Natural disasters

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 2, 2014

With the nine year anniversary of Katrina past, residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast have a fresh memory of dealing with major disasters.

For the most part this area is used to seeing major hurricanes strike every couple of decades or so.

But did you know there are a couple of disasters that are possible, the effects of which could be felt in this area?

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The first is the possibility of a super volcano erupting in Yellowstone National Park. Even if you haven’t seen it in person, I know I want to, the geyser Old Faithful is a household name.

The geyser is essentially part of a large volcano, where magma underneath the ground heats up water, that erupts about every 90 minutes.

Scientists have speculated that a super volcano is the engine that drives the geyser, and that volcano has erupted before with cataclysmic results. They have predicted it will erupt again, but just like predicting the weather, they are unsure exactly when.

If it were to erupt in the near future, it would eject an ash cloud that could reach as far as New York, not to mention most every other part of the country.

Another natural disasters south Mississippian’s don’t typically deal with is earthquakes. However, we are close to a fault line of some fame, the New Madrid fault. The last time it was recorded to have caused a quake was at the end of 1811 and beginning of 1812.

Fortunately the fault doesn’t produce strong quakes regularly, but due to the lack of earthquakes in this area building codes do not compensate for their destructive power.

Again, predictions state that there is a chance of a major quake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone every 50 years or so.

My point is, preparing for a disaster should take into account the various kinds of events that could knock out electricity, water and access to critical supplies.