Warner Pacific College
January 25, 2012
Defenseless Against Nature’s Power
Throughout the centuries, civilization has been engaged in a delicate relationship with the environment. Natural disasters have played a major role in our civilizations developments. This relationship can be dated back to the Stone Age and still can be seen in our present days. Among those well know natural disasters are earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, volcanoes, and tsunamis. Due to the world’s increasing population, society has used and misused the natural resources which has created an unbalance in the environment. Sometimes the environment responds merciless to our misuses of such of resources in the form of natural disasters.
“Natural disasters are events caused by natural forces of nature that often has a significant effect on human populations” (Conan-Davis, 2003).
One of those famous disasters was the 1906 earthquake of San Francisco. The cause for this devastating disaster was a 248 miles horizontal slip on the San Andreas Fault. The slip went through the middle of city and was 6 miles deep. That earthquake was so unique because the fault slip was visible throughout the city. Fires consume the majority of the city buildings regardless if they were made of brick. Such fires burned for several days and destroyed several hundred city blocks. The total death count on the San Francisco earthquake was 500.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina touched down in the southern coast of The United States. Katrina brought hurricane conditions to southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. To this date, Katrina was the most deadliest and devastating hurricane in United States history. This category five storm unleashed ten to fourteen inches of rain and up to hundred and seventy five miles per hour winds over Louisiana and Mississippi. The estimated damage created by Katrina was seventy five billion dollars and a death toll of one thousand and two hundred individuals. This was a very dark day in our nation’s history.
Floods are another type of natural disaster we hear often in the news. Recently the state of Oregon was the latest target of nature’s power. An unusual winter storm brought heavy rains to the beaver state creating floods to several cities in the area. The counties of Benton, Lane, and Marion dealt with rising waters from nearby rivers. Those floods were severe enough that required the use of rescue efforts, and called for the Governor John Kitzhaber to declare a state of emergency in such counties. In the city of Salem dozens of families were evacuated due to the rising waters, and few deaths were reported in Albany. Such news demonstrates the nature’s powers even in our own backyards.
Another showing of power by nature comes of the form of tsunami. This type of disaster is not as common as the others but their power is equal or even more deadly. On December 2004, a great tsunami wave touched down in Indonesia. This catastrophe event was responsible for the destruction in properties in several countries and the death toll of hundred and fifty thousand people. There was a worldwide effort to aid the victims of this tragedy in which United States was a big part of.
In conclusion, Mother Nature reminds me of a double edge sword. She shows one side of kindness with her beautiful sunrises, blue beaches, flowers, and everything we learned to love about nature. On the other hand, it shows us how small we are in comparison to its power. As a society, we have been taking advantage of the environment by misusing all the resources available to us. The natural disasters previously mention is a way for Mother Nature to let us know how disappointed she is with us.
scholastic. (2011). Retrieved January 21, 2012, from scholastic.com: http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/wwatch/earthquakes/famous.htm
Conan-Davis, R. (2003, January 23). Natural Disasters. Retrieved January 21, 2012, from Natural disasters ClearlyExplained.Com : http://clearlyexplained.com/nature/earth/disasters/
floodandsandbags. (2010). Hurricanes in History. Retrieved January 21, 2012, from floodandsandbags.com: http://www.floodandsandbags.com/flooding/hurricanes_in_history.htm
Suzuki, T. (2012, January 19). Willamette Valley Flooding Turns Deadly, Cause Evacuations. Retrieved January 21, 2012, from koinlocal6.com: http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local/story/Willamette-Valley-flooding-turns-deadly-causes/8ROQOp3Klk6q7dbRuGcHXw.cspx