December 29th, 2004

Could it happen here?

With the all the devastation around the Indian Ocean
the question immediately arises: could a tsunami strike here in the States, too?

The answer is yes — bigtime. Should the unstable La Palma volcano in the Canaries erupt again — as it does about once every 20 years — half of the volcano might fall into the Atlantic, creating an enormous wave that would make the Boxing Day tsunami look like a ripple by comparison.

And lest you relax, the Pacific coast is hardly safe either. Seattle is protected from open-ocean tsunami by the Olympics, but an event on the Seattle fault which runs through the sound could even cause giant waves in Lake Washington, as happened 1000 years ago.

Enjoy your breakfast.

Personally, as with other massive cataclysmic events like supervolcanoes and asteroid strikes, I don’t really see the point in worrying. The chances of such an event occurring in our lifetimes is pretty small, and besides, there’s nothing you can do to prevent it even if it is about to happen soon. So what’s the point in worrying?

4 Responses to “Could it happen here?”

  1. terry says:

    There is no point in worrying. If it’s your time, it’s your time. This philosophy, which I am an adherent of, makes things like the Terror Alert “thermometer” seem even more ridiculous than they are. Whether it is a terrorist attack, a coronary or a tsunami, if I happen to be in the way – c’est la vie!

  2. pam says:

    I don’t have a lot of money to give, but I really would like to give something. Question one – who amongst the nonfamousi works somewhere with donation matching (you can follow this thought through, right?) and, two, who are they giving money TOO?

    There’s a national day of mourning here for the 100 accounted for Austrians killed – and of course, all the other devastating losses world wide.

  3. David says:

    We donated to Médecins Sans Frontières. There’s a good list of organizations to sponsor at Apple’s homepage, and you can donate via Amazon, too.

  4. paulette says:

    My company will allow matching donations, so if anyone wants to talk to me there is a huge list of organizations that we can designate funds toward for the tsunami relief. Unfortunately, a lot of them are religious organizations (which I will NOT support), and some of them I’m not sure if they have any religious affiliations, but Oxfam, UNICEF, and International Medical Corps seem like promising ones.