Around the world every year…Many Natural Disasters will occur.
Last YearThe United States witnessed it’s Share…• Super Tornado Outbreak April 25-28, 2011• Mississippi River Floods April and May 2011• Joplin, Missouri EF-5 Tornado May 22, 2011• Texas, New Mexico & Arizona Wildfires 2011• Virginia 5.8 Earthquake August 23, 2011• Hurricane Irene August 24-30, 2011
Super Tornado Outbreak April 25-28, 2011•Four of the tornadoes weredestructive enough to be ratedEF-5.•The most destructive tornadoesoccurred across Alabama andMississippi.
346 people were killed as a result of the outbreak.Estimated Damage - $11 Billion
Mississippi River FloodsApril and May 2011•The Mississippi River floods inApril and May 2011 were amongthe largest and most damagingrecorded along the waterway inthe past century.• In April, several major stormsystems deposited record levelsof rainfall on the Mississippi Riverwatershed. When that additionalwater combined with thespringtime snowmelt, the riverand many of its tributaries beganto swell to record levels by thebeginning of May.•This created the perfect situationfor a 500-year flood along theMississippi.
Mississippi River Floods April and May 2011• May 3, the Army Corps of Engineers blastedthe levee protecting the Birds Point-NewMadrid Floodway in an effort to save thetown of Cairo, Illinois and the rest of thelevee system.• 200 residents in Missouri were forced toevacuate after a court order approved theCorps plan.•May 14, the Corps opened the MorganzaSpillway diverting flood waters away fromBaton Rouge and New Orleans.•The tradeoff was flooding the AtchafalayaBasin.• 2,500 people and 2,000 structures weredirectly impacted.• 22,500 people and 11,000homes, businesses and other structures werein-directly impacted in the backwaters.• Many agricultural crops were destroyed.•The Morganza Spillway remained open untilJuly 7.
Mississippi River Floods April and May 2011•On May 10, the river reached 47.8feet, the highest level reached atMemphis since 1937.•The neighborhood of Harbor Town, inDowntown Memphis, evacuated.• Many local rivers spilled their banks,including Big Creek, the LoosahatchieRiver, and the Wolf River along withNonconnah Creek.•Subsequent flooding occurred inMillington, as well as suburban areas ofFrayser, Bartlett, and East Memphis.
Transportation was affected in Memphis during the height of flooding…•On May 5 a 23 mile stretch of I-40 closed at Brinkley AR due to flooding from the WhiteRiver. The closure lasted 4 days.•Also on May 5th the Coast Guard closed river traffic North of Memphis for safety concerns.•East & West rail traffic over the Mississippi was halted.•General DeWitt Spain Airport was closed due to flooding.•Numerous roads in low lying areas of the city were closed.
Joplin, MissouriEF-5 Tornado May 22, 2011•EF-5 multiple-vortex tornadostruck Joplin, Missouri in the lateafternoon of Sunday, May22, 2011.•According to the NationalWeather Service, emergencymanagers reported damage to75% of Joplin.•In total, nearly 7,000 houseswere destroyed and over 850others were damaged.
Joplin, MissouriEF-5 Tornado May 22, 2011•Six people were killed when St.Johns Hospital was struck by thetornado.• Five of those deaths werepatients who died after thebuilding lost power and a backupgenerator did not work.• Communications were lost inthe community and power wasknocked out to many areas•With communicationsdown, temporary cell towers hadto be constructed.
Texas,New Mexico,Arizona Wildfires 2011•Continued drought and periodsof extreme heat set the stage fora series of historic wildfires acrossTexas, New Mexico and Arizona.•The Bastrop Fire in Texas was themost destructive fire in Texashistory, destroying more than1,500 homes.•The Wallow Fire consumed morethan 500,000 acres in Arizonamaking it the largest on record inArizona.•The Las Conchas Fire in NewMexico was also the state’slargest wildfire onrecord, scorching more than150,000 acres while threateningthe Los Alamos NationalLaboratory.
Texas,New Mexico,Arizona Wildfires 2011•Firefighters from more thanforty-three states were involvedin the operation to combat thefires.•Two firefighters were killed.•In total, more than 3 millionacres burned across Texas.• There were at least 5 relatedfatalities.•Total damage in Texas •$750 million.•Losses across all three states •$1 billion.
