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 TimeLine of Disaster

One Votes Counts U.S. TimeLine TimeLine Index State TimeLines Flag TimeLine
Presidency TimeLine American Wars The  First  Presidents
------   About the Disasters   ------
Disasters Today
About Hurricanes   -   About Earthquakes   -   About Tsunamis   -   About Volcanoes
---------   Disaster Safety   ---------
Danger Safety  -  Hurricane Safety   -   Earthquake Safety   -   Tsunami Safety   -   Volcano Safety
Disaster TimeLines   ------
Hurricane TimeLine  -  Earthquake / Tsunami TimeLine  -  Volcano TimeLine
-------   Distaster Legends   -------
Hurricane Legends  -  Earthquake Legends  -  Tsunami Legends  -  Volcano Legends

Disasters Today

Natural disasters are caused by nature. Right? Well, yes, and no. Where a large earthquake hits and there are no humans in the area a disaster did not occur. Disasters occur when man has put himself in harm's way of nature. So, a natural disaster is in reality, man made. A Disaster needs the human component to be a disaster. Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Volcanoes are wonders of nature that carry great power. When those forces of nature intrude upon man's development of civilization, or visa-versa, disasters occur.

Looking over the world and back through the past we see that destruction is often greater in areas that still use primitive or antiquated methods in building homes and buildings. Population centers often have developed in areas that are more prone to nature's attacks. Coast lines often take the brunt of Hurricanes and tsunamis created by earthquakes and volcanic activity. Only in recent history has man been able to determine the location of earthquake faults yet development still continues in those locations. California has frequent earthquakes yet desire for sunny weather overrides the consideration of earthquake faults. Man now has the knowledge to live in peace with nature but chooses convenience and pleasure over safety.

Man and Nature will continue to clash as our researchers and developers devise ways to make our lives safer in the face of disaster. For now it is our responsibility to be prepared to avoid becoming a statistic of a natural disaster. See Disaster Safety.

  TimeLines of Disaster
Hurricanes   -   Earthquakes / Tsunamis   -   Volcanoes

Compilation, research and rewrite © Copyright 2010 Roger W Hancock 

About the Hurricane

A Hurricane is an intense cyclone with heavy rains and winds that blow at 73 to 136 knots (84 to 156 Miles per hour). Most Hurricanes occur in the North Atlantic Ocean or the Northeast Pacific Ocean, east of the International Dateline.

Hurricanes form in warm tropical areas where the water is 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more. That is why Alaska does not have hurricanes. The hurricanes that hit the U.S., Canada and Iceland are formed in the lower tropical areas at or below the Bahamas, sometimes off the African coast. Moist air converges with winds from the equator forming clusters of clouds or thunderstorms that move out over warm ocean waters. Most of the storms generated simply dissipate and die out. Others build momentum with the thunderstorms building latent heat that warms the area. The warmer air rises as cooler air rushes in below increasing the wind speed. As the winds speed up they begin to rotate. More cool winds are drawn in to feed the increasing rotation of the winds to become a cyclone. Just as the water swirls down your toilet to the right (assuming you are in the northern hemisphere) as it would turn opposite in the southern hemisphere, the rotation of the hurricane will do the same. At low wind speeds the storm is called a tropical depression. It becomes a Tropical storm when the wind reaches 39 miles per hour. At wind speeds of 74 miles per hour or faster you have a hurricane.

Hurricanes will travel thousands of miles and will slow or speed up depending upon whether it blows over cold or warm waters respectively. The hurricane will usually slow as it moves onto land loosing it's supply of moist warm air and will slow becoming lower storms and die or become revitalized if it again reaches warmer waters while still strong. The hurricane moving onto land is called landfall.

Meteorologists will track the hurricanes keeping measure of the intensity to warn the public of danger and for further study to learn more about the phenomenon of the hurricane. The tracking is made by satellites, specially equipped aircraft and equipment on the ground. Radar and infrared sensors are some of the technology that is used to track speed, rain, and other properties of the hurricane.

