • Animals that do not consume high quantities of water are preferable
  • Plant crops and use cropping systems that are less water dependent

The drought that will hit the U.S. in 2050 is not a theory anymore, it’s a scientific certainty. If society fails as a unit, make sure that at least you don’t fail as an individual. Take all the necessary precautions and get ready for what’s about to hit, because it will hit hard!

by My Family Survival Plan

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