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California Bay Area Residents Living on a ‘Tectonic Time Bomb’

California Bay Area Residents Living on a ‘Tectonic Time Bomb’ 86

I’m sure there are many locations that this can be said of. Many of worlds deadly fault have heavily inhabited cities on them so they are all potential time bombs in way but perhaps some have a greater chance of ‘going off’ than others.

via Sputniknews:

A US Geological Survey (USGS) published this month reveals that California Bay Area residents are living on a “tectonic time bomb,” also known as the Hayward Fault.

In fact, researchers claim that the Hayward Fault, which runs about 74 miles along the bottom of the East Bay Hills, is far more dangerous than the better-known San Andreas Fault, the continental transform fault extending around 750 miles through California that was behind one of the worst earthquakes in US history, the 1906 San Francisco quake that killed around 3,000 people.

“The USGS and its partners have worked together to anticipate the impacts of a hypothetical [magnitude] 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault, before it happens, so that people can use the latest science in their efforts to become even better prepared,” said Ken Hudnut, USGS science adviser for risk reduction and one of the lead authors of the “HayWired Earthquake Scenario” report published by USGS this month.

According to the report, at least 800 people could be killed and 18,000 injured in a hypothetical magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault centered below Oakland.

In addition, fires triggered by damage from the main shock could burn down 52,000 single-family homes. More than 2,500 people may need to be rescued from collapsed buildings while more than 22,000 people might require rescue from stalled elevators.

Water distribution systems in the bay region could also be impacted. The report predicts that East Bay residents would lose water service for at least six weeks; others may lose water service for as long as six months. The lack of normal water service would also prevent the efficient suppression of fires — that’s a huge risk, considering 90 percent of the damage in San Francisco caused by the 1906 quake was from fires it started and not from the shaking ground itself.

“This fault is what we sort of call a tectonic time bomb,” USGS earthquake geologist emeritus David Schwartz said, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It’s just waiting to go off,” he added.

In fact, according to Schwartz, the Hayward fault is especially dangerous “because of the density of the population directly on or astride it, which would include San Francisco, and the amount of infrastructure that crosses it.” The fault runs through heavily populated areas including Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Union City, Fremont and San Jose.

Awareness of the potential danger of an earthquake along the fault has grown over recent years, thanks to the efforts of officials.

“The Hayward Fault runs beneath the foundations of more than 300 buildings and other structures. One such building, the University of California Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium, is nearly bisected by the fault and has been retrofitted to withstand shaking and fault offset,” the report states.

UGGS researchers also revealed that California’s minimum building codes are not sufficient to guarantee safety in the event of an earthquake across the Hayward Fault. The buildings are currently only required to be strong enough to allow people to safely evacuate them after a quake. Even if all 2 million structures in the greater San Francisco Bay area were renovated to comply with safer building codes, a “Haywired” scenario earthquake would still completely collapse an estimated 8,000 buildings. Nearly 100,000 buildings would be red-tagged, which means that they would be unsafe to enter due to quake damage, while 390,000 would be yellow-tagged and have occupancy limits imposed on them due to structure damage. The potential scenario could also result in at least $82 billion in property damage.

The Hayward Fault typically produces a big earthquake about once every 150 to 160 years. The last major earthquake on the fault happened about 150 years ago on October 21, 1968. That quake had a magnitude of 6.8 and killed five people and injured 30 others. It also caused about $350,000 in property damage in San Francisco alone.

“Even given the uncertainties, we are definitely closer to the next one than we are away from it,” Schwartz noted.



Planet Earth

Polar vortex: “wild” winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January

Polar vortex: "wild" winter is coming in the US, Northern Europe and East Asia after the 16th of January 89

In the upper atmosphere above the North Pole, experts saw a rapidly swirling vortex of cold air that could bring severe frosts to the United States, Northern Europe and East Asia. Serious cold snap and snowy weather are expected after January the 16th.