The devastation of a hurricane in populated areas can be great. Winds can destroy weak buildings carry off material, livestock and people. While on the sea a hurricane can cause meteotsunamis (storm surges) that can cause just as much or more damage as the high swirling winds. Meteorologists use a rating system to inform the public of the intensity of the danger approaching. The Saffir-Simpson scale for measuring hurricanes was developed by meteorologists Herbert Saffir and Robert Simpson in 1975. A Category one will have some flooding with little damage to structures. With a category 2 one can expect flooding of coastal roads, downed trees and roof damage. The category 3 has severe flooding, damage to homes and destruction of mobile homes. The category 4 has severe flooding inland, ripped off roofs and major damage to structures. Then the category 5 will send severe flooding further inland and cause intense damage to most wood buildings. The wind speeds in the different categories are 74 to 95 mph in a category 1; 96 to 110 mph for a category 2; 110 to 130 mph in a category 3; 131 to 155 mph for the category 4; and then greater than 155 miles per hour for the Category 5 hurricane.

Names are given to each storm as it is formed to aid in the tracking of the particular storm. Hurricanes for hundreds of years in the West Indies were named after the Catholic saint of the day the storm made landfall. When a hurricane made landfall on an anniversary of another hurricane it would be given a number such as 'San Felipe the Second'. During the early 1900s hurricanes were simply numbered. During WWII the names were masculine and drawn from a small pool of names that often followed the radio alphabetic code names. Feminine names were given to the storms beginning in 1953 but then political correctness brought an alternating of feminine and masculine names in 1979. Names in a hurricane seasonal region are drawn from the cultures in that area. The first hurricane of the season in its region begins with an 'A' and the next a 'B' on down the alphabet. The names are recycled every 11 years except for the name of a hurricane that causes significant damage in which that name will be 'retired' to keep a historical recognition of that storm into the future.

Trivia -

In 1933 two hurricanes made landfall in the United States in just under 25 hours apart.
2008 was the first time on record that a hurricane existed in every month of the Atlantic hurricane season.
The 2004 Atlantic hurricane season was the first on record to have 8 hurricanes form in August.
The Deadliest American Hurricane was in 1900 when a Category 4 hit Galveston in Texas; Around 10,000 people died from the winds, rains and meteotsunami (storm surge).

