I chose to do my case study of the 2004 indian Ocean Tsunami. Mostly, because I remeber being in the 4th grade during it, and everyone talking about how a giant wave stopped the world from spinning for a whole 3 seconds, shaving that time off of our life. Turns out, that was nothing but a rumor made uo by children who couldnt understand the entierty of what was going on, but my interest was piqued.

The tsunami was the result of a 9.3 M underwater earthquake along 2 faults on the northern side of Sumtra. When considering the fact that tsunamis gain speed at deeper depths, and the average depth f 4 km in the Indian Ocean, it let the waved reach a speed of up to 720 km per hour, or about the speed of a jet liner. the waves slowed down marginally as it neared shore, but even the shallowness of the coastal shelf was not enough to deter the massive waves from washing up on shore, up to 2,000 meters inland.

In the aftermath of the waves, it ws discvoered that there had been approxiamtely 230,000 deaths scattered throughout the 14 countries bordering the Indian Ocean that were hit by the tsunami. Relief efforts poured in from around the globe, creating one of the largest civil recovery efforts ever. The recunstruction of the destroyed lands had been a slow process, just because there was so much to do, but by the 10 year mark, the recovery efforts had finally been able to show exactly what it had all been for, as the=ose countries looked like they had never been touched.

Since the 2004 tsunami, there has been the creation of an undersea earthquake monitoring system that had successfully notified the population of possible tsunami inducing events in the indian Ocean, allowing the population to understand more about how to prepare themselves in case the events of December 26th, 2004 ever repeat themselves again.

Wildfires in the plains leave behind drought

A section of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas have been suffering from either near-drought conditions or drought for the past 6 months. Then, with the additon of the March fires that bruned nearly 2,100 square miles in those four states. The fire also burned more than 20,000 livestock and cattle and destroyed $500 million worth of property during that time. The threat of drought is omnipresent in this region, but these recent ones have been so extended that the winter wheat crop is now threatened.

The June forcast is for the drought to persist in a crecent-shaped region from northeastern Colorado, across southwestern Kansas and into central Oklahoma. The drought is also expected worsen the most in the Texas Panhandle. If it continues as it, then the catt;e and livestock will not have any grass to graze in, causing mass losses with the farmers.

Major Flash Flood Threat Looms in Mississippi Valley

The current round of thunderstorms hitting the Mississippi River Valley has been severe, and have already caused some flash flooding in parts of the Orzaks. There has already been one water rescue in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and several roads in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri have been shut down due to flooding. Despite this, the major threat comes from this coming weekend, with flood warnings encompassing much of the mid-west region.

The general timeline for this weekend’s flooding is as follows:

  • “Through early Thursday: From northeast Texas, northern Louisiana and western Mississippi to as far north as Illinois
  • Friday night/early Saturday: From the mid-Mississippi Valley to Oklahoma, particularly the Ozarks
  • Saturday and Saturday night: From east Texas and western Louisiana to Illinois and Missouri
  • Sunday and Sunday night: From the middle and lower Mississippi Valleys into parts of the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys.”

The greatest potential heavy rain threat spans the Ark-La-Tex region north through the Mississippi River Valley, goign as far as southern Ohio. This threat is expected to stay through late Sunday, keeping the potential for flash floods high.


National refuge fire could burn 6 months

On April 6th a bolt of lightning struck and started a blaze  inside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, near the Florida-Georgia state line. That, in addition to the strong winds over this past weekend have spread the fires further into the park, to the swamps that have been dried out by droughts . This spread has increased the fire’s footprint by 76% from Friday through today, making the total size of the fire now at 70 square miles. In total, the fire has not burned a significant portion of the Okefenokee Refuge, as its square milage comes to 635 miles, but the flames have been going for 3 weeks straight.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the refuge and has decided to let the fire burn its course within the boundries of the refuge. In the meantime, firefighters are using bulldozers to enforce fire perimeters along the refuges’ borders to prevent any spread onto private land. Despite these preperations, there is no immenent threat to humans or private property at this time.

The firefighters who are currently managing the blaze are prepared for a long haul, and expect this to go for several months. Commanders have estimated that the fire will fail to extinguish completley, or be totally contained until around November. So far, there has been no real threat to the population, and officials don’t expect there to be any real harm. The only people at risk reside in Fargo, a tiny town boasting 320 residents on the refuge’s western edge. They, along with the residents of a rural stretch of Charlton County along the eastern edge of the refuge, have been warned to prepare in the case that evacuations become necessary.

Small Earthquakes Hit California Coast

A small earthquake hit central California earlier today.  About 3 miles east of Santa Barbra, California, a little after 11 am local time the quake rattled the area. The magnitude was clocked at 3.6 according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and there has not been any reports about damages or injuries so far. There has been an influx of reports from hundreds of people on the geological survey’s website saying that they have felt the shaking nearly 60 miles north of the of Santa Barbra in Lompoc and as far south as Los Angeles County.

In addition, there was another earthquake of the same magnitude 3 km outside of Montecito, California at around 11:30 am local time. This may be why the geological survey website had reports of shaking so far south, but at this point it’s hard to tell.


Avalanche hits western Romania

There was an avalanche that hit earleir today, in the western region of the country. More specifically, it hit the Retezat Mountains, which is an area popular for hiking and various winter sports.  Officials reported an increase in the amount of snowfall this past winter season. The snow this year has been far more than just an increase though, it was extre,e in comparison to the past (photo in the second link), leading to today’s avalanche. Local officials warned the population that there was a high risk for an avalanche due to the inceased snow. Two teens either didn’t hear the warning or didn’t heed it and were caught in the fall. It was unclear what they were doing there, either skiiing or hiking, but the rescue workers pulled them out of the wreckage. Emergency situations chief Raed Arafat was the one to relay all this information to the Associated Press in the aftermath of the tragedy. Arafat mentioned that the conditions were too bad for even a helicopter to arrive safely in the affected area.

2 earthquakes hit western Turkey

Turkey has reported that 2 earthquakes hit the western province of Manisa earleir today. These earthquakes had preliminary magnitudes of 4.9 and have caused panic in the streets. The first earthquake was centered in the town of Selendi and hit at 4:16 p.m local time, according to the government’s crisis center. The second quake hit about an hour later in the town of Sehzadeler, which was reported as being more shallow. The local media reported that the second earthquake begun some pandamonium, as residents rushed the streets in a panic.

There has not been any damage reported so far. Turkey lies on active fault lines, so the occurance of earthquakes is not a rare one.