Snowfalls and a cold snap hit South Korea since the start of 2021, hitting historic snow maximums and temperatures. In the country, for the first time since 1964, television and newer communications are sending people cold snap warnings:

The situation is similar in Japan, where a new snow storm hit historic highs:

On January 7, the thermometer In Beijing dropped to -20 degrees Celsius, breaking the 1966 record. In other regions of China, the temperature is also not sugar, and you can only move around in special uniforms:

The cold even reached Taiwan, where the temperature in some areas dropped below freezing point, snow poured down and people realized that rice terraces can be used as a ski jump:

Even more snow went to Spain, where on January 6, 2021, a temperature of -34.1 ° C was recorded – the lowest on record. After that, a snow storm hit the country, which has not been seen for 80 years:

The same thing happens in Canada and in the northern states of the United States:

It seems that after a stratospheric warming, the subpolar vortex began to split:

The vortex itself is a standard phenomenon. However, this time experts were surprised at his movement. It is possible that in the near future it will be divided into two parts. 

Scientists associate the strange behavior with the changed climate in the Arctic, which has become warmer. From September to December, the amount of ice cover decreased significantly.

The polar vortex is a low-pressure region located in the stratosphere and filled with cold air. When the jet stream of air that holds the vortex weakens, the low pressure area moves south. 

As the ice shrinks, more moisture will move inland. It will turn to snow, so snowfalls are expected. Snow, in turn, reflects heat, leading to a cold snap.

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Planet Earth

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared

Hospital in Naples was evacuated after a new, huge sinkhole appeared 90

Eyewitnesses said they heard a loud crash at dawn when a huge hole in the ground formed outside the Ponticelli Ospedale del Mare hospital in eastern Naples.

Early in the morning of January 8, 2021, a sinkhole occurred in the parking lot of a clinic in Naples. The depth of the formed cavity is about 20 meters, the total area of ​​the hole is about 2,000 square meters.

No casualties were found at the scene; firefighters say the sinkhole “affected an area of ​​about 500 square meters” and engulfed several cars parked near the hospital.

As the press writes and as a little can be seen from the videos, rescuers and firefighters were running around the pit together with the governor of the area.  But who should be there in the forefront are Italian geologists, since Naples stands in the very center of the volcanic system known as the Phlegrean Fields.

If the surface collapsed, moreover – the surface reinforced with concrete and reinforced from below with some kind of communications, then we are talking about serious soil deformations caused by the activity of magma.

Italy has been in doubt since the summer of 2020, because swarms were observed there in very atypical places in May, and according to the forecasts of old Italian seismologists, who had witnessed many strong earthquakes, it should have boomed in the August region.

Fortunately, nothing bad happened to Italy and there was no big earthquake. But, since there are swarms, it means that something is being prepared, the magma is gathering strength. 

Following this particular sinkhole event – an obvious sign that a major earthquake in Italy is already very close.

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Planet Earth

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China

A new great pandemic cycle has begun (again) in China 91

In the first months of 2020, the whole world with a certain fright followed the events unfolding in China, where people fell on the streets during the day and astronauts wandered, and in the evening crematoria began to smoke. And now, with the onset of December, the cycle seems to be repeating itself.

Shunyi area in Beijing, where the authorities announced “wartime status” the day before. As you can see in the videos, thousands of people are lined up in the queue for mandatory testing:

Dalian city, where “wartime” is also declared. Neighborhoods are blockaded, people are walled up in entrances, familiar characters of George Lucas roam the streets:

Chinese ‘rescuers’, before performing a combat mission:

Chengdu City:

Daluo Port, Yunnan – tourists came for adventure and they received the ‘time of their life’ after leaving the ramp:

If something happens in Beijing, it does not mean that tomorrow the same will happen everywhere. However, the trend towards such dynamics is observed and, as the practice of the first wave of the pandemic has shown, all countries and people, to one degree or another, have taken into account the ‘Chinese experience’. 

Therefore, one must think that everything will now be in peace, as in spring – a new global round of the fight against the Covid has begun in China, a new great pandemic cycle!

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