When Will Disasters Stop?

Many countries started this year affected by floods caused by heavy rains, like Minas Gerais in Brazil and Hat Yai, the fourth largest city in Thailand.  The flood in this city lasted nine days, a class one severity. One thousand were displaced and no casualties were reported yet 12,000 families were affected.  Their worst flood in 50 years. Flights were suspended and the provincial prison was underwater.  14 Southern provinces and almost 60 districts were inundated. Is it the End of the World?

In February 20, a province in the Amazon forest as well as Nigeria were flooded by heavy rain.

In January 22, more than 1,500 in Oregon remained without electricity due to heavy storm and ice snow two days earlier.  Even for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Portland the rain seemed endless, although it didn't break their 1950 record.

Between 24 and 25 January about six earthquakes were felt across the world.  Fiji reported a 6.3 "very strong deep harmless earthquake".  Chile declared a state of emergency for the volcanic activity whose ashes damaged the agricultural province of Chubut.

24 January- 4.5 Shallow earthquake in Dominican Republic with epicenter located 57 km NNE of San Francisco of Macoris, Dominican Republic.   5.2 deep earthquake in Mindinao Philipines with epicenter 33 km NW of Hinatuan, Mindanao Philipines, which is barely recovering from tropical storm Washi that struck last December affecting 720,000 people.  Brisbane, Australia reported a flood in South East Queensland.

In February 8, tropical storm Jasmine hit the Tafea province in the Solomon Islands, South Pacific, affecting agricultural and water systems.  

Southwestern Siberia reported a 6.8 quake in February 26

March 1, tropical storm Irina hits Madagascar. The storm passed throughout Madagascar from North to South, towards Mozambique, passing with winds of 65 mph, gusts of 80 and heavy rains.

In March 3, a 6.9 quake was reported southeast of Loyalty Islands

In March 5 a 4.0 magnitude earthquake rattled San Francisco Bay area.  The quake was 5.5 miles in depth located about 15 miles northeast of San Francisco.  That same day northern Algeria reported a 4.2 quake.  There was also a 5.2 quake reported in the Delhi region, an area with an estimated population of 25,059,084.  In Santiago del Estero (Argentina) a 6.1 magnitude earthquake was reported.  The day before there was seismic activity in the Aegean Sea with a quake of 5.4 magnitude and 9.7 kilometers.  

Up to March 5, 2012, there have been a total of 287 earthquakes above 5.0 magnitude, or of significant consideration. An average of two quakes are reported worldwide every hour.


Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Tornados

When Will it be Enough?

In 2010 major earthquakes in Haiti, Turkey and Chile (8.8 magnitude) took place as well as a blizzard in Washington DC.  Haiti's earthquake was under a full moon, some took that as an omen or a sign, until Chile's earthquake under no significant moon phase. It just happened.  2011 was declared a fatal year for the insurance industry.

During the decade of 2000 until the end of 2009 the yearly average of those affected by disasters was under 80,000.  The number of casualties from natural disasters in 2010 was above 200,000 worldwide, being Haiti the basis for this statistic with 220,000 deaths.

Some blame world population for the increase in those affected by disasters, others blame global warming and lack of planning.  "Often is not the size of the event but the vulnerability of what's on tope of the Earth when those earthquakes occur".


World's Deadliest Disasters

It All Happened Before

September 8, 1900- Known as the single deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. A category 4 hurricane hit the city of Galveston in Texas with 135 mph winds killing 8,000.  Being the year 1900 a round number, more than likely the population defined that as the end of the world as we know it.

April 18, 1906- San Francisco was hit then by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake that damage gas and water systems causing fires that extended for 500 blocks. 3000 died and almost a quarter million ended homeless.

Early 1930's- The Great Plains used to be heaven in Earth until a decade of drought transformed loose topsoil into dust and when windstorm blew eastward, it darkened the skies as far as the Atlantic Coast, damaging crops and leaving 500,000 Americans homeless.

August 29, 2005- The category 1 Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana with 135 sustained winds killing 1825 people and leaving damages of $125 billion.  80 percent of the city remained underwater for days.

Hurricane Isabel

What to Do?

Being Scared is Not an Option, Being Informed Is

The Mayan Calendar does not really refer to the end of the world, it ends around December 21, then it starts again.

A call for a balance in our attitude is essential.  How can we combat the fear and anxiety of this eternal end of the world hype?  Stay informed and be vigilant, which has nothing to do with being scared or repeating unfounded information.  The Mayan Calendar was initially set to end the world (for lack of a better term) in 2003 or 2004.  When the world didn't end, they simply moved the year to some later date.

There is a huge business in fear.  People will buy out of fear.  Others will get the gadget or the book not for fear but "just in case", all the same, serves the same commercial purpose.

So next time you receive an email or a message through Facebook or any social media, relating on how you need to consider their information right away, think again, remember the disasters listed here.  It would be ideal that the world had no natural disasters but evidently they are part of Mother Nature.  One thing is to be ready in case of natural disasters (like having an up to date insurance and a family care plan) and another is to live with the fright and constant anxiety of an upcoming end of the world as we know it.

Next time some concerned fellow citizen approaches you with gruesome prophecies about how you ought to be ready, ask them politely what happened with all the other days in which the world was suppose to end.  Stop the Madness.