Nature’s Fury

Posted: August 24, 2011 in disaster
Tags: , , , ,

Over the last few days North America has been stuck by multiple weather and disaster events. 2 of the events have already occured and one is happening now as I write. Ontario Canada witnessed an F3 tornado on Sunday August 21st which is quite rare, The eastern United States experienced an Earthquake Tuesday August 23rd which was also a rare event for the area and Hurricane Irene a Category 3 storm is threatening the Eastern Coast of the United States as we speak. It has surely been a busy week for disaster.

Goderich Ontario’s devastating F3 Tornado

One man was killed in the storm, many injuries were reposted and Down Town Goderich is in ruins after a rare F3 Tornado hit. Cars were over turned, roofs were ripped off homes, churches and businesses, trees downed everywhere and the highway was closed as the community assessed the worst storm to ever hit them.

An F3 Tornado is classified as a storm that has a wind strength range of 158-206 MPH and these tornadoes can cause wide spread damage. Stuctural damage, roof damage, tree damage, the movement of vehicles is associated with these storms.

Ontario has had F3 Tornadoes, one of the most famous being the deadly Barrie Tornado outbreaks of 1985. Areas around Goderich being Grey, Wellington and Bruce Counties had an F3 Tornado in 1996 with no reported deaths but 9 injuries. The most common places where an F3 Tornado can occur is the southern Ontario Region going northward to the Georgian Bay region.

Tornadoes do commonly occur in Ontario however most are classed as F0 or F1.

Goderich is currently cleaning up after the devastating Tornado.

Virginia Earthquake

No deaths were reported and only minor injuries occured in the August 23rd 5.8 Quake that Rocked Virginia, DC, New York and went as far as Quebec and Ontario. There was some structural damage in Virginia as well as DC, mostly cracks. Two buildings did collapse in Virginia.

Virginia does have 7 fault lines but all are minor and rarely produce quakes stronger than 4.5. However it has occured in the region. in 1897 an 5.9 was measured. The last biggest quake was in 2003 when a 4.5 quake hit.

Earthquakes are quite rare on the east Coast, in fact Canada is more likely to experience more earthquakes. There are a few major fault lines in the Unites states that affect the West coast and middle states. The Virginia quake zone has about 20 recorded quakes although there probably have been many tremors.

Scientists are still uncertain about where exactly the quake came from and what the cause was. The Quakes did cause quite a commotion as many people evacuated buildings, Cell phone towers were disrupted due to the high volume of calls, and Twitter and Facebook went a buzz with statuses about the quakes. Of course one it was established that there were no big injuries people began to use humor associated with the quakes.

Probably the most Brilliant Picture that circulated after the quake was the one below with the caption “Devastating damage associated with the Earth Quake”

Yes it’s a downed lawn chair. It certainly produced many laughs.

I barely felt the quake because I am in Ontario but I did happen to be on the phone with someone who is in Washington DC. I was running a web conference and my customer moderator happened to be in DC in his office. His office was evacuated, however he did remain in the building so that he could run the conference anyway. So the conference went on with him doing the introduction with the fire alarms ringing in the back ground. It made for quite the interesting experience as a quake that size rarely hits that region.I was in shock and I didn’t even experience the shaking.

a 5.8 quake can knock things over, cause structual cracks and level weak buildings.

Hurricane Irene

The first hurricane of the Atlantic Hurricane season. And she might just pack a punch.

Irene has already hit some of the Tropical Islands in the USA knocking out power to thousands of customers, Puerto Rico has withstood flooding, The Dominican has had flooding and one woman has died in puerto Rico as a result of the flooding.

Irene is currently making land fall in the Bahamas where after that she will gain more strength as she hits warm waters.

Irene could make land fall in North Carolina and could skim the East Coast of the United States reaching as far North as New England.

The East Coast of Canada is also bracing for the possibility she might make land fall there.

Irene might strike as a Category 4 storm however with Hurricanes it is hard to predict the exact strength and location.

A Category 3 Hurrican can reach wind strength up to 130MPH and cause a 9-12 feet storm surge. Roofs can be blown off, trees can be downed, powerlines can be affected etc.

So we we’ll just have to wait and see what Hurricane Irene Brings. And this is only the beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Thankfully there have been no high death tolls associated with any of these Disasters. It is very unfortunate that there has been a Tornado Death and a Death associated with Hurricane Irene. The good news about Hurricanes is they at least come with much warning giving people the time to evacuate but the path of destruction they cause can be devastating. Hopefully The Hurricane’s path changes and simply skims the coast and does not go head on, but there will still be some nasty weather, so everyone on the East Coast, stay tuned and be safe.

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