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Could the United States Handle an earthquake

Tashah

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First of all, you did not define what you mean by the expansive word 'Handle'. Secondly, you did not place an intensity value to the term 'earthquake'. A 7.0 earthquake is vastly different than one with a value of 1.5. You also failed to specify a distinct locale. Since you have supplied no viable parameters here, your query is problematic to say the least.


 

Kelzie

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Tashah said:
First of all, you did not define what you mean by the expansive word 'Handle'. Secondly, you did not place an intensity value to the term 'earthquake'. A 7.0 earthquake is vastly different than one with a value of 1.5. You also failed to specify a distinct locale. Since you have supplied no viable parameters here, your query is problematic to say the least.



Hah! Take that!
 

wxcrazytwo

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Tashah said:
First of all, you did not define what you mean by the expansive word 'Handle'. Secondly, you did not place an intensity value to the term 'earthquake'. A 7.0 earthquake is vastly different than one with a value of 1.5. You also failed to specify a distinct locale. Since you have supplied no viable parameters here, your query is problematic to say the least.



Touche, so you wanna play word games huh? Remember I am not in the legal field for nothing. My scenario was broad, as such, I was trying to elicit a broad and vague response. However, if you continue to want specifics, I will give you specifics. However, as locale goes anywhere in California were a magnitude 7.0-9.0 (anything in between) can and has occurred will do for this scenario. What I mean by handle "to take care of or be responsible for something", "to deal with or cope with somebody or something", and "to manage or supervise somebody". This should satisfy your question, if not, then please let me know. G'Bye
 

Tashah

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wxcrazytwo said:
Touche, so you wanna play word games huh? Remember I am not in the legal field for nothing. My scenario was broad, as such, I was trying to elicit a broad and vague response. However, if you continue to want specifics, I will give you specifics. However, as locale goes anywhere in California were a magnitude 7.0-9.0 (anything in between) can and has occurred will do for this scenario. What I mean by handle "to take care of or be responsible for something", "to deal with or cope with somebody or something", and "to manage or supervise somebody". This should satisfy your question, if not, then please let me know. G'Bye
Indeed. Eliciting a broad and vague response may well suit the legal field, but I am not in the field of physics for nothing either. If you wish to elicit sensible answers counselor, then I suggest that you premise your leading question appropriately.


 

wxcrazytwo

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Tashah said:
Indeed. Eliciting a broad and vague response may well suit the legal field, but I am not in the field of physics for nothing either. If you wish to elicit sensible answers counselor, then I suggest that you premise your leading question appropriately.



The query posed was sufficient for the purposes of this board. The reason why I posed the query in the first place was to elicit a vague and ambiguous response. If I wanted to be more specific, then my query would have been much more narrow. Thus, requiring a much more specific response.
 

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Yes. We are quite prepared for an earthquake. California (Shake and Bake) has several earthquakes a year, whether they are big or small, it is all in the way the media shows it, and what the richtor scale shows. In the San Fransisco earthquake there was much damage, but we survived, and I know that was a wake up call for S.F. and they are ready. I am more familiar with the Northridge Earthquake which hit L.A. I personally slept through it. (Maybe because earthquakes are common place in the west.) The reason why we are prepared for earthquakes is because we have already experienced quite a few massive ones. Katrina was one of the most destructive hurricanes in the U.S. There was initial shock, and panic, which slowed the effectiveness of procedures.
 

Tashah

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wxcrazytwo said:
The query posed was sufficient for the purposes of this board. The reason why I posed the query in the first place was to elicit a vague and ambiguous response. If I wanted to be more specific, then my query would have been much more narrow. Thus, requiring a much more specific response.
If you wished to elicit a manifest vague and ambiguous response, then why specify earthquake? Why not simply use the phraseology 'high-magnitude natural disaster'? Your initial question greatly diminishes the ability of posters to formulate a reply using logic and knowledge-resources because it is framed as open-ended and lacks critical information. Such a technique also has the tangential effect of eliciting a negative response because people have a tendency to assume the worst when informational parameters are not established. In essence, your question is purposefully crafted to elicit negative responses to the ability of the United States to respond to 'a vague and ambiguous' earthquake scenario. This is both disingenuous and dishonest.

wxcrazytwo said:
...as locale goes anywhere in California were a magnitude 7.0-9.0 (anything in between) can and has occurred will do for this scenario.
The Richter Scale, as formulated by Charles Richter in 1935, is a base-10 logarithmic scale obtained by calculating the logarithm of the combined horizontal amplitude of the largest displacement from zero on a seismogram.

Thus, this mathematically implies that an earthquake of magnitude 5 is ten times greater than one of magnitude 4 and an earthquake of magnitude 8 is 10000 times greater than one of magnitude 4.

You have chosen an earthquake with parameters of 7.0-9.0. A 7.0 earthquake is characterized as 'Major' and approximately 18 of these events occur globally per year. A 9.0 earthquake is nominated as 'Great/Rare' and only occurs globally about once every twenty years. A 9.0 earthquake is thus much more rare globally than a Class-5 hurricane such as Katrina... and its devastating effects encompass a radius of 1000 miles from the epicenter.

Using these specific unique parameters, it is quite obvious that neither the United States, nor any country... has the ability to minimize material destruction or respond in adequate fashion on short-term notice since the supporting infrastructure would be destroyed and unusable. Casualties would be very high since an earthquake does not announce itself in advance in the manner of a hurricane.

In essence, a natural disaster in the West Coast on the order that you have proposed would be a catastrophic. There is no human agency on earth that could negate, serve to minimize, or quickly rehabilitate the severe damage inflicted. Rescue efforts would entail months of searching and probing, and rebuilding a devastated densely-populated area with a radius of 1000 miles would stretch well beyond a decade.


 

teacher

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However well the US deals with it it would be head and shoulders above most other nations thank you. We have our faults, but wrap you car around a tree in say, India or Mexico and see how long it takes for the helicopter to arrive. Anyone else here been in serious medical condition? I have. The emergency room I went to was very impressive.

How about more scenarios to dog the US?
 

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There has been too much west coast talk in here. How about the New Madrid seismic zone, where every 100 years there is a m6.0+ on average. And the last such was 110 years ago, which puts us past due. The famous quakes of 1811-12 caused the Mississippi River to flow backward, chance course, and created waterfalls in the middle of the stream. A m6+ quake today could very well level St. Louis, and would definitely take out Memphis. Not to mention any town along the river could become the bottom of the river. And like I pointed out, these things happen on a regular basis all throughout recorded history and geological time. We're overdue. How do you like those apples?

Just my happy thought for the day.
 

gwynn

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Well, to give a specific answer to a general question, it depends.

California is generally well prepared and pretty much any quake on the San Andreas or surrounding faults would be handled fairly well. There would be some loss of life and a fairly large loss of property, but nothing comparable to Katrina.

However, if either the New Madrid fault ( as mentioned in the post above ), the Cascadia subduction zone, or the Seattle fault let go it would be a completely different story. In any of these cases you are dealing with populations that have not seen really significant siesmic events in recent history, and as such both the populace and politicians have been less willing to spend the time or money preparing for them.

As for tsunamis, and the Cascadia subduction zone would likely generate one, there is a warning system in place which measures sea level elevation and would give adequate time to evacuate most low lying areas. Or it would if the locales which would be hit by one had plans in place and adequate infrastucture to allow for a speedy departure. Most do not. As a note, this system does not provide data which would have been useful for the recent tsunami.
 
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