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Apple

What the hell is happening with the world?!

Is it just me or does there seem to have been an increase in major natural phenomena disasters and freak weather lately? In general there seems to have been an increase in volcanic activity and earthquakes, not to mention extreme weather conditions over the past few years.

Since the beginning of 2011 so much stuff has happened but going back to  2010, off the top of my head there was the extremely cold winter which affected the whole of the northern hemisphere and places which normally don't see extreme cold and wintery weather got it, that Icelandic volcanic eruption which grounded European aircraft, the earthquake in New Zealand and then 2010 ended with complete chaos throughout the UK in December with freezing temperatures and heavy snow, some areas were measuring snow in feet which hasn’t been seen for many years! Then there was the record breaking sub zero temperatures it was bloody freezing  staying below zero during the day. But then that was nothing compared to other parts of the world.

Since the beginning of this year there has been one thing after another the flooding and cyclones which hit Australia,  the freak blizzards in Chicago the amount of snow they had in a short space of time was just unreal! Then there was that electrical storm in Japan with the volcanic eruption,  Kilauea in Honolulu started kicking off again the earthquake in New Zealand and now today the strongest earthquake for god knows how many years off the coast of Japan causing a tsunami. It makes you wonder what is going to happen next.
Gino

I think it can be attributed to all the fibre optical cables spanning the world, nothing of interest happening any where fails to get reported.
In years gone by we would only have read of these events many years later but today they are on our TV's and internet browers instantly.
I have only to look back to my childhood at all the world shattering events that went on of which I knew nothing although my family had the wireless and bought newspapers.
Apple

Yes, I agree you do get to know about these things quicker, but its the amount and scale of things that are happening which I am getting at, it seems to be happening more and more frequently than it did in the past. We have always had news reports of big natural disasters/freak weather conditions happening throughout the world, its always been there on the news even if its not been one of the main items, its just recently we are getting them practically every week or so, and the ferocity of them means they are one of if not the main news item and its seems that something huge is always happening.
Gino

Cast your mind back to 1976 when a massive eathquake in China killed 250,000 people did that make as larger news item as the maybe 200 killed today.
Earthquakes in the wrong place have always killed lots of people and probably always will.
Apple

I was 5 then and so probably more interested in Bagpuss than Chinese earthquakes!

But I have googled earthquakes in 1976 and come up with a list that throughout that WHOLE year there 7 earthquakes which rated more than 6.0, we are in March and so far this year there have been THIRTY SIX throughout the world.
Jen M

New Zealand and Japan share the same fault line, so (without being an expert in this field), I suspect the two recent major earthquakes are related.

It certainly seems as though there is a lot going on in terms of natural disasters etc.

Perhaps, following on from Gino's suggestion that we just hear about it more on the news etc, it also now seems more personal because so many people now have friends/relatives in other parts of the world - almost everyone I know seems to have friends of friends/relatives in NZ who have a tale to tell about the earthquake.
mike js

It is a very interesting question as to whether major quakes on the same fault line might be linked; the first becoming a trigger somehow. I don't know much about this subject but no doubt there is much active research.

It is humbling to see the unreasoning power that can be unleashed, and the limits of our capabilities. I'm fascinated by the restless action of the Earth; on timescales almost outside human experience it is almost alive!
Apple

Its funny I thought that as well when I googled the info there seemed to be quite a few in and around the same location and probably sharing the same fault lines for example, in 1976 the list of major 7 earthquakes I got registering 6.0 or more were:

4th Feb - Guatemala (7.5)
6th May - Italy (6.9)
25th Jun - Papua, Indonesia (7.1)
28th Jul - Tangshan, China (7.9)*
16th Aug - Songpan, China (7.2)
16th Aug - Moro Gulf, Philippines (8.0) - This one also caused a tsunami
24th Nov - Turkey (7.3)

*I believe this one was the one Gino was referring to although it is interesting to note that the one in the Philippines registered more and caused a tsunami and if you look there were two on the same day on the 16th August.

I have also looked over the past 20 years and there has been a significant leap in the amount of activity on the planet in total between 1977 and 1996. It ranged from as low as 1 earthquake in 1979 to 8 in 1985 and 1992, the majority of years there were 4 earthquakes of various magnitude, in 1997 there was a spike of 13 earthquakes in one year and since then the amount has increased significantly and since 2005 we have stayed in double figures:

1998 - 8
1999 - 9
2000 - 7
2001 - 6
2002 - 8
2003 - 9
2004 - 5
2005 - 11
2006 - 15
2007 - 23
2008 - 23
2009 - 29
2010 - 28

So going back to my original point in my opening post, it seems its not just me who thought it, it is actually a fact that there has been a significant increase in earth quakes around the world.  Thats before we even get started on the other natural  phenomena which I also mentioned like the volcanic eruptions (which also have links to the movement of the earths plates as well with the build up of magma under the ground) and the freak weather conditions which have been happening.
Apple

Another earthquake!! strongest one in 50 years in Spain this time!!
Evie

And the Mississippi rising very close to record flood levels, and causing devastation to a huge area of land.  It is all a bit apocalyptic...
Ann

Funnily enough, although I hadn't read this post, I was wondering if global warming could cause more movement in the Earth's crust, if you think of the analogy of hot liquid moving about more. Also hot weather in usually cool places and cold weather in usually hot places could affect the tetonic plates perhaps? I have no scientific basis for this at all.
Apple

Might be 2012 end of the world prediction coming early!!   Wink

Apparently in the US there have been "end of the world" predictions for next Saturday (21st) by religious groups.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news...nd-6pm-to-be-precise-2254139.html
Apple

Oh and if it doesn't happen they have a back up date of 21st October!!

