Natural Disasters

Pressure from deep inside the Earth forces SSH, gas and molten rock to the surface. Earthquake An earthquake is a violent shaking of the ground. Sometimes it is so strong that the ground splits apart. When parts of the earth, called plates, move against each other giant shock waves move upwards towards the surface causing the earthquake. Effects of Earthquakes Earthquakes produce various damaging effects to the areas they act upon. This includes damage to buildings and in worst cases the loss of human life.

The effects of the rumbling produced by earthquakes usually leads to the destruction of structures such as buildings, bridges, and dams. They can also rigger landslides. Besides producing floods and destroying buildings, earthquakes that take place under the ocean can sometimes cause tsunamis, or tidal waves. Tsunamis are high and long walls of water which travel at a very rapid rate. They are notorious for destroying entire populations and cities near coastlines Prevention: 1 If an earthquake is occurring the most important thing to do is to DROP and COVER.

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Drop and cover means to fall on to the floor and get under something for protection. During an earthquake, if you are indoors, it is very important to stay calm and take cover under a heavy object. . ) If you are outdoors, stay as far away from buildings as possible. 3. ) Stay away from glass or anything that could fall. 4. ) If you are in a crowded area, do not even consider running for the nearest exit. Everyone will be doing that, and crowding will lead to even more injuries. Take cover under something heavy and stay away from things that could fall on you.

It is also very important to remain as calm as possible. 5. ) Be prepared for aftershocks after the initial earthquake has ended. Aftershocks are follow-up earthquakes. They are smaller than the first one, but still are very dangerous. Cyclone, Hurricane, Tornado or Typhoon A Cyclone is a fierce storm with storm winds that spin around it in a giant circle. During a cyclone trees can be uprooted, buildings can be destroyed and cars can be overturned. Avalanche An Avalanche is a movement Of snow, ice and rock down a mountainside. Avalanches happen very suddenly and can move as fast as a racing car up to MPH.

Avalanches can be caused by – snow melting quickly snow freezing melting then freezing again someone skiing a loud noise or an earth tremor Flood A flood is caused by an overflow of water which covers the land that is usually rye. Floods are caused by heavy rain or by snow melting and the rivers burst their banks and overflow. Costal floods are caused by high tides, a rise in sea level, storm waves or tsunami (earthquakes under the sea). Drought A drought is the lack of rain for a long time. In 1 968 a drought began in Africa. Children born during this year were five years old before rain fell again.

Tsunami” is the Japanese word meaning tidal wave. A tidal wave is a large sea wave caused by a submarine earthquake or volcanic explosion. When the ocean floor is tilted or offset during an earthquake, a set of waves is created. These waves are similar to the concentric waves generated by an Object dropped into the water. Usually tsunamis move entirely across an ocean to the shore. A tsunami can have wavelengths of 60 to 120 mi and may reach speeds of 800 km/h. When the wave enters shallow waters, the wave, which may have been half a meter high out at sear grows rapidly.

When the wave reaches the shore, it may be 50 Ft. High or more. Tsunamis have incredible energy because of the great volume of water affected. They bring waves of destruction capable of killing thousands of residents along the coast. Towering walls of water have struck populated coastlines with such fury that entire towns have been destroyed. In 1896 a population of 20,000 in Sangria, Japan were wiped out. Tsunamis have resulted in waves as high as 135 Ft. Above normal sea level. When a tsunami strikes the shore, it creates a number of waves with troughs that are lower than normal sea level.

Each following wave is higher than the one before it. The period between waves is 10 to 30 minutes. This usually gives people ample time to escape to high ground after the first wave. Most tsunamis originate along the Ring of Fire. The Ring of Fire is a area of volcanoes and seismic activity 24,000 mi long. It encircles the Pacific Ocean. Since the year 181 9, more than 40 tsunamis have struck the Hawaiian Islands. A tsunami warning system has been developed in areas such as Hawaii, where many devastating tidal waves occur.

Hawaii, the highest risk area, averages one tsunami every year with a damaging occurrence every 7 years. Alaska, also at high risk, averages a tsunami every 1. 75 years and a damaging event every 7 years. The warnings are provided by seismograph records. Seismographs help determine the location of where a submarine earthquake occurred. These earthquakes usually originate in one of the deep trenches in the Pacific Ocean floor. One of the largest and most destructive tsunamis ever recorded traveled at least half way around the world in 1 883 after the collapse of Krakow, a volcano in Indonesia.

Waves up to 100 Ft. High caused great damage along the coast of Sumatra. In 1 964, an Alaskan earthquake generated a tsunami with waves between 10 and 20 feet high along parts of the California, Oregon, and Washington coasts. This tsunami caused more than $84 million in damage in Alaska and 123 fatalities in Alaska, Oregon, and California. Although tsunamis are rare along the Atlantic coastline, a severe earthquake on November 18, 1 929, in the Grand Banks of Newfoundland generated a tsunami that caused considerable damage and loss of lives at Placenta Bay, Newfoundland.

In 1946, a tsunami with waves of 20 to 32 feet crashed into Hill, Hawaii, flooding the downtown area and killing 159 people. The Tsunami Warning Centers in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Palmer, Alaska, monitor disturbances that trigger tsunamis. When a tsunamis is recorded, it is tracked and a tsunami warning is issued to the threatened area. Most deaths ring a tsunami are a result of drowning. Associated risks include flooding polluted water supplies, and damaged gas lines. Since 1945, more people have been killed as a result than as a direct result of an earthquake’s groundbreaking.

Japan’s vulnerability to natural disasters is increasing as skyscrapers mushroom in cities, shopping malls go underground and the population ages, a recent government report says. “In addition to growing risk of natural hazards, our society has become more vulnerable to disasters,” the disaster prevention white paper said. According to an Associated Press report in China Post: Densely populated cities are crowded with high-rise buildings and apartments that are at higher risk in earthquakes and storms. Proliferating underground shopping malls are also vulnerable to quakes and flooding.

The growing percentage of elderly in the population also presents rescuers with more people likely to be hurt in a disaster, coupled with fewer able-bodied who can help them. The report called for awareness-raising campaigns, more active participation in disaster prevention activities by companies, and research and development of earthquake and tsunami alert technologies. While Japan’s vulnerability is growing, so is extreme weather. Over the past decade, the number of torrential rains have nearly doubled and major earthquakes occurred in areas not considered usual danger zones, such as Niagara and Onto in northern Japan.

The report said the number of skyscrapers exceeding the height of 1 00 meters (330 feet) has more than quadrupled over the last IS years while the number of single elderly households nearly doubled in the last decade. Deadliest Effects of global warming Although some areas of Earth Mill become wetter due to global warming, there areas will suffer serious droughts and heat waves As the temperature of oceans rises, so will the probability of more frequent and stronger hurricanes As northern countries warm, disease carrying insects migrate north, bringing plague and disease with them.

Indeed some scientists believe that in some countries thanks to global warming, malaria has not been fully eradicated. Tips on Cutting Energy Use: (preventions of global warming) ; Compact fluorescent bulbs. Howard Seller, former chairman of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says replacing all US shoulder’ incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, alone could halt the growth in CO emissions from the United States, given recent growth rates. ” ;When replacing home appliances, use energy efficient models.

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