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Earthquakes in California. Flooding in New Orleans. Deteriorating nuclear plant near NYC.
After what happened in Japan recently, which US city do you think is most at risk to suffer a major disaster?
My vote goes to LA but let me give you a rundown.
Los Angeles sits on the San Andreas fault along what is known as the Pacific "ring of fire". It is going to get hit with the big one at some point. It's a mathematical certainty. How they prepare and deal with it will determine the extent of the loss.
New Orleans has already experienced a catastrophe once but this is a city that exists below sea level. What's the likelihood that floods will happen again?
Miami is considered one of the most venerable cities to global warming because it will be greatly impacted with rising sea levels. Hopefully, they will figure something out to prevent mass relocations. Also, it is very vulnerable to hurricanes which are only getting more powerful and more frequent as temperatures rise.
Washington DC is the capital of our country and the main target of countries that would ever seek to harm us.
...What would you choose? Feel free to add others you feel should be on the list.
EDIT- Las Vegas and Atlanta would be others due to their water issues. Too late to add to the poll though.
LA (and california in general) are well prepared for a big earthquake. the earthquake in japan was encouraging because most of the buildings withstood the earthquake itself fairly well. the PNW is not as well prepared for a major earthquake and they're the region that will get hit by a 9+ eventually due to the subdution zone fault (california doesnt have one, so only gets smaller earthquakes 8.0 maximum). PNW also has volcanoes to deal with, if mt rainer erupted tacoma could be destroyed.
i think california's biggest risk is a powerful winter storm. you prolly hear about these winter storms every year, usually wave after wave, lasts 5 days or so on avg, causes a lot of problems for california. well every 100 years or so these storms go on 30 days or so and bring hurricane strength winds with them. last time one happened in the 1860s a good portion of the central valley turned into an inland sea. down in socal anything close to the LA, san gabriel, santa ana, etc river was washed away. this is the biggest threat for cali cities IMO because theyre not prepared for something like this. basically 3-4 years worth of rain in 1 month. landslides galore. prolly millions of homes would be destroyed.
Seattle & Portland: large active (or dormant, but definitely not dead) volcanoes in close proximity, plus the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast, which has generated earthquakes far larger than anything CA has or will ever experience.
The Northeastern cities have less major hurricane risk than cities farther south. That noted, the 1938 Rhode Island hurricane would be in today's dollars a multi-billion dollar storm; beach towns in RI were swept out to sea, and the damage in that state was enormous - it hit with a 10-15 foot storm surge at the peak of the highest tide of the year, flooding Narragansett Bay backwards and inundating Providence. 3 hurricanes of similar magnitude struck New England during the 1800s, so either that century was abnormally active in the northeast, or the 20th century was atypically quiet. If the latter is true, that part of the US is likely overdue for a serious hurricane.
Location: Cleveland bound with MPLS in the rear-view
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Put Seattle and San Francisco on that list, because they are both directly on fault lines (particularly San Fran) and both earthquakes and their tsunami counterparts seem to be one of the most deadly natural disasters on the planet! It's imminent now -- experts say -- that the San Andreas falt will erupt. I have family there now so it's a little personal for me, but I worry for all of the residents of the San Francisco area and I think Seattle should be similarly worried.
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