“Predicted population increases in this century can be expected to translate into more people dying from earthquakes. There will be more individual earthquakes with very large death tolls as well as more people dying during earthquakes than ever before, according to a newly published study led by U.S. Geological Survey engineering geologist Thomas L. Holzer.” Quoted from the USGS announcement.
The NBC News website features a few photos from the East Side Access project where workers are expanding the New York mass transit system by driving enormous tunnels through bedrock hundreds of feet beneath the busy streets of Manhattan.
“According to a new technical report, the effects of climate change will continue to threaten the health and vitality of U.S. coastal communities’ social, economic and natural systems. The report, Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, authored by leading scientists and experts, emphasizes the need for increased coordination and planning to ensure U.S. coastal communities are resilient against the effects of climate change.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
“The HazVu map provides a way to view many different geohazards in the state of Oregon. You can enter the address for your home, school, business, or public buildings in your area to see what hazards might affect you. You can print the map you create.
Geohazards include 100-year flooding; Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake shaking and tsunami; coastal erosion; volcano; landslide; active faults; earthquake soft soil; and more. Assets include state-owned/leased facilities and public buildings such as schools, police and fire stations, and hospitals, as well as links to seismic assessment reports for these public buildings.” Quoted from the HazVu website.
Hospital buildings might be built to withstand an earthquake but sometimes internal damage and infrastructure problems (electricity, telephone, water, sewage) can hamper their ability to provide full services at a time of intense need. Judith Mitrani-Reiser, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, documents her experience observing public hospitals in Chile in the aftermath of a M8.8 earthquake.
USGS has developed a working “Shake Alert” system that will send early warnings that arrive from a few seconds to as much as 90 seconds before earthquake vibrations. Unfortunately, very few people/institutions are able to receive these potentially life-saving warnings. The reason: the project needs more funding.