Wink
Chibiabos83

Very Happy
Apple

It reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Homer predicts the Rapture!  Very Happy
Joe Mac

A taste of the apocalypse visited our small Alberta community on May 15, when 100 kph winds blew a forest fire into town, destroying 370-odd homes. But not ours. The fire stopped three doors down. Pictorial evidence galore online for those interested by googling 'slave lake fire'.  
One thing that irks me: certain religious people are already giving God credit for saving the stuff that didn't burn.

One of the other structures destroyed was the brand new library, with all its contents. I had two books out - Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels and The Stoning of Soraya M, by somebody whose name I can't remember. Both are probably overdue by now, but I'm taking my time, as there's no library to return them to.
chris-l

That sounds horrendous, but it is good to hear that you are safe, even if it was such a narrow escape. I don't recall any reports about this on the BBC news, but perhaps I wasn't paying attention. I think hanging on to the library books for now is the best thing you can do. It seems a pity you didn't have more on loan at the time - at least they would have been taken care of!

Best wishes and I hope things can begin to return to normal in your community before too long. You don't mention any loss of life, which is good. It is distressing to lose homes and cherished possessions, but those things can be replaced.
Evie

I haven't heard or read about it either, though I don't watch the news too often these days (reinforced by the idea that Cheryl Cole being sacked from the X Factor is deemed more newsworthy than this disaster in Alberta!).

What a tragedy for your community, RN - and very sad about the library.  As Chris says, I hope there was no loss of life.  I am glad your house was OK.  What are these religious people thinking, though?  Can they really not see the irony in thanking God for what was saved?
Joe Mac

Thanks for your kind remarks. No loss of life. Just a lot of buildings and a lot of cars. And books! I shudder to think how much money I'll have to spend now to feed my reading habit.

As for your religious yokels, Evie, I believe the irony is entirely lost on them, not to mention the stunning illogic. But of course I'm too nice to say that to them. This topic, by the way, comes up in André Agassi's excellent autobiography Open, in which he lambastes Michael Chang for implying that God cares whether he wins or loses. Quite funny and endearing how Agassi deals with it, I thought.
TheRejectAmidHair

Although it's a relief there was no loss of life, the whole thing sounds horrendous, and I'm ashamed to say that until I read your post, I knew absolutely nothing about it.

As for the religious nutters - well, what can one do? But there are nutters aplenty regardless of belief or disbelief, and its's best simply to try to ignore them if one can.
Joe Mac

It's funny how news spreads or doesn't spread. This story was big news in Germany, apparently, because we got calls from relatives there who knew as much about it as we did. All across Canada too, of course and in New Zealand, even. But no sign it was ever aired, or seen, in the U.S. or the U.K. Not that it matters. Just interesting.
Joe Mac

Ah, but no sooner do I say that than the phone rings and a fellow tells me a story about hearing from his sister in New York, who knew more about the fire than he did! And this was just after his daughter, with the Canadian military in Kandahar Afghanistan, had called him with news about what was happening, while it was still happening.
Evie

It's all about killer cucumbers here.
MikeAlx

...and fracking-induced earthquakes in Blackpool.
county_lady

I'm pleased to hear there were no lives lost but it is so sad to lose homes, personal possessions and the town's library.

The BBC website reported the story

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13419431

but I didn't notice it anywhere else.
Apple

Well what do you expect when as Evie said there was something FAR more important to report on namely the fact Cheryl Cole had been sacked from American X Factor and don't forget the FIFA corruption!!

Seriously though, just noticed this and although its already been said would like to echo what has been said and add my best wishes to you! You certainly seemed to have a lucky narrow escape from what you said, but it must have been terrible and incredibly frightening at the time! I hope your area gets the help it needs to get things sorted and back on its feet again.

The recent tornados in the US including that huge one in Joplin were the big natural disaster news covered here in the UK.

Mike Wrote:
Quote:
...and fracking-induced earthquakes in Blackpool.
eh???  is that for real?? I haven't heard that news story whats that about?!
county_lady

Apple wrote:

Mike Wrote:
Quote:
...and fracking-induced earthquakes in Blackpool.
eh???  is that for real?? I haven't heard that news story whats that about?!


