EPS 131 Disasters

We live in an uncertain world.  Hazards and risk are common.  The world is a complex system.  How can we understand and manage our exposure to hazards and risk?   How can we recover when the worst happens? The world wide web offers many new possibilities.  In this course, we will discuss a number of examples, drawn from the field of natural hazards -- earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and the like -- as well as hazards in other fields as time permits.

Atmospheric Rivers


From the Washington Post:  An extended soaking lies ahead for the Pacific Northwest, where at least four episodes of rain and downpours will drench parts of Washington state, Oregon and Northern California over the next week.

It is all thanks to a series of “…


Forced Relocations due to Natural Disasters


Primarily due to wildfires and floods.

Hurricane Lorenzo


Hurricane Lorenzo, one of the strongest central Atlantic hurricanes

Searles Valley Earthquakes July 4-5, 2019


Earthquakes on July 4-5 in Searles Valley near Ridgecrest.  Estimate 70.5% g , MM IX in Ridgecrest.  Heavy damage probably.

The Day the Dinosaurs Died


The New Yorker:  "If, on a certain evening about sixty-­six million years ago, you had stood somewhere in North America and looked up at the sky, you would have soon made out what appeared to be a star. If you watched for an hour or two, the star would have seemed to grow in brightness, although it barely moved. That’s because it was not a star but an asteroid, and it was headed directly for Earth at about forty-five thousand miles an hour. Sixty hours later, the asteroid hit. The air in front was compressed and violently heated, and it blasted a hole through the…