Earthquakes and hurricanes

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Earthquakes and hurricanes
An earthquake typically occurs along some fault lines in the earth's surface. It takes
less than five minutes and may be felt in a wide area. Earthquakes differ in strength as they
can be strong or weak. Strong earthquakes can cause the collapse of buildings, falling of
objects and people. The power of an earthquake can be measured by a device known as a
seismometer. There is no 100% proved the way of predicting an earthquake, but since the
scientists are still working on this, there is hope that efficient devices will be available in
future. These devices will have the potential of detecting movement is the earth’s crust and
sending the earthquakes’ warnings before they take place. Traditionally, people were able to
predict earthquakes shortly before the main wave could be felt by detecting the force waves
that precede the main waves hence locate safer locations and minimize casualty. Earthquakes
occur in a series of waves where weaker waves can be felt before the main wave and after the
main wave. These waves, however, are not guaranteed to be considered as they might be too
weak to be felt or be missed if one does not expect such a thing. Some areas were also more
prone to earthquakes than others hence people could predict by use of observed frequencies
and existing data. Currently, some scientists use the rain patterns where it is believed than the
center of a rain region also serves as the earthquake epicenter (Earthquakes).
Hurricanes refer to the intense storms accompanied by strong winds and heavy
rainfall and are destructive in nature. Some areas are prone to hurricanes more than others as
noted that the rarely happen within 5
latitudes. Traditionally hurricanes could be predicted
by observing the formation of cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea where
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hurricanes’ prevalence is high. Since hurricanes are accompanied by the high speed of the
wind over the water surface, high speed of wind could send some warnings to those
concerned with predicting hurricanes. Hurricanes are also associated with a high temperature
of water surface, and this could traditionally be detected by observing the clouds visibility
where when the temperatures are high, evaporation is high interfering with the cloud
visibility. Hurricanes could also be predicted by use of the existing data where the frequency
of occurrence could be determined and used to make rough guesses. Currently, satellites and
Doppler radars are used to observe the clouds and the formation of cyclones in the oceans and
seas, while scientists interpret the images and warn the community where necessary. After
the formation of hurricanes, their movement can be tracked by use of the satellites. Formation
of cyclones does not guarantee the existence of a hurricane as the speed of the cyclone can
reduce when it encounters cold water or decrease in the rate of the wind. It is expected that
scientist will come up with devices for predicting the hurricanes as the existing ones are not
accurate as required. The accuracy of these devices increases as the Hurricanes approaches
the land which may increase the chances of property destruction due to delayed warning
The first precursor of hurricanes is the inability to see through the clouds. This shows
high temperatures over the water surfaces causing intensive evaporation and hence the clouds
become darker. Satellites have displayed colorful images indicating the process by which
water vapor ascend and condenses to form clouds losing the latent heat of evaporation.
Higher water temperature is another precursor as the hurricanes mostly happen when high-
speed wind passes over warm water surfaces. The top water surface temperature can be
measured by the use of satellites to produce microwave images that produce different colors
for different water surface temperatures. Currently, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission
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(TRMM) satellites are used to look through the clouds to determine the visibility precursor
Earthquakes precursors include foreshocks as previously discussed. The foreshocks
were employed in China as early as in 1975. Technologies will play a bigger role in future to
aid detection of other precursors. For instance, use of lasers can help in detecting faults on the
earth surface and movements in the earth’s crust before it translates into an earthquake.
Before an earthquake takes place other factors can be used to predict it such as detecting a
change in magnetic fields, change in groundwater levels, rainfall epicenters, emission of
radon gas and radio waves. All those factors mentioned above require technological devices
to be detected. These precursors can be more accurate in detecting potential disasters and
their intensities as compared to the traditional precursors (Young).
Earthquakes have impacted the United States of America in its different states, and
Puerto Rico has been affected by hurricanes. Among the America's states, California and
Alaska have been more negatively impacted as compared to other countries. There are
various cases of earthquakes in the United States of America such as the San Francisco’s
earthquake of April 18, 1906, that claimed more than 3000 lives and others that will be
mentioned below. Another earthquake incident is the Long Beach earthquake that happened
on March 10, 1933 in California claiming 120 lives. Heutian Island earthquake of April 1,
1946 that claimed 165 lives, Alaska earthquake of March 27, 1964, claiming 143 lives in
Alaska and South Napa earthquake of August 24,year 2014, in California. Other states have
also been impacted by earthquakes, but I have chosen California and Alaska because they
have suffered most from earthquakes. The Alaska earthquake took place on March 27, 1964,
at 5:36 pm local time. This earthquake was the strongest attaining a magnitude of 9.2. It
occurred in the southern region of Prince Williams. The earthquake began about 25 km under
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the earth’s surface with an epicenter of about 10 km. This highest recorded earthquake only
lasted for 4.5 minutes (USGS).
