Tag Archives: natural disasters

[INFOGRAPHIC] A Few Facts About Tornadoes

The reason for Tornado Alley is one of geography: the Rocky Mountains tend to block the eastward flow of moist air, while the Great Plains allow cold Arctic air to flow south from Canada, which collides with warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico, causing powerful tornadoes. While twisters are most frequent in Tornado Alley, multiple studies have found that the deadliest tornadoes occur to the east, in the lower Mississippi Valley area, a region that has come to be known as “Dixie Alley.” There are several reasons: twisters tend to be stronger in this part of country, they’re more likely to strike at night, there are more trees and other obstructions to raise havoc, this region has many manufactured homes without basements in which one could take shelter, and of course, population densities are generally higher here as well.

[VIDEO] Car Emerges From Foam; Almost Hits Two Officers

This incident happened in the town of Mooloolaba on the eastern coast of Australia, and the individuals in the yellow rain slickers are local police officers. They were out on patrol on the beach following a cyclone that hit the area. A car emerges out of seemingly nowhere, catching the two by surprise. The sea foam forms when powerful storms force water into the air before it is washed onto the beachfront. What this driver did was very unsafe, not just for the pedestrians he almost hit, but also for himself, as his car could have stalled while he was under the foamy material, leaving him stranded underneath a wall of who knows what.

[VIDEO] Nothing Can Stop This Fire Truck

This happened on Christmas Day 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. It looks awful cool, but it turns out the crew misjudged the depth of the water and likely wouldn’t have attempted driving through the flood had they realized just how deep the water truly was. The fire department’s regional operations manager, Tony O’Day, was reported to have said the crew regretted their decision. “They are fairly shaken,” O’Day reportedly said.

Nillumbik mayor defends CFA crew filmed driving through floods [via The Herald Sun]

[VIDEO] Lighting Strikes Russian SUV While on the Road

This a rare video of lightning actually striking a Russian SUV while on the road. The video was taken from the vantage point of the vehicle behind the SUV, and that vehicle is reportedly to be that of Vadim Medvedev, the mayor of the Russian town of Zheleznogorsk. (Again, that’s the vehicle with the video camera, not the SUV that was hit by lightning). Though Mayor Medvedev was not in the vehicle at the time as it was being driven by his chauffeur. The SUV reportedly suffered electrical damage as a result of the lightning strike and had to be towed from the scene.

Thunderstruck: Russian Mayor’s Toyota Land Cruiser Almost Hit by Lightning on the Road [via CarScoop]

[ARTICLE & VIDEO] Cyborg Cockroaches May One Day Search Earthquake Rubble

Imagine for a moment, searching for survivors in the collapsed rubble of a building after a major earthquake. It’s a situation that poses many technical and safety challenges. People and search dogs are usually way too big to get through any spaces inside the rubble, and the act of clearing away the debris could cause a cave-in or unexpected shifting of the rubble, crushing any possible survivors.

A possible solution to the problem is in the form of cyborg insects, as envisioned by Alper Bozkurt, an electrical engineer at North Carolina State University. Specifically, his approach is to use remote-controlled cockroach cyborgs to assist search and rescue teams. Their roaches are controlled remotely via a pair of antennae stimulators at the roach’s head, and another on the roach’s rear end.

Remote-control tech turns cockroaches into beasts of burden [via Future of Tech]

[ARTICLE & VIDEO] How to Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse

On Wednesday, the CDC posted a hit article on its blog on how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. Normally, the CDC’s blog generates about 3,000 page views over the course of a week. This particular post, however, went viral and resulted in 30,000 unique visitors over the course of a single day, rendering the agency’s server lifeless.

On Thursday, the blog’s Twitter feed had around 12,000 followers. By the next day, that number skyrocketed to 1.2 million followers, thanks to a clever campaign launched by the agency to convince the public to start thinking about emergency readiness. The tagline was dead-on: “If you’re ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you’re ready for any emergency.”

So, just what would the CDC do in the event the undead rose up to challenge the living? According to the agency’s website: “If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).”

Hmm… is it just us, or does that sound less than comforting? I guess in the event of a real zombie apocalypse, that means… we’re all gonna die! (Just kidding, kidding).

If you’re still not sure just exactly what a zombie is, or why you should take this threat seriously, please see the video below.

Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse [via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

[VIDEO] Earthquake, Tsunami, then a Gigantic Whirlpool

According to Fox News, the monster whirlpool was the result of the tsunami wave interacting with the coastline. Such whirlpools are known to occur after a tsunami with some regularity, as similar incidents have been reported throughout history, going back to the great Lisbon earthquake of 1775. Images and video of whirlpools were also recorded after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, in which a staggering 230,000 people across 14 countries were killed. (For those of you in the United States reading this, how many of you can remember this mega-catastrophe? Likely not too many. Yet another reason not to take things for granted).