Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Getting ready for The Big One

Drop, cover, and hold on in an earthquake.
On the other hand, some experts think the Big One in California will be a flood, not an earthquake. From today's Chronicle:

...During the height of the drought, California went as long as a year without seeing a single atmospheric river. But the state was hit by more than 30 of the systems last winter, according to Scripps researchers. That explains why the season was one of the wettest on record.

Because of the prospect of significant damage, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a disaster preparedness exercise in 2011, loosely based on a series of atmospheric rivers that struck during the winter of 1861-62. The string of storms a century and a half ago left much of California covered in water and thousands dead.

Dale Cox, who led the simulation, said it was designed around conditions the state could realistically experience in the near future.

“This wasn’t a way-out-there kind of storm,” he said. “As far as disasters go, earthquakes are the charismatic species. They’re the ones that people tend to fear the most. Floods don’t get the attention, yet that’s what’s going to be California’s big one.”

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