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Old 02-22-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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This just came to my mind when I saw a picture of the new zealand earthquake and the caption said "in ruins".

So, which cities have had to rebuild the most because of natural disasters? Whether it be because of an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, volcano erupting, tsunami, etc. When I say "the most" you can answer it two different ways...you can name cities that have had to rebuild the most number of times throughout the centuries. And you can name cities that have had to rebuild more of their city over again at once or the entire city because the entire city was pretty much leveled. Last year's Haiti earthquake is one that would fit the second example for Port of Prince, except they haven't really rebuilt anything yet. We all know San Francisco is one of the main ones. What are some others? You can use any city in the world.

Last edited by Shani NC; 02-22-2011 at 08:40 AM..
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
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San Francisco and Chicago come to mind as cities that were destroyed by earthquake and fire respectively, New Orleans is the most recent US example I can think of.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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Managua, Nicaragua
Skopje, Macedonia

Both devastated by earthquakes, although with lower death tolls than Port au Prince's. Sadly, Gonaives, Haiti, was destroyed by floods a couple years back too--the number of problems that befall Haiti is unreal.

Several Chinese cities were very hard-hit by earthquakes a couple years ago, as well.

Christchurch, unfortunately, got hit badly yesterday. Lots of the city's structures are gone now, and it will probably look forever changed. Terrible. I'm not sure yet whether it will be up there with Managua and Skopje (and Port-au-Prince) as cities that were forever altered by earthquakes, but it doesn't look good.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
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Japan is one of the most quake-prone countries in the world. Most of the major cities there have been devastated more than once in their histories. Kobe was devastated in the mid-90s, but has apparently come back very well. The Tokyo/Yokahama quake in the early 20th century is legendary for it's destructiveness, and it's influence on culture - I recall reading Akira Kurosawa's autobiography, and he spoke of the profound effect it had upon him (and his personal philosophies, which were expressed through all of his films) - seeing mile after mile of the city reduced to absolute rubble.

Darwin, NT, Australia was directly struck by Cyclone Tracy (and a very, very large storm surge) in the pre-dawn hours of Christmas Day, 1974. The entire city was destroyed, so completely that the surviving population had to be evacuated out of the rubble; it was only about 1980 that the population recovered to pre-storm levels. As Darwin is the capital of Northern Territory, the government had to be temporarily relocated to Alice Springs (several hundred miles south, in the desert).

Tornadoes are more localized phenomena; nonetheless several cities in Tornado Alley and the Deep South have been hit by very powerful twisters on more than one occasion: Wichita Falls TX, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Gainesville GA, Xenia OH, Louisville, Birmingham would be some of the more notorious ones. There are cities well away from Tornado Alley that have been very, very hard hit by tornadoes: the infamous 1952 tornado that hit Worcester, MA might be the most extreme example.

There are several places in the world prone to subduction earthquakes (the most violent kind): Chile, Indonesia, Alaska, Kamchatka, Japan. Chile and Indonesia have experienced multiple quakes greater than a 9.0 magnitude, and a few cities (Valdivia, Chile) have been rebuilt more than once - Valdivia was near the epicenter of the strongest quake to have ever been recorded (9.6). There are less-active subduction faults near Crete, off the coast of WA/OR/BC, and a few hundred miles W of the Straits of Gibraltar: the Lisbon quake in the 1700s was caused by one of those.

In the US, there are many cities that are vulnerable to various potential disasters: volcanoes and a very potent offshore subduction fault from far northern California to SW British Columbia (the earthquake activity elsewhere in CA is more frequent, but caused by different mechanisms). Hurricane vulnerability actually extends rather far up the East Coast of the US; given the violence of the 1938 Rhode Island hurricane, the main 'protection' a lot of the US mid-Atlantic and NE from hurricanes has more to do with the various indentations along the coast than being farther north. Southern New England was hit by hurricanes of comparable magnitude on at least 3 occasions in the 19th century, and only once in the 20th - it's a toss-up as to which century was anomalous in hurricane activity (or the lack thereof)...
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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Atlanta is the only major U.S. city that was completely destroyed by war, thus the reason for the city's motto "Resurgens" and its symbol, the phoenix rising from the ashes.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:01 PM
 
Location: DFW Texas
3,127 posts, read 7,599,170 times
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Default Cities that have had to rebuild the most because of NATURAL DISASTERS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
Atlanta is the only major U.S. city that was completely destroyed by war, thus the reason for the city's motto "Resurgens" and its symbol, the phoenix rising from the ashes.

War is a natural disaster??? Thats a new one!
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:13 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Didn't Galveston get totally wiped out in a massive hurricane?
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:44 PM
 
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Anchorage, Alaska was heavily damaged by the Good Friday earthquake of 1964---a 9.2 magnitude quake, the most powerful ever recorded in US history and the second most powerful ever measured at the time. The most severe damage was in downtown Anchorage, several neighborhoods were simply razed and completely rebuilt. If Anchorage had been a more densely populated city at the time the damage would have been even more devastating, although many other surrounding residential neighborhoods were also destroyed by landslides.

Furthermore, the subsequent tidal action and tsunami, destroyed a number of towns along the Alaskan coast, some of which were actually relocated and rebuilt along higher ground or further inland. The town of Valdez, Alaska was basically packed up and moved by trucks to a new location 4 miles away. Even much of the California and Oregon coasts were damaged by the tsunami in the aftermath. The downtown and waterfront neighborhoods of Crescent City on the far northern coast of California were basically wiped out by a 21-foot tsunami wave.

Had this earthquake struck today, with even larger populations along the NW coast, the damage would be of an even greater magnitude.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Didn't Galveston get totally wiped out in a massive hurricane?
Good one. Yes I do recall learning about that.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:54 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX/Chicago, IL/Houston, TX/Washington, DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Didn't Galveston get totally wiped out in a massive hurricane?
In 1900 yes, it was Texas's largest city and they called it the "Wall Street in the Southwest" because of how big it was getting. It was supposed to rival and surpass New Orleans, both were founded on almost the same cultures, and had lots of French Creole & Cajun influences but 2/3rds of the Island got wiped out by the worst natural disaster in history.

Today, its more so of a tourist joint with a French Creole & Cajun flair, nothing like what it used to be though.
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