Read e-book online Encyclopedia of Disasters [Two Volumes]: Environmental PDF

By Angus M. Gunn

Disasters can strike at any time. From the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius to storm Katrina, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes and different common failures have triggered large dying, human discomfort, and environmental disaster. The advanced technological and social adjustments of the previous few centuries haven't in simple terms intensified the impression of such typical mess ups, yet have further new brought new purposes to be troubled - aircraft crashes, bombings, business injuries, genocides. Calling a few failures normal and others man-made downplays the real interrelationship among the development and human activities. Human activities - or inactions - can catapult a common phenomenon right into a lethal disaster. Likewise, nature may be extraordinarily disrupted by means of occasions which are created through humans.

Encyclopedia of mess ups covers over one hundred eighty of an important failures in background. prepared chronologically, the encyclopedia comprises entries on these failures that experience had the best old, environmental, and cultural impression: The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the London fireplace of 1666, which flattened a lot of London and allowed the rebuilding of town; the influenza epidemic of 1918, which killed thousands; the 1964 Prince William Sound earthquake in Alaska, which brought on loss of life and destruction as distant as Hawaii; the worst nuclear energy plant twist of fate in Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1964, that has rendered the encircling panorama uninhabitable; and the 2004 earthquake that created a tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands in Sumatra. each one access encompasses a checklist of readings for extra learn, and the encyclopedia is illustrated with quite a few images and line illustrations that express the destruction and depression brought on by those disasters.

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This is a phenomenon commonly associated with earthquakes and will be described in more detail in the next section of this introduction. The tsunami resulting from the 1964 earthquake carried wave heights greater than thirty feet and they swept down the west coasts of Canada and the United States all the way to San Diego, causing damage wherever they went. In Crescent City, California, a location that always experiences some destruction whenever a tsunami reaches northern California, over thirty city blocks were flooded.

Western Ohio is not a high risk area compared with states in the Great Plains but, on April 4, 1974, at Xenia, near Dayton, this state was hit with one of the worst tornadoes of the century. Ohio was not alone. Over the two days, April 4 and 5, a rash of 148 tornadoes attacked twelve states, killing 300 people and injuring 6,000. At Xenia some 3,000 structures were demolished. Elsewhere, entire towns were wiped out and $600 million worth of property devastated. The atmospheric conditions were ideal for triggering tornadoes: a cool mass of humid air lay over Chicago while farther west dry air was encountering a cold air mass from the northwest.

The storm had wiped out all means of communication, and roads, bridges, airports, and even railways were impassable or destroyed. Added to the devastated landscape there was a serious vermin problem. There were thousands of dead animals of all kinds, and insects and rodents had quickly overrun the stricken area to feed on these and on rotting food. Rattlesnakes, fire ants, and rats bit dozens of victims who were sifting through the rubble. Before it left mainland United States, Camille had caused the deaths of more than 250 people and injured 8,900, destroyed 6,000 homes and damaged 14,000.

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