Some common sense and perspective. Uncensored does not promote fearmongering. However, this subject needs to be addressed.
I received today an Email from one of my many contacts, relating to the Hawaii disaster and it’s implications, that was most alarmist in nature. Here’s some excerpts:
“…that in the first circle, wave heights coming at the west coast of the United States are simulated at 62 METERS in height. That’s two hundred and three FEET tall, traveling toward the US west coast at about five hundred miles per hour.
In the second ring, at four hours, the simulation shows the approaching waves to be down to 42 METERS. That’s 138 FEET tall.
By the time the third ring begins smashing onto the west coast of North America, wave heights are somewhere between 42 and 30 METERS. That means a wave of water AT LEAST NINETY EIGHT FEET TALL smashing into San Diego, Los Angeles and other places on the west coast…
….Do you have any idea at all of the absolute destruction that would take place if a 98 feet tall wave slammed into San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver? The cities would be obliterated. Skyscrapers would be knocked over like toothpicks. Homes would be knocked off their foundations and collapse. NOWHERE would be safe unless people were farther inland than the water can travel.
50 miles inland would be a very safe distance.
DON’T PANIC — PLAN
It is important for me to reiterate that the purpose of this report and the ones which preceded it, is to ALERT YOU to the POTENTIAL danger, so you HAVE A PLAN.
Don’t panic, PLAN!
Bear in mind, THIS MAY NOT TAKE PLACE. The volcano might stop erupting and all might be well.
HOWEVER . . . . prudence dictates that we be rational adults and keep aware of the potential danger from this ongoing situation.
To that end, I implore you: Keep close watch on developments with the Hawaii eruption. IF YOU HEAR WORD THAT A SEA CLIFF COLLAPSE HAS OCCURRED, EVACUATE. Don’t wait. …”
The article has much more in the same tone: Note the author tells one not to panic while implying (in bold emphasis!) that panic is exactly what one should do.
When I receive articles like the one referenced above, my first instinct is to do some checking. It only takes a few minutes.
So here’s some common sense from someone who has had direct experience with natural disasters, tsunami alerts, and all the panic-mongering that comes with it: Do some research, keep your head screwed on, and always at least have a basic survival pack handy. No big deal.
Natural (or human assisted?) disasters always bring the Doom-sayers out of the woodwork. I get very weary of various apocalyptic rantings. So for some balance and perspective, here’s an article from National Geographic as an antidote to the lunacy:
Here are all the ways the Hawaiian eruption won’t cause problems, according to experts.
By Sarah Gibbens
PUBLISHED May 17, 2018
Hawaii’s famously active volcano Kilauea has been oozing, belching, and releasing gas since early this month, and after several warning signs, the summit finally erupted explosively today. The full of extent of today’s eruption is still being determined, but experts from the U.S. Geological Survey expect ash to blanket the surrounding area and are advising residents to take safety precautions.
The volcano’s lava lake in the crater has been steadily falling, raising the risk that it could come into contact with the water table and produce steam. As rocks increasingly fell into the crater, it created a cap that forced steam to build up under pressure and eventually explode, scattering rocks and ash. Kilauea hasn’t had a large-scale explosive eruption since 1924, when it sent ballistic rocks the size of refrigerators careening into the air.
With good reason, scientists and residents are concerned. Already, more than 2,000 residents on Hawaii’s Big Island have been evacuated to protect them from serious dangers from the recent activity, including encroaching lava and noxious gases.
But as the volcano continues to bubble and rumble, so do many myths about what Kilauea is actually capable of. Here are a few of the unlikely or downright wrong scenarios that have the internet buzzing, and why you shouldn’t believe the hype.
Chain Reactions and the Ring of Fire
One fear percolating through the conversation is that Kilauea’s ongoing eruption will trigger a chain reaction, causing other nearby volcanoes to erupt.
“I’m shaking my head as you’re saying that,” says volcanologist Janine Krippner, when asked about the notion. “It’s extremely rare for a volcano to trigger other volcanoes.”
Unlike non-volcanic earthquakes, which can cause other quakes along the same fault line, volcanoes are individually fueled by different underground systems. The Hawaiian islands formed as a chain, which scientists think is fed by a “hot spot” of magma rising to the surface. Currently, the Big Island is closest to that hot spot and so it has the most active volcanoes. But each one is individually fed by its own distinct magmatic plumbing.
Some news coverage has even suggested that Kilauea sits in the so-called ring of fire, the volcano chain that circles the Pacific based on plate tectonic boundaries, reaching from East Asia to the West Coast of North America. It doesn’t. A glance at a map reveals just how far the island chain actually sits from the ring of fire, nestled in the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. No amount of eruptive volcanic activity in Hawaii would somehow trigger eruptions on the U.S. West Coast, Krippner confirms.
Will a monstrous landslide off the side of Kilauea trigger a monster tsunami bound for California? Short answer: No.
In Hawaii, “there are submarine landslides, and submarine landslides do trigger tsunamis, but these are really small, localized tsunamis. They don’t produce tsunamis that move across the ocean,” says geologist Mika McKinnon. “In all likelihood, it wouldn’t even impact the other Hawaiian islands.”
Krippner agrees, adding that fears of Kilauea itself shearing off the southeastern part of the Big Island are similarly overblown.
“People are worried about the catastrophic crashing of the volcano into the ocean,” she says. “There’s no evidence that this will happen. It is slowly—really slowly—moving toward the ocean, but it’s been happening for a very long time.”
Now, I’m not going to tell you what to believe and what not to believe. Uncensored’s motto: THINK FOR YOURSELF. My advice? Exercise discernment, logical thinking, and a healthy degree of scepticism while keeping your mind open. Use a variety of information sources. And always have a sensible disaster plan (without bold capitals and exclamation marks).