the natural disaster thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by vniow, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    Last night around 11:00p.m., I heard a loud THUMP and my mom screaming in her bedroom. I got up, put my robe on and ran in as fast as I could. I got in there and found out that the mirror inside fell. Oh, it was just the mirror I thought but then I looked at the wall and saw that part of it had been broken and other parts caving in. Thinking something else was up, I went to the outside door and saw our porch almost entirely lifted up to its roof at one corner. As soon as I ran back inside and got a flashlight, I saw what was a +100' redwood tree which was at the edge of our porch laying down flat on the ground, lifting our porch up with its roots. Luckily no one (except for this squirrel who was cruched by the fall) got hurt, including our golden lab who (used to) sleeps on the porch at night.

    So, needless to say, half of our yard is covered in a +100' redwood tree and all of its branches, our porch is destroyed and could collapse at anytime, our outside freezer is torn up almost to the point of non-functionality and there are various scratches and holes that need to be fixed although we just did most of those a few months ago.

    Well that's my story, how about your experiences with natural disasters, even if they're on a small scale like this one?
  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    That is quite a disaster vinow. I'm so happy to hear that you and your family are OK. A house can be repaired. It is always human life that is sacred. Is the house still liveable? If you have a chance could you post a picture? Did you find out what damaged the tree?
  3. leet1 macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2003
    Earthquake in California.

    My dad thought it was kids outside in the hall jumping, nothing bad, hehe.

    2 tornadoes in Texas

    Ran from one of them <very cool when your 11, lol>

    Other one happened while at a friends house. It lifted the fence straight out of the ground, with the concreate settings of the poles. :eek:

    Thats my stories involving natural disasters :D
  4. pivo6 macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2002
    My in-laws were living in Aptos,CA when the big earthquake hit the Bay area (I can't remeber the year, but it did interrupt the World Series). We tried calling for hours before we finally reached them. Luckily they weren't hurt, just a large crack in the townhouse they were renting.

    Last summer night while I was out of town for work, I called up my house to see how everyone was doing. My wife tells me that she can't talk now because the sirens went off signaling a tornado. I was two hours away and there was nothing I could do. Lucky for us that the tornado touched down about 2 miles away and we had no damage. Unlucky for the families that had homes destroyed.
  5. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    Living in San Francisco, I've experienced my fare share of earthquakes. While they usually don't cause much, if any damage, there was the one in 1989, which pivo6 was referring to. That quake was scary as hell and killed many people. Thankfully me and my family were fine, and our house didn't suffer any damage.
  6. judith macrumors regular


    Jul 27, 2003
    Mt. Baker - Washington State USA

    vniow: I must make light, as I'm glad no one was hurt:
    Have you considered the decking options available to you now that you've got all that Redwood timber?
  7. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001

    Sorry about the tree but I'm more concer about your avatar. Look, it is not a girl avatar, I like the shoe avatar better.

    Can you describe a little better the part of you on your bed, what were you wearing?;)
  8. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    Lots of tornados when I lived in the midwest. I guess there have been a couple quakes in the Bay Area since I've moved here, but I never notice them. Apparently, there was a fair shake a little bit back, but it must have happened when I was traveling, cuz I didn't notice it.

    Never had a fire or flood, though!

  9. kaosfere macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2003
    Tornado passed just behind my house, growing up. Minimal damage, aside from $2000 in roof repairs where it sucked all of our shingles up. Some of the houses up the road didn't fare as well, though. No, they don't sound like freight trains. But I still don't ever want to hear one again.

    Numerous hurricanes. Got drunk as hell when Fran came through NC, and was hanging off of a fire escape eight floors above ground level at the peak of the winds. I'm often amazed I didn't die that night.

    A few earthquakes, but nothing I could really feel. I think everyone in most of the US could say that.
  10. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    too many tornados to count. i've also been very close to struck by lightening, on a few occasions. we don't get very interesting disasters in the midwest, but we get plenty of 'em...

  11. shadowfax macrumors 603


    Sep 6, 2002
    Houston, TX
    would you characterize yourself as

    1) a very insensitive male
    2) attracted to people of ambiguous gender
    3) really dirty


    that's about all i can come up with.

    as for disasters, i have never experienced a really bad one. i have been in the general area of several tornadoes, but we've never had any property damage done by the weather.
  12. vniow thread starter macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    Yes, maybe and probably the origional construction of the house, the raily season and the 1989 earthquake respectively.

    We'll see, the insurance guy was supposed to come today, I remember my mom saying something about them giving us 'credit' of some sort for the tree (we're having two others taken down while we're at it) so I guess I'll know more in the coming week..
  13. tpjunkie macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
  14. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i was walking near the beach during the loma prieta earthquake, 1989 quake, in northern california

    some people left a nearby building and said they felt a big earthquake

    strangely, 7.1 and all, i didn't feel a thing outside
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Old trees add value to the house when they're on the property (even new ones), that's why a $1k tree can add $10k to a properties value if well placed.

    And old trees like this redwood can be worth 10s of thousands.

    --- Coming to an insurance company near you.

    But the fire, and new insurance rules can have some people cutting back trees.

    Since some companies like Snake Farm won't be renewing people's insurance in "fire zones" if they don't cut back vegetation. (something like nothing within 10-30' and vastly reduced vegetation through the remainder of 100'.

    But this will kill a bunch of these homes value. If they want to keep insurance.
  16. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2001
    London, UK
    Yeah, yeah - I KNOW this is long, but...

    Coming from New Zealand, I've been subject to a fair few natural disasters. The country lies smack-bang on the Pacific Ring of Fire - a border between two major tectonic plates, which are constantly moving. Auckland, for example, has 63 dormant volcanoes that make up the isthmus - scary that if just ONE of them goes, then bye-bye 1.5 million people...

    Further down the country, earthquakes can be a daily occurence, varying in intensity (depending on when and how strong the last earthquake was in the area - more on that later...). I remember a tremor one night in 1987, which wasn't that bad, really - but a few hundred miles south, the landscape was decimated (cracks in the earth appeared, and sheep were swallowed hole!). Looking out the window the next day, we all saw that the level of water in our swimming pool had dropped - the tremor had cracked the concrete. Dad had to put in an earthquake insurance claim...

    I was in the outskirts of Wellington once - in the countryside at an Olympic Judo training camp, where we were all running in the cold winter mist at