Apple you can read about it here.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-13599161

I think I'm giving too many clues to the way I fritter away time.
MikeAlx

From what I gather, we should be as much concerned about toxic, cancer-inducing gases as earthquakes. This fracking process doesn't sound like a good idea at all to me.
Green Jay

There is a Jonathan Franzen novel about something similar, can't remember the title but it was earthquake related. He wrote it some years before his famous The Corrections, but it seems as if it was based on fact round some awful geo-industrial process.
Apple

Thanks for that County Lady! I hadn't heard about that, but I must admit after reading it I do have my reservations about it.

Mike Wrote:
Quote:
From what I gather, we should be as much concerned about toxic, cancer-inducing gases as earthquakes. This fracking process doesn't sound like a good idea at all to me.
I totally agree with you!! The comment in the article that risk can be overcome  by tight regulation and good industry practice doesn't exactly fill me with confidence either!!
Mikeharvey

The small earthquakes here in Blackpool and their probable/possible cause are a hot topic among inhabitants. But I have yet to meet anyone who felt the slightest thing.
Apple

Mikeharvey wrote:
The small earthquakes here in Blackpool and their probable/possible cause are a hot topic among inhabitants. But I have yet to meet anyone who felt the slightest thing.
Well I would say thats a good thing!!  Smile
Melony

We have actually even had several earthquakes in Oklahoma this year.
chris-l

RN Singer wrote:
A taste of the apocalypse visited our small Alberta community on May 15, when 100 kph winds blew a forest fire into town, destroying 370-odd homes. But not ours. The fire stopped three doors down. Pictorial evidence galore online for those interested by googling 'slave lake fire'.  
One thing that irks me: certain religious people are already giving God credit for saving the stuff that didn't burn.

One of the other structures destroyed was the brand new library, with all its contents. I had two books out - Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels and The Stoning of Soraya M, by somebody whose name I can't remember. Both are probably overdue by now, but I'm taking my time, as there's no library to return them to.


I saw a brief report of the royal visit on the BBC news a couple of nights ago. The damage still looked very distressing, and I would guess things had been tidied up a bit in anticipation of the arrival of celebrities and attendant news teams.

Best wishes for a return to normality at an early date.
Joe Mac

Why thank you, Chris. I have to say in spite of my cynical self I got a big kick out of the royal visit to our little town in the middle of nowhere. I actually knew about it a week ahead of time and was 'sworn to secrecy' by the government people. What a hoot.

I got to hang out with the blokes with the two-foot lenses who do nothing but follow the royals for a living. Very strange experience. But talk about a rock star reaction from the crowd. That can get your blood racing no matter who you are, I think.

Flooding today, by the way.
Caro

I had never read that earlier bit about your fire somehow.  How come you are important enough to be allowed into the secret of a royal visit?  

I think you have to be very cynical indeed not to enjoy these big events and royalty seems to know how to stage-manage them perfectly.  People are voicing cynicism about NZ's forthcoming Rugby World Cup but I am sure that come the time we will all be caught up in it and hoping it does well.  (And that the All Blacks win.)

Cheers, Caro.
Evie

I think these two royals are winning people over because they seem happy, genuine people, in a strong relationship and relaxed with people.  I am very impressed at how well Kate has taken to such a role - and her smile seems both ready and genuine.  They seem to exude charm and spontaneity and a sense of enjoying life, it's hard not to like them - not that I want not to like them, I am a supporter of the monarchy, but there's a warmth to them that seems very appealing.
kitsumehime

I live in the USA and I got up early to see the wedding live.  It was quite a good show.  I wish them all the best.  

Right now the big news where I live on the East Coast of the USA is the hurricane and the disaster it left in it's wake.  We got off easy, but some areas were heavily impacted with downed trees and flooding.  A lot of people are without power and it might not be up for another week or more.
Joe Mac

That was quite the storm, Kits, wasn't it! I hope it's the last one like it for many years.

Caro, looks like it's my turn to have missed something in this thread re  your question about my insider info on the royal visit. I was 'chosen' as the sole local photographer allowed into the pool that was travelling with the royal entourage. Strictly controlled ('don't get within 20 feet and keep your mouths shut'), but still fun.
spidernick

They seem like a nice enough couple, but I have no interest in the royal family and didn't watch the wedding - I actually went into another room when the service was on (and everything either side of it) and read some of my book (something I rarely get the chance to do with the kids around).

I find the whole concept of 'royalty' both laughable and ironic in the extreme when you look at the hats the Ferguson girls were wearing that day: they looked like a couple of chavs, let's be honest!

Sorry, shouldn't rant.  Back to the thread topic and yes the weather has been weird of late, with heavy rain and sunshine in a very short period of time quite regularly where I am in recent weeks.  Whatever we try and do to defeat nature, she has a habit of fighting back.
Apple

spidernick Wrote:
Quote:
I find the whole concept of 'royalty' both laughable and ironic in the extreme when you look at the hats the Ferguson girls were wearing that day: they looked like a couple of chavs, let's be honest!


Sorry to derail this thread further but your comment reminded me of a photograph (obviously faked) which was making the rounds at the time after the wedding and thought I would share it with you - it was sent to me by my cousin in the USA who is known for her love of royalty found their choice of outfits amusing.

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