Tonight, January 8th, 2014…10:00 PM Eastern Time!!
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Tonight, January 8th, 2014…10:00 PM Eastern Time!!
The clock is ticking on the next big earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, and experts fear it will be a monster
Following the deadly magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Oregon legislators commissioned a study of the impact a similar quake could have on the state, according to the Associated Press.
The report, “Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami,” was presented to legislators Thursday (March 14).
Within its pages is a chilling picture of death and destruction that would cripple the entire Pacific Northwest, from Northern California to British Columbia.
More than 10,000 people led. Bridges, dams, roadways and buildings — including Oregon’s State Capitol in Eugene — in a state of utter collapse. No water, electricity, natural gas, heat, telephokilne service or gasoline — in some cases, for months. Economic losses in excess of $30 billion.
The seismically active region has felt temblors before, most notably a massive earthquake and tsunami in January 1700 that wiped out entire forests in what is now Oregon and Washington and caused a deadly tsunami in Japan, thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. [Waves of Destruction: History’s Biggest Tsunamis]
“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, chair of the commission that developed the report, told Oregon legislators, according to the Daily Mail. “It’s just a matter of how soon.”
That titanic 1700 shaker was a megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia Fault, a seismic zone that stretches for almost 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) just off the Pacific Northwest coast. Based on current understanding of the fault’s seismic history, scientists estimate quakes occur along the line roughly every 240 years.
In other words, another big Cascadia Fault earthquake is “long overdue,” the International Science Times reports.
The report also noted that, geologically speaking, Japan and Oregon are mirror images of each other. There is, however, one important difference: Japan is much more prepared for earthquakes.
And Oregon is hardly the only region of North America overdue for a large earthquake: The Lake Tahoe region on the California-Nevada border is home to the West Tahoe Fault, which generally sees a quake every 3,000 to 4,000 years, and the most recent temblor occurred 4,500 years ago.
Elsewhere in California, the southern San Andreas Fault last produced a big temblor in 1690, and has been relatively quiet ever since. That isn’t good news, since a major earthquake usually occurs there every 180 years, according to recent research, and the fault line now has more than 300 years of pressure built up.
Whereas the West Coast is usually considered the most seismically active region of North America, the East Coast also has earthquakes, just not as often. Fault lines have recently been discovered near New York City, and the Indian Point nuclear power plant, about 24 miles (39 km) north of the city, straddles the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones.
In virtually all of these regions, preparation for earthquakes has been woefully inadequate, say many experts. Maree Wacker, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, laments the state of readiness: “Oregonians as individuals are underprepared,” Wacker told the Daily Mail.
‘Red Dawn’ scenario is kid’s play compared with this scenario.
North Korea now has an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to the United States, as demonstrated by their successful launch and orbiting of a satellite on Dec. 12, the Washington Times reports.
In fact, the Times report says, “North Korea is a mortal nuclear threat to the United States – right now.”
It’s not just the threat of conventional nuclear attack that has experts worried. Nor is the North Korea invasion scenario in the new remake of “Red Dawn” a realistic risk.
The real concern is that North Korea now has miniaturized nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery and armed missiles with nuclear warheads that could destroy the U.S. in a single blow with an EMP attack that would send the U.S. back to 19th century technology a la the NBC TV show “Revolution.”
And North Korea is hardly the only threat to destroy what some other nations and rogue players call “the Great Satan.”
Imagine if all the lights in America went off – never to come back on again.
Imagine if all the computers in America got fried – never to come back on again.
Imagine if all the cars in America dependent on fancy circuitry wouldn’t start – ever again.
Imagine if the grocery stores and the gas stations had to close up – for good.
That’s the kind of scenario an EMP attack can cause. The scenarios suggest massive starvation, lawlessness and chaos beyond anything Americans can imagine.
Scientists and other experts have warned for years that the nation’s electrical grid system, together with other critical infrastructures that have an almost complete dependency on electricity and electronic components, are highly vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse event, either from natural or man-made causes.
However, Congress and the administrations of previous and current presidents largely have ignored those warnings.
Events such as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States, then the devastating Hurricane Katrina and more recently Hurricane Sandy revealed vulnerabilities to those infrastructures, for a time heightened that concern.
Nevertheless, none of this was enough to awaken policymakers who seem more preoccupied with making you less safe by restricting your ability to get firearms.
Make no mistake about it: An EMP attack poses the biggest threat to U.S. national and economic security in our lifetime.
An electromagnetic pulse attack on our critical infrastructures, either from an impending solar storm of serious intensity expected between 2012 and 2014 or from a high-altitude nuclear explosion, could have long-term catastrophic consequences for our society and our way of life.
A few years ago, a congressional commission went into considerable depth on those consequences to our electricity-dependent infrastructures that include not only the power grid itself but also telecommunications, our banking and finance system, our transportation system that delivers the very food and water on which our society depends on a daily basis, and the fuel needed to keep our houses warm in the winter and air-conditioned during the summer.
While these critical infrastructures continue to face such an impending crisis, Congress basically has ignored its own commission report and instead has treated the threat of an electromagnetic pulse event as a political football to be weighed against the need to establish an antiballistic missile system. Out of the debate, nothing has happened in either direction.