Top 5 Natural Disaster for the USA

Posted 2:07 PM by crkota in Labels: , ,

In light of all the recent seismic activity and sub-sequent tsunami , we thought we would go back and give a look at what scientists think the top 5 natural disasters would be for the United States. Government officials are evaluating and revising disaster plans around the United States since Katrina, and now with this new series of events. So, what would be the worst of the worst be? We're talking "**** hits the fan" kinda bad.

Top 5 Natural Disaster Fears

  • Asteroid Impact wiping out a city or entire state

Of course scientists can't predict when the next devastating asteroid impact will occur - and especially not WHERE. The odds of it happening are remote, but in terms of history - people vs the planet, the planet has stomped us. Impacts have happened before and will happen LONG after we're gone.

Recent Example : Tunguska Event.

On the date of June 30th, 1908, at about a quarter after 7:00 a.m., a very mysterious explosion occurred in the skies over Tunguska, Siberia, located in Russia. This explosion happened at anywhere between six-to-eight kilometers from ground zero, and the resultant action in this was to lay waste to a vast region of pine forest of 2,150 square kilometers, felling more than 60 million trees. This was seen as a brilliant burst of light from the inhabitants of the region of 50 kilometers around. Witnesses claim that the explosion was so loud and powerful as to blow-out windows, temporarily blind and knock people to the ground, and sounded like a deafening roar.

Suppose it had happened of a major US city - It would be utter destruction.

  • Future Pacific Northwest Megathrust Earthquake

Ok - if that gibberish makes no sense, we can all just keep calling it "the big one".

All geologists know it is just a matter of time before a 9.0 or larger earthquake strikes somewhere between California and Canada. The shaking would be locally cataclysmic, but the biggest threat is the tsunami that would ensue from a fault line that is nearly identical to the one that caused the deadly 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.

A megathrust earthquake is an inter-plate earthquake where one tectonic plate slips beneath (sub-ducts) another.Just in case you were wondering how it differs from regular earthquakes :)

Some examples of megathrust earthquakes are:

1700 Cascadia Earthquake (magnitude 9.0) — Juan de Fuca Plate subducting under the North American Plate, slip length 1000 km (625 mi)

1737 Kamchatka earthquake (magnitude 9-9.3) — Pacific Plate sub-ducting beneath the Okhotsk Plate, duration 15 minutes, depth 40 km

1755 Lisbon earthquake (magnitude ~9) — believed to be part of a young subduction zone

1952 Kamchatka earthquake (magnitude 9.0) — Pacific Plate subducting beneath the Okhotsk Plate, depth 30 km

1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake (magnitude 8.6) — Pacific Plate subducting under the North American Plate

1960 Great Chilean Earthquake (magnitude 9.5) — Nazca Plate subducting under the South American Plate, depth 33 km, slip length 1000 km (625 mi), slip width 200 km (125 mi), slip motion 20 m (60 ft)

1964 Good Friday Earthquake (magnitude 9.2) — Pacific Plate sub-ducting under the North American Plate, duration 4–5 minutes, depth 25 km, slip length 800 km (500 mi), slip motion 23 m (69 ft)

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (magnitude 9.3) — India Plate sub-ducting under the Burma Plate, duration 8 - 10 minutes, slip length 1600 km (994 mi), slip motion 35 m (108 ft)

  • Strong Hurricane Reaches New York

Major hurricanes have made direct hits New York before, but the interval between them is so long that people seemingly forget the risk of living on the coast. Some Officials fear people might not take evacuation orders seriously and the obvious larger prolem : It would take likely more than 24 hours to make a proper evacuation of New York City, even that is without panic, traffic jams and if "everything goes to plan". Any size hurricane reaching New York presently would be quite destructive.

When was New York last hiy by a hurricane?

1893: A category 1 hurricane destroyed Hog Island, a resort island off the Rockaways in southern Queens.

1960: Hurricane Donna created an 11-foot storm tide in the New York Harbor that caused extensive pier damage. Forced 300 families to evacuate Long Island.

1999: Floyd, weakened to a tropical storm, brought sustained 60 mph winds and dumped 10-15 inches of rain on upstate New Jersey and New York State.

2004: The remains of Hurricane Frances in September flooded city subways, stranding some passengers aboard trains that had to be stopped by flooded tracks.

  • East or West Coast Tsunami / Megatsunami

An earthquake fault joff of California (discussed above) could generate a major earthquake and a tsunami threat that would strike so fast - most coastal residents would not have any time to escape.The fault a deadly "1,2" punch, first the earthquake would level parts of the coast - and then with little to no time to act - the tsunami would already be there.

The United States faces a potential tsunami threat that mirrors the catastrophic Indonesia tsunami of 2004 - if not worse.

Another offbeat scenario would be to have a large meteor or asteroid hit in the ocean off either coast...

  • The Yellowstone Super Volcano

It probably won't happen for hundreds or possibly even millions of years - but there is one little scary fact : It's long overdue.

A supervolcano refers to a volcano that produces the largest and most voluminous kinds of eruptions on earth. The actual explosivity of these eruptions varies, but the sheer volume of extruded magma is immense enough to radically alter the landscape and severely impact global climate for years, with a cataclysmic effect on life . The term was originally coined by the producers of a BBC Popular Science programme in 2002 to refer to these types of eruptions.

Scientist have discovered that the ground in Yellowstone is over 70cm higher than in was in 1923 - indicating a massive swelling underneath the park. The reservoir is filling with magma at a staggering rate. The volcano erupts with a calendar-like cycle of every 600,000-650,000 years. The last eruption was more than 640,000 years ago - we are running late.

If Yellowstone were to erupt full blast - some estimates say half the country would be covered in ash... up to 3 feet deep.

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