natural disasters, floods, hurricanes
A woman from Sidoarjo, East Java is
displaced by the Indonesian mud volcano.

How Natural are Natural Disasters?

August 01, 2008 06:00 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
With global warming and environmental instability at the fore of the public consciousness, some are seeing connections between human actions and so-called “natural disasters.”

30-Second Summary

“From mud volcanoes to disappearing lakes, human actions can have all sorts of unforeseen environmental consequences,” writes Catherine Brahic of the New Scientist magazine.

Brahic reviewed five “natural,” suddenly occurring events, such as mud volcanoes, earthquakes and floods, and explained how human influence may have been a part of each event.

Oil and gas drilling was cited as a culprit in the case of a disappearing lake in Louisiana and a mud volcano in Indonesia.

There is also a theory that ExxonMobil’s drilling operations may have spurred the earthquake that caused the Indonesian tsunami of 2004.

“Scientists have known for some time that earthquakes in the order of 4.0 on the Richter scale have been caused by oil drilling and other earth intrusive practices,” according to Pure Energy Systems.

A recent earthquake in California has brought renewed emphasis on natural disaster preparation.

Lynda Maguet, disaster director for an American Red Cross chapter in California, urged individuals to keep a three-day supply of food and water, batteries, a radio and a personal hygiene kit on hand in the event of an emergency.

“It is important to be prepared,” Maguet stated. “When we had the big earthquake in ’89 here, I thought I was prepared, but I wasn’t.”

Headline Link: ‘Five Ways to Trigger a Natural Disaster’

Related Topic: ‘Man-made’ natural disasters

Background: California earthquake

Reference: Home protection


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