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10 Cities Most at Risk From Natural Disasters

Rich Heap, Community Editor, Future Cities
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 08:00 EDT

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James@SanDiego
James@SanDiego  
10/26/2013 12:19:05 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Japan
Well Rich, I've been in 3 quakes, the heaviest one a 3.8 and you could hearing it coming blocks away.  It sounded like thunder on the ground, I was painting my moms 3rd. story apartment and jumped off the ladder and told her to hang on.  It went under us, cracked 2 of her walls and sped away.  It was intense and exhiliarating with an andrelanine rush all at the same time.  Knowing that this cold be the end and hoping it wasn't.  

You can only prepare for the worst and hope for the best as it is a fact of life out here.  Thank GOD they are not to common but science says we are overdue for the big one, so who knows?  I believe that earthquakes are one act of nature that man does not contribute to but rather the earth expanding and contracting due to solar and lunar influences as well as thermal influctions.  Storms and tornados on the other hand do seem to be human influnced in part.

richheap
richheap  
10/25/2013 2:40:32 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Japan
Thanks James. So, all that being the case, does this worry you? Or are you in the same camp as Davedgreat2000 for not worrying about something you can't control?

James@SanDiego
James@SanDiego  
10/25/2013 12:34:15 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Japan
Hi Rich, California has a huge active earthquake zone running smack dab through the middle of it, the San Anderas Fault.  Most of our population centers are built on the Pacific or west side of it.  The danger here lies in Tsunamis from a big enough shaker.  As Dave said, earthquakes are a way of life for us and they can not be accuratly predicted.  In a severe quake, above 6 on the RICHter scale, the ground liquifies and nothing is able to withstand.  Costal water rise and tides being influenced by the moon cycles and global warming ice melt also put our coasts at risk sice it is some of the most desireable human habitat.  The studies and money put into earthquake science are astounding.  Building codes that are common place now provide some protection for survival and escape but this is only borrowed time in a severe quake.  The added danger of flying glass debris is another concern for city dwellers as the building girders will twist and deform.  In short, man has little protection for mother natures common occurences but to escape and hide.

Water being the most powerful force on the planet is another recipe for disaster.  San Diego would be almost wiped off the map if a Aomori prefecture strength quake were to hit here.  Downtown San Diego is at sea level, which includes City Hall, County Administration, San Diego International Airport and many business headquarters.

mejiac
mejiac  
9/30/2013 7:54:37 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Japan
I think everyone one of us can take some precaution meassures, but as you mention Davedgreat2000, I'm also not much of a worrywart.

There is no full proof meassure when nature unleashes it's fury.

mejiac
mejiac  
9/30/2013 7:52:12 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Japan
@Susan Leach,

Like many countries where nature as a "temper", developing construction codes to address natures fury are a must.

The Caribbean/Central America is constantly on a "hurrican alert" every year, reason why there aren't any tall buildings, and infrastructure are made using more robust building technics to withstand the impact of winds and heavy rain.

For many people, this can seem like something out of a movie, but coming from one of those countries, is more like "Oh, hurrican alert?...Yeii...day off", since it's simply part of the day to day.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
9/30/2013 12:10:11 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Tornadoes
Hey mathgod496! I think your comment refers to something said earlier in the thread. I was talking more about 'quakes...

PeterJ
PeterJ  
9/29/2013 6:44:41 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Japan
I hunk that is one of the major concerns in the northeast US, where we're long overdue for a more significant quake. I wonder about the level of preparation and response.

PeterJ
PeterJ  
9/29/2013 6:41:28 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Japan
Good point, Amy. In visiting Washington this weekend, I'm also reminded of the earthquake two years ago when viewing the scaffolding around the Washington Monument and National Cathedral...

Hassan
Hassan  
9/28/2013 12:26:42 PM
User Rank Village Voice
Re: Japan
@rich: you could consult "earthquake resistant design and risk reduction" by david dowrick.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
9/27/2013 8:02:49 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Japan
@Hazel. I was in Tokyo a few years back during a minor tremor. The apartment where I was staying was on the 15th floor of a slim high rise. The whole thing swayed gently and a few items fell off shelves but for the most part it was uneventful, gratefully. At the time, it didn't quite register what was happening -- I'm sure I would have been more alarmed otherwise. But it is definitely a weird feeling to suddenly discover that what you thought was firm and solid is moving around!

You're right, though, that the Japanese have some of the most rigorous building codes for seismic activity.

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