Tuesday, October 23, 2007
New York Earthquake: Mega-Disasters, History Channel
The last time a significant earthquake hit the New York City area was 120 years ago. In American history, there have been destructive earthquakes near Boston and near Charleston, SC.
The program ("New York Earthquake") examines the geology of the region, and the behavior of Atlantic quakes. Liquefaction is a serious threat, as much of extreme lower Manhattan is built on landfill. (I lived in Greenwich Village in the 1970s at a little less than 100 feet above sea level). The City has 1000000 buildings, and 1500 of them could collapse in a magnitude 6 quake. There could be catastrophic damage to the subway system and water mains. Buildings in extreme lower Manhattan might topple slowly as did those in Kolbe, Japan. The damage would greatly exceed that of 9/11. The inflexible construction of many brownstone buildings in non-earthquake-conscious NYC is also a major peril.
The wildfires in Southern California are turning into a Mega-Disaster on the date this show aired (Oct. 23, 2007).