Virginia 5.8 EarthquakeAugust 23, 2011•The quake was felt across more than adozen U.S. states.•Tremors were felt as far south asAtlanta, Georgia and as far west asIllinois with damage reported inBrooklyn, NY.•New York: Tremors were felt tovarying degrees.•There were somedisruptions, including buildingevacuations and delays at airports.•Amtrak train service at Penn Stationwas delayed.
Virginia 5.8 EarthquakeAugust 23, 2011•Soon after the earthquake, theF.A.A. ordered a ground stopalong the East Coast, causingflight delays.•A spike in cell-phone callsimmediately after the eventcongested the Cellular networksin the Mid-Atlantic region, causingdisruptions and loss of service forup to an hour after theearthquake.•Washington, D.C. : The WhiteHouse, the Capitol, and variousother buildings were evacuated.
Virginia 5.8 EarthquakeAugust 23, 2011•Transportation was affected whiletraffic lights where out andcommuter train tracks and tunnelswere inspected.• National Park Service reporteddamage to the WashingtonMonument and was closedindefinitely.•The quake damaged the WashingtonNational Cathedral.•No deaths and only minor injurieswere reported. Minor damage tobuildings was widespread.•Estimated Damage • $200-$300 million.
Hurricane IreneAugust 24-30, 2011•Over 65 million people wereestimated to be at risk.•Due to the threat, state officials, aswell as utilities, transportationfacilities, ports, industries, oilrefineries, and nuclear powerplants, promptly prepared toactivate emergency plans.•Residents in the region stocked upon food supplies and worked tosecure homes, vehicles and boats.•States of emergency and hurricanewarnings were declared for much ofthe East Coast.•In advance of the storm, thousandsof people near coastal areasevacuated and hundreds of shelterswere prepared.
Hurricane IreneAugust 24-30, 2011•The Governor of New York declareda state of emergency urging theOffice of Emergency Managementto prepare for a possible landfall ordirect hit from Irene.•Accordingly, a mandatoryevacuation order for low-lying areasof New York City was issued.• The Governor also ordered thedeployment of 2,000 NationalGuard troops to assist police in NYC.
Hurricane IreneAugust 24-30, 2011• Winds, combined with soilsaturation, uprooted trees andpower lines along the stormspath.• Roughly 7.4 million homes andbusinesses lost electrical power.•Coastal areas suffered extensiveflood damage following the stormsurge.• In the northeastern region,more than ten rivers measuredrecord flood heights.•Irene is estimated to havecaused over $7 billion in damageand at least 47 deaths.
Today, many of these U.S. communities are still struggling to recover.
Earthquakes are among the World’sMost Devastating Natural Disasters.
Earthquakes Occur in Every Region of the World.
The most damaging effects resulting from Earthquakes...• Shaking and Ground Rupture• Landslides and Avalanches• Fires• Soil Liquefaction• Tsunami• Floods• Human Impacts
EARTHQUAKE HAZARDShaking and Ground Rupture•Shaking and Ground Ruptureare the main effects thatresult in damage to buildingsand other rigid structures.• The severity depends on thecombination of earthquakemagnitude, the distance fromthe epicenter, and the localgeological conditions.
EARTHQUAKE HAZARDLandslides and Avalanches•Earthquakes can produce slopeinstability leading to landslides, amajor geological hazard.•Landslide danger may persist whileemergency personnel are attemptingrescue.
EARTHQUAKE HAZARD FIRES•Earthquakes can cause fires by damagingelectrical power or gas lines.• In the event water mains rupture andlose pressure, it may also become difficultto stop the spread of a fire once it hasstarted.•For example, more deaths in the 1906San Francisco earthquake were caused byfire than by the earthquake itself.
EARTHQUAKE HAZARDSoil Liquefaction•Soil liquefaction occurswhen, because of theshaking, water-saturated granularmaterial temporarily loses itsstrength and transforms from asolid to a liquid.•Soil liquefaction may cause rigidstructures, like buildings andbridges, to tilt or sink into theliquefied deposits.•This can be a devastating effectof earthquakes.• For example, in the 1964 Alaskaearthquake, soil liquefactioncaused many buildings to sink intothe ground, eventually collapsingupon themselves.
