Saturday, January 27, 2018

Hope for the Best, but Plan for the Worst

Natural disasters are going on all around us, even if we are oblivious to them.
How many of us knew that Paris is flooding, that California had deadly mudslides, or that Albay in the Philippines is getting ready for a possible three-month emergency!
The river Seine is rising in Paris. It has forced over 650 people to evacuate their homes, so they can be safe. The end isn’t even in sight.
Back in 1910 there was a time that a lot of Paris was under water for a couple months! Water levels are predicted to reach 6 meters, or 20 feet, above what is normal. As of this morning it was already 5.7 meters above the normal levels. As seen in the picture below. 
California is Sliding!
Weeks ago deadly mudslides occurred in the Santa Barbara area. It is believed that it was due to heavy rainfall and the recent fires as depicted in this image.
An evacuation was given displacing many families for the second time in the past couple months. The pictures below show the extensive damage done. However, no one can forget the 20 people were killed, and others are missing. Rescue missions were put into place that saved a lot of lives.

Legazpi City is Burning!
In the Philippines, Mount Mayon has erupted, spewing lava and ash all over Albay. 
Officials there are saying that they are getting ready for a three months emergency! more than 81,000 people have already evacuated. The rain that has fallen has done more harm than good. The picture below depicts how the rivers are now running with volcanic debris.
The threat level this volcano has caused is a threat level of 4, and that is on a five-point scale. 
Some experts believe that the worse is yet to come. Because of the bulging sides, it is believed that a powerful eruption is yet to come.  

Natural disasters are nothing new. One thing we can count on from life is that it is unpredictable. The best way to help reign in the chaos of life is to be prepared and come together. Many lives are saved through evacuations, and many are rescued when we band together. FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, has said that “disasters are not avoidable”, “but you can be ready for them”. We should “hope for the best, but plan for the worst”. 

Is the Worst Earthquake Yet to Come in 2018?

How safe are you? Did you know that scientists are saying the number of earthquakes could double this year? 
We are still in January, and yet we have seen THREE major earthquakes clocking in over a magnitude of 7! When the 7.9 occurred in Alaska on the 23rd of January, there was much fear of it creating a tsunami in the west coast. Lucky for us, it only was a few inches high, but it could have been a lot worse. This earthquake was bad enough to affect Florida, which is on the other side of the country!
I can't help but ask myself, what if it was a higher magnitude? Sure, a magnitude 8.0 or higher don’t occur often, but when they do, they can completely destroy the area where they happen.
It is being estimated that the earthquake count will double this year. Below is a map of the earthquakes that occurred last year. As you can see, most of the earthquakes were small ones in the middle of the ocean, that really aren’t felt.
However, there have been big ones. Last year there was a devastating earthquake that occurred in Mexico. It was a magnitude of 8.1, and killed over 90 people. They had a tsunami hit, and one of the waves was reported being 5.8 feet.
With the possibilities of earthquakes doubling, that also means there are greater odds of the higher magnitude earthquakes occurring. Below is a map showing how far the intensity of the earthquake, that occurred Mexico, spread. Keep in mind, this is only feeling the earthquake. Not the after affects like the ones seen in Florida from the smaller earthquake in Alaska.

You may be asking yourself, why now? What is making the scientists believe this? The rotation of the earth has a lot of impact on earthquakes. There are devices that are used to measure the motion deep inside the earth’s core. If the earth spins faster or slower, by even a millisecond, then it can impact what we feel on the surface. However, it takes about 5-6 years for this impact to make its way up to the surface. An occurrence of this was measured back in 2011. At the end of last year, we saw quite a few earthquakes, as well as with the beginning of this year.
Projections of where these earthquakes will occur have been done. Back in 2015 a World Risk Report came out as seen in the picture below. This shows which places are at risk.
The equator can be seen as a danger zone. The reasoning if this is that it is the widest point of Earth. That means that it also rotates the fastest. When there is a slowing of the rotation of the Earth, this is the point that is going to be impacted the most.

Of course, what areas at risk should be taken with a grain of salt. There was a 7.9 earthquake that occurred in Alaska, even though this map shows they have a lower risk.