Hurricane TimeLine   -   Hurricane Safety   -   Hurricane Legends

Compilation, research and rewrite © Copyright 2010 Roger W Hancock 

About the Earthquake

Earthquakes are a shaking or rolling of the ground either by natural phenomenon or man-made. Mine blasts and nuclear experiments are the usual causes by man. In nature an earthquake can be caused by geological faults, volcanic activity, and landslides. A slipping of plates or faults will cause a displacing of the ground and sometimes causing the displacement of large bodies of water. Earthquakes are also known as quakes, tremors or temblors.
 An earthquake occurs when pressures in the Earth's crust is suddenly released in a great burst of energy. That energy can be recorded as waves when registered on seismometers that commonly are called seismographs. Man measures the magnitude of a quake by registering the vibrations as marks on a graph. The registered waves are called seismic waves whether made by nature or by man. Seismologists use the seismic wave records to study Earth's interior. The magnitude (power and size) of the quake are recorded. To give a perspective of the energy that is released by an earthquake, we can equate a 5.7 earthquake with the 1945 atomic bomb blast at Hiroshima.
During the Han dynasty, ancient China had an instrument for measuring winds and the Earth's movements. The seismograph as we know it, in earlier development was first developed by a team who worked to study the frequent quakes in Japan in the 1880s through the mid-1890s. One of the earlier devices helped to provide correct initial shock directions of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Today there are various forms of the seismographs that are used for various purposes. For many years the seismographs recorded the quakes on paper. Today, a digital version inputs the data directly into a computer.
 The Richter magnitude scale (Richter scale) has been the scale used to measure the magnitude of an earthquake. It was developed by Charles Richter assisted by Beno Gutenberg of the California Institute of Technology in 1935. The Richter scale is a base-10 logarithmic scale with a 5.0 being ten times the magnitude of a 4.0. The 'moment magnitude scale' is becoming the measurement of choice using similar values but is more correlated to the quake's destructive power.
 Prior to being able to measure by use of seismographs, historical earthquakes are studied. With the knowledge obtained and by studying the modern earthquake records the size and magnitude of, even ancient, quakes can be estimated. Studying the historical accounts of earthquakes, the seismologists use reported damages, deaths and how the quake 'felt'. They will then compare them to the same of more recent quakes to determine the probable magnitude of an earthquake.
 The various magnitudes of earthquakes have been categorized by the potential for destruction. Micro-earthquakes are less than 2.0 and are not felt. Minor quakes are from 2.0 to 2.9 and are recorded but usually not felt and from 3.0 to 3.9 that are felt but rarely cause damages. Light quakes measure 4.0 to 4.9 and cause a noticeable shaking of the ground and indoor items and may cause light damage only. A Moderate quake, 5.0 to 5.9 can cause major damage to poorly built and slight damage to well designed buildings. A Strong quake, 6.0 to 6.9, can cause damage over 100 miles in areas with populations. Major earthquakes measure 7.0 to 7.9 and may cause damage over large areas. Great earthquakes of 8.0 to 8.9 might cause substantial damage over a several hundred mile area and the 9.0 to 9.9 being devastating over thousands of miles. The Epic quake is 10.0 and greater and is very rare; man does not know of any Epic quakes.
 Trivia -
- There are 50 earthquakes detected each day. That adds up to over 18,000 a year.
- The Earth averages 18 major quakes 7.0 to 7.9 and one 8.0 or above each year.
- The largest earthquake recorded was 9.5 in Chile in 1960.
- The power of a 3.5 earthquake is equivalent to the energy released in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
- The energy released in an 8.0 earthquake is equivalent to one-gigaton of dynamite.
- The energy released by a 9.5 quake is equivalent to 178 gigatons of dynamite.

Earthquake TimeLine   -   Earthquake Safety   -   Earthquake Legends

Compilation, research and rewrite © Copyright 2010 Roger W Hancock 

About the Tsunami

Tsunami is taken from the Japanese language. The literal meaning is "harbor crossing wave" or "ferry crossing wave" [harbor crossing or ferry crossing - tsu, and wave - nami, 波] The English pronunciation of 'tsunami' is "suˈnɑ mi " Japan has frequently experienced tsunamis on its shores.

Tsunamis are larger than normal 'tidal waves' that in past history have occurred without warning and no apparent cause. The 'tsunami' not too long ago was called a 'Tidal Wave'. Since tsunamis have nothing to do with tides 'tsunami' has taken a more prominent role in describing the phenomenon of 'tidal waves". Today we have learned much more about the tsunami and are able to send warnings to avoid deaths. The definition of 'tsunami' is a series of water waves or 'a tsunami wave train' that is caused by displacement of a large volume of a body of water, such as an ocean, sea, or large lake.
Tsunamis are most often created by earthquakes, sending waves through vast bodies of water. Volcanoes create tsunamis by creating earthquakes or causing large landslides that fall into the sea.  The storm surge of a Hurricane is called a meteotsunami as they are caused by meteorological conditions as deep depressions that can form a tropical cyclone that will cause a displacement of water.

Most tsunamis are barely, if at all, noticed.  Most would have gone unnoticed and unrecorded if not for the 'Tide Stations' that measure the height of waves. Tide Stations have been established on hundreds of shores around the world. Usually an interuption of the normal wave pattern occurs prior to a tsunami. The Tide Stations record the frequency and height of the waves as they decrease prior to a tsunami. When the tsunami comes on shore the Tide Stations record an increased height of the waves. A tsunami as small as creating a 1 inch increase of the waves can be detected.