EARTHQUAKE HAZARDTsunami•Tsunamis are long-wavelength, long-period seawaves produced by the sudden orabrupt movement of largevolumes of water.•Large waves produced by anearthquake or a submarinelandslide can overrun nearbycoastal areas in a matter ofminutes.•Tsunamis can also travelthousands of miles across openocean and wreak destruction onfar shores hours after theearthquake that generated them.
EARTHQUAKE HAZARDFloods•Floods may be secondaryeffects of earthquakes, ifdams are damaged.•Earthquakes may also causelandslips to dam rivers, whichcollapse and cause floods.
EARTHQUAKE HAZARD Human Impacts•An earthquake may cause injuryand loss of life.•Road and Bridge damage.•General property damage, andcollapse or destabilization ofbuildings.•Utility infrastructure such aselectricity, water, gas and sewermaybe heavily damaged.•The aftermath may bring illnessand disease from lack of basicnecessities.
Scientists cannot predict when the next Earthquake will happen…
Scientists can, based upon historical records and geological data,estimate the probability of recurrence.
U.S. Geological Survey Statement• Memphis has a dense urban population near faults capable of producing major earthquakes.• Memphis lies within the New Madrid seismic zone, which is the most seismically active and well-studied region in the Central and Eastern U.S.• A high probability of a moderate earthquake in the near future (e.g., a 25-40% probability of a magnitude 6.0 or greater in the next 50 years), and relatively low regional attenuation (in other words, seismic waves do damage over a greater area in this region than for the same magnitude earthquake in the west).Source:U.S. Geological SurveyThe USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, thenatural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the corescience systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.MissionThe USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of lifeand property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect ourquality of life.
Winter 1811-1812• Several of the largest historical earthquakes to strike the continental United States occurred in the winter of 1811-1812 along the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which stretches from just west of Memphis, Tennessee into southern Illinois.• These earthquakes produced three major temblors between magnitude 7-8, with hundreds of aftershocks lasting into 1813.
Historic New Madrid Earthquake• From Dec. 16, 1811 to Feb. 7, 1812 our region was rocked by three of the largest earthquakes ever to hit the continental United States.• December 16, 1811 - Magnitude ~7.7• January 23, 1812 - Magnitude ~ 7.5• February 7, 1812 - Magnitude ~ 7.7• These quakes were felt widely over the entire eastern United States.• In the epicentral area the ground surface was described as in great convulsion with sand and water ejected into the air (liquefaction).• Reports state the area was characterized by general ground warping, ejections, fissuring, severe landslides, and caving of stream banks.• Several destructive shocks occurred on February 7, 1812, the last of which equaled or surpassed the magnitude of any previous event.• The town of New Madrid was destroyed.
FAST FORWARD 200 YEARS FEBUARY 7, 2012Given the tremendous growth in population, infrastructureand structures in this region since the early 1800s, amodern-day earthquake has the potential to inflictconsiderable physical damage and mass casualties in ourstate and region.
Scenario Setting• Memphis, Tennessee• 10:15am Tuesday, February 7, 2012• Greater Memphis Chamber Office• 11 Story Historic Falls Building, 22 N Front Street• 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes• Epicenter New Madrid, MO
The Event• Without Warning and within seconds the Chamber’s office building is violently shaking.• Thunderous roaring can be heard as the shock waves pass beneath the building.• Unsecured bookcases and file cabinets topple over.• Ceiling tiles and light fixtures begin to fall. Dust from falling debris fills the office.• Lights begin to flicker then the electricity fails; computers go down, telephone and lights go out.• The smell of smoldering electric wire fills the air.• As the Falls Building absorbs the shock, the cracking of concrete supports and the breaking of glass windows can be heard along with the crashing sound of the exterior brick façade smashing to the ground.• The violent shaking lasts over one minute.• As the Earthquake subsides the Falls Building remains standing although many staff members are injured or trapped.
The Emergency Response• Immediately following the Earthquake, emergency first responders are quickly overwhelmed with multiple calls for Medical, Fire and Police.• Damage to transportation infrastructure hinders their response further.• The Greater Memphis Chamber is fortunate; It’s staff knew what do in the event of an Earthquake.• The Chamber also has emergency supplies on-hand, and half its staff trained in CERT and Basic First Aid.• While only trained as volunteers, the staff’s knowledge, skills and leadership will prove to be invaluable immediately following the disaster.• Several staff members are trapped or missing and many injuries are reported but, No Fatalities to the Chamber Staff.