Posts Tagged ‘natural disaster’

Three Storms: The Perfect Storm?

April 21, 2011

Extreme weather has affected three states in as many regions of the United States.  In the East Coast, North Carolina was hit by a tornado, while Texas wildfires scorched the Southwest, and a cold snap in the Midwest caused snow to fall in Michigan.  The tornado in North Carolina killed twenty-two people and damaged or destroyed more than 800 homes.  Meanwhile, wildfires have scorched Texas for days, consuming over a million acres and making the situation critical in the Lone Star State.  So far, 110 homes have been destroyed and hundreds more could be threatened.  In Michigan, record-breaking snow fell this April, bringing about seven to nine inches of wet, heavy snow, which has bent trees, snapped power lines and shut down schools throughout the Wolverine State.

April 2011 has been marked by extreme weather. Tornadoes ravaged North Carolina and the southeastern United States. A springtime snowfall has covered Michigan and the Midwest. Wildfires have scorched Texas. Is the country in the eye of the perfect storm?Can the tornado, wildfire and snowfall be related to one storm?  I believe that these storms could be related.  The cold front from the north can send tornadoes ripping throughout other regions.  April 2011 is said to go down as a record month for tornadoes.  The heavy drought in Texas may be due to the same cold front headed towards the east instead of the south, resulting in the spread of wildfires throughout the state.  The best thing you can do to prepare for these natural disasters is to have safety kits in your house and an emergency plan.  Don’t forget to set aside food and water that will last for at least two weeks.

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Taylor P.

 

8.9 Magnitude Earthquake & Tsunami Strike Japan

March 12, 2011

On Friday, March 11, 2011, an earthquake struck off the shore of Northern Japan with a magnitude 8.9.  This earthquake created a 23-foot tsunami, devastating the mostly rural area.  More than 50 aftershocks have occurred since the main quake, some being over magnitude 6.0.  Friday’s earthquake ranked as the fifth largest earthquake since 1900.  Hundreds upon thousands of people were left dead, injured, or missing.  People in Tokyo and the surrounding metropolis were left stranded because the rail network went offline immediately after the quake.  33 shelters have been set up in city hall, university campuses, and in government offices so far.  Evacuations were ordered for those closest to nuclear power plants, requiring people to move at least 2-3 miles away from the plant.  Although the plant was not leaking any radiation, it was still hot even after shutdown.

On March 11, 2011, a powerful 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Northern Japan, triggering a 23-foot tsunami, devastating farmland and leveling infrastructure in its path.

Natori City, Japan. Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters

The entire Pacific Rim area was put on alert, but the waves were not as strong as expected in the state of Hawaii.  At around 9 AM EST, a 7-foot high tsunami hit the island of Maui, while neighboring islands Oahu and Kauai recorded waves at least 3 feet high.  Jordan Scott, spokesperson for the California Emergency Management Agency, said that it could take 10 to 12 hours for the effects of the earthquake to completely fade away.  Evacuations were made all along the California coast, including 6,000 people near the town of Santa Cruz.  Coastal residents continue to stay on watch for any possible emergencies.  People are encouraged to make any donations they can to an international relief fund supporting the victims of this disaster such as American Red Cross’s “Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami” disaster relief page on Amazon.com.

The tsunami wave, as seen from the sea before making its way inland:

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Taylor P.