Top Ten Natural Disasters- Threats

Click here for the top ten list. Here is a short snippet:

10) Pacific Northwest Megathrust Earthquake

Geologists know it’s just a matter of time before another 9.0 or larger earthquake strikes somewhere between Northern California and Canada. The shaking would be locally catastrophic, but the biggest threat is the tsunami that would ensue from a fault line that’s seismically identical to the one that caused the deadly 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.

9) New York Hurricane

Major hurricanes have made direct hits on the boroughs before, but the interval between them is so long that people forget, and officials fear they might not take evacuation orders seriously. The larger problem: It would take nearly 24 hours to make a proper evacuation of New York City, but hurricanes move more swiftly as they race north, so real warning time could be just a few hours.

6) Supervolcano

It probably won’t happen for hundreds or possibly even millions of years, but nobody really knows when Yellowstone will blow again, destroying life for hundreds of miles around and burying half the country in ash up to 3 feet (1 meter) deep.

5) Midwest Earthquake

It has been nearly two centuries since a series of three magnitude-8 quakes shook the then-sparsely populated Midwest, centered near New Madrid, Missouri. Another big one is inevitable. Now the region is heavily populated, yet building codes are generally not up to earthquake snuff. What’s more, geology east of the Rockies causes quakes to be felt across a much wider region. Shelves would rattle from Boston to South Carolina. Some homes along the Mississippi would sink into oblivion.

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  1. Jauhara May 10, 2006 at 7:00 pm

    How about an earthquake for Lancaster County PA, with a tsunami in the Susquehannah River that wipes out Columbia PA, followed either by a tornado or a hurricane…we get them from time to time. So far, we have only had occasional rain, with loud explosions during mining expeditions at the local quarry near our house. Nothing more than wet grass and shaken windows.

  2. Jack's Shack May 10, 2006 at 4:38 am


    You never know.


    It surprised me a bit.

  3. Yitzchak Goodman May 9, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    The Number 1 disaster is interesting.
    I won’t give it away.

  4. The Misanthrope May 9, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Yikes! All of those could cause serious problems. Now if they would just happen a few weeks prior to election so the red states can feel first hand the failure of FEMA.

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