Tsunamis can cause much destruction along coastal areas. A tsunami is much like a flash flood causing as much or more damage than a regular flood. A two foot increase or more of coastal waves can be a cause for concern.

Tsunami warnings are usually issued when a large earthquake hits that might send a tsunami out to sea. Tsunamis will be greater on shores that are closer to the source. As the tsunami flows farther from the source it becomes weaker. Man cannot as yet accurately calculate the strength and stamina of the tsunami as it travels through the ocean. Warnings are issued for a possibility of a tsunami and often become a non-event or are cancelled prior to the expected arrival time.


5 Deadliest Tsunamis:

The 5th deadliest recorded tsunami was triggered by the Chilean 9.5 quake of 1960. 500 feet of Chile's coastline was flooded with damages and 3,000 deaths greater than that caused by the quake. 15 hours later the tsunami hit Hilo, Hawaii with a 20 foot wave.
- The 4th deadliest tsunami was generated by the explosion of Krakatau In 1883. 36,000 people were killed by tsunami waves as high as 140 feet. 160 villages were destroyed.
- The 3rd deadliest tsunami was generated by the 1908 Messina Earthquake that caused tsunami waves from 20 to 40 feet high. Nearly 100,000 people were killed by the quake and tsunamis.
- The 2nd deadliest tsunami was in 1755 following a 9.0 quake in Portugal. The shores of Portugal were hit with wave as high as 98 feet. Over 100,000 people were killed.
- The most deadly Tsunami was generated by a 2004 undersea quake of 9.15. 310,000 people were killed in 12 countries. Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and others saw tsunami waves as high as 49 feet.

- A volcano eruption or landslides falling into the water may cause a tsunami, however they will only reach, relatively, local coastlines.
- You cannot surf a tsunami as the wave-length of a tsunami is far too broad to catch enough energy to move a surf-board forward.
- A Hurricane 'storm surge' is called a meteotsunami.

TimeLine - Tsunamis   -   Tsunami Safety   -   Tsunami Legends

Compilation, research and rewrite © Copyright 2010 Roger W Hancock 

About the Volcano

The island of Vulcano in Italy's Aeolian Islands was named for the Roman god of fire, Vulcan. The island of Vulcano had an active volcano. You guessed it... 'Volcano' was derived from 'Vulcano'. The study of Volcanoes is called volcanology that is sometimes is spelled as 'vulcanology'.

A Volcano is a rupture in the planet's crust. An opening in the Earth's surface that allows hot ash and gases or magma to escape from the Earth's molten core. A volcano is usually housed by a mountain that was pushed up by the pressure of the lava magma and/or hot ash and gases pushing its way to the surface. Volcanoes are often found in areas of diverging or converging tectonic plates. As continental plates shift together or apart the pressures causes earthquakes and often an escape for the forces of the Earth's hot molten core to escape. Volcanoes of the Pacific Ring of Fire are caused by the pushing together of convergent tectonic plates. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge of volcanoes are caused by the pulling apart of divergent tectonic plates. Volcanoes do not usually occur when the tectonic plates slide upon each other rather than collide or pull-apart. Where the Earth's Crust is is stretched becoming thinner a non-hotspot intraplate volcanism might allow the pressures to push up a volcano. The African Rift Valley and the European Rhine Graben with Eifel volcanoes are in area where a thinning of the Earth's crust has ocurred.
A pushing up of the ground by the volcanic forces where the earth's crust has been thinned is called a mantle plume that occur far from the mantle boundaries. Such hotspot vocanoes like those in Hawaii can be found on other planets or moons in our solar system.

New oceanic crust is constantly being formed by slow cooling that solidifys hot molten rock. This is in the areas of the mid-oceanic ridges that are thinned by the divergent pull of tectonic plates. The thinning allows adiabatic espansion and a partial melting of the mantle to create new oceanic crust by the volcanic activity. Where there is volcanic activity there are volcanoes. Most of the divergent plate boundaries are submerged at the bottom of the oceans, where the Earth's crust is thinner. As such most submarine volcanic activity constanly creates a new seafloor. Deep sea vents called black smokers are found among submerged volcanic activity. Where a mid-oceanic ridge is above sea-level volcanic islands are formed. Iceland is where the ridge is above sea-level.

Mount Etna and volcanoes of the Pacific Ring of Fire is where magma reaches sea-level building a volcanic mountain. Subduction zones are where two plates collide. Usually the two plates are an oceanic and a continental plate that collide; converging to form a deep oceanic trench just off shore. Subducting plates allow water to be released lowering the melting tempture of the over-lapping mantle wedge, creating magma. Due to the high silica make-up of the magma it does not often reach the surface but when it does an above sea-level volcano is formed.

The Hawaiian Islands are believed to have been formed over a hotspot in a mantle plume. Hotspots are usually on mantle plumes where the Earth's crust is thinner. The convection of the mantle causes a column of hot material that rises reaching the thinner crust. The plume's temperature melts the crust forming pipes that may vent magma. mantle plumes do not move while the tectonic plates do which causes volcanoes to become dormant and new volcanoes form. As well as the Hawaiian Islands, the Yellowstone Caldera was formed in such a manner by the North American plate shifting over a hotspot of a mantle plume.

When we think of a volcano we will think of a nice cone shapped mountain that spews out lava and poisonous gasses from summit crater. Japan's Mount Fuji is one of that type of volcano. Some volcanoes may have very rugged peaks formed by lava domes. Other have massive plateaus where vents issuing volcanic material may be found anywhere on the plateau. Then we have the mud volcano which if not part of an igneous volcano will have temptures much lower than that of an igneous volcano.

The Volcano TimeLine addresses the activity of active volcanoes although there are three classifications of Volcanoes. A volcano is considered active if it has regular eruptions. Those that have erupted in historical times and are now quiet are classified as dormant. A volcano is considered extinct when it has not been active within historical times or 10,000 years. Scientists will monitor active volcanoes for signs of unrest such as earthquakes or steam and smoke of hot gas emmissions.

A volcano can have various types of volcanic eruptions. Steam generated eruptions, explosive high-silica lava, effusive low-silica lave eruptions, pyroclastic flows, carbon dioxide emissions and lahars which are mud flows of debris, are volcanic activities that can be hazardeous to humans. Hot springs, fumaroles, mud pots, geysers and earthquakes are often a sign of volcanic activity.

Volcanic activity contributes more to the pollution of our atmosphere than all of man's polluting activities. Theory has it that 70,000 years ago the Sumatra Toba supereruption caused a 10 year volcanic winter that reduced the human population down to ten-thousand.

 Trivia -
- The Tallest Volcano standing above sea-level is Ojos del Salado in Chile, measuring 22,589 feet tall.
- The Tallest Volcano measuring from its submerged base is Mauna Kea in Hawaii standing at 30,000 feet tall.
- The Earth's largest Volcano is Hawaii's Mauna Loa with a volume of 80,000 cubic Kilometers, most of which is underwater.
- Mount Rainier is the most watched volcano within the United States
as likely to cause damage to life and property.

Glossary of Volcanic Terms.

Lahars: volcanic mud flows -

Volcano TimeLine   -   Volcano Safety   -   Volcano Legends

Compilation, research and rewrite © Copyright 2010 Roger W Hancock 

Disaster Sources

Disaster TimeLines
Hurricanes  -  Earthquakes / Tsunamis  -  Volcanoes

© Copyright 2010 Roger W Hancock 

Disaster Safety   -   Disaster Legends  -  Disaster Links

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All rights reserved. © Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock

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