Puerto Rico has been adversely affected by Hurricanes. These hurricanes mostly take
place between June 1 and November 30 in Puerto Rico. Some of the storms that have
happened in Puerto Rico include the Hurricane Hugo of 5
September 1989. The Hurricane
Marlyn of 15
September 1995. The Hurricane Bertha of 8
July 1996. The Hurricane
Hortence of 9
September 2996. Hurricane Georges of 21
September 1999. The
Hurricane Leny of 17
November 1999. Another hurricane that affected Puerto Rico is the
Hurricane Debby of 22
August 2000 and finally Hurricane Irene of 14
July 2014. I now
wish to cover the Hurricane Luis of 1995 mentioned above in details. Hurricane Luis was
under category 4 of hurricanes. It originated from the Eastern Atlantic Ocean where it
reached the Northern Leeward Island under 135 mph speeds. There were various warnings
issued previously about the hurricane, and this minimized the casualty and harm. Its average
eye width was between 30 nautical miles and 40 nautical miles. Its storm caused deaths,
erosion and other damages in the North-Eastern side of Puerto Rico. The damages caused
chaos in the country concerning the preparedness of the Puerto Rico's government to handle
such cases. There was damage to property worth about 2.5 billion dollars and claimed lives of
16 people in Luis. The property was replaced, but the lives were ultimately lost (The Puerto
Rico Hurricane Center).
The United Nation’s approximate population of Puerto Rico was approximately
3,674,347 people as of January 2017. The trend available is that the people of Puerto Rico are
decreasing gradually while that of the United States of America is increasing. Therefore the
estimated population of the United States of America was 326,529,814 as of July 2017. Other
disasters are facing Puerto Rico such as Flooding as was the case for North Dakota on 23
March this year. There are also straight line wind, tornadoes, storms, and flooding as it
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happened on 26
April this year. The fire has led to the loss of property in Puerto Rico due to
the rampant cases of fires destroying properties. There are also different storms such as
winter storms and snowstorms as it was the case of Kansas on 28
April 2017.
The United States of America faces floods in different areas, hurricanes, typhoons,
drought and earthquakes (Ono). The disaster with the highest prevalence in Puerto Rico is
flooding. The United States of America is frequently affected by drought compared to other
natural disasters. The population of Puerto Rico in the year 1995 when Hurricane Luis hit it
was 3,689, 648 people. The population of Americans in the year 1964 at the time of Alaska
Earthquake was approximately 191.81 people. The individuals in the United States of
America is increasing gradually, and other factors held constant the population is projected to
438 million inhabitants by the year 2050 (Passel & Cohn). On the other hand, the people of
Puerto Rico is decreasing gradually and is expected to be a total of 2.98 million individuals in
the year 2050 other factors held constant (Krogstad).
United States’ population trend
438 Million
2.98 M
2017 2050 Time in years
Puerto Rico’s population trend
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The hurricane Luis did not cause a huge destruction, and indeed the moderate damage
that resulted from this hurricane was fully recovered. The recovery did not take long as the
owners collaborated with the government in restoring the losses. The hurricane also claimed
the lives of 16 people which cannot be recovered by financial means. On the other hand, in
Alaska Earthquake 131lives were lost where more deaths were caused by tsunamis rather
than the earthquake. The United States government responded by sending corps engineers
who had participated in the third world war to help in reconstructing Alaska. They, therefore,
assisted in the construction of damaged sewer lines, power lines, damaged roads, and rails.
They cleared the infrastructural remains restoring the City as it was. This was facilitated by
foreign aid from countries such as France. However, the tectonic uplifts could not be reversed
by their effort. The 131 lives lost also were not recovered after the Alaska earthquake.
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Works cited
Center, The Puerto Rica Hurricane. "Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in Puerto Rica from
1980 to 2005." (n.d.). < >.
"Earthquakes." (n.d.). < >.
"Historical Vignete 047- The Corps Helped Rebuid Alaska Following Disastrous." (2002).
Recovery/047-Alaska-Earthquake/ >.
Krogstad, Jen's Manue. "Historic Population Losses Continue Accross Puerto Rico." (2016).
continue-across-puerto-rico/ >.
NASA. "Scientific Visualization Studio." (n.d.).
< >.
Ono, Arito. "How Do Natural Disasters Affect Economy." (n.d.).
economy/ >.
Samost, Aubrey. "Predicting Hurricanes." (n.d.).
s.htm >.
USGS. "The Great M9.2 Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami of March 27, 1964." (n.d.).
< >.
Young, Jennifer. "Earthquake Precursors: Signs of a Coming Tremor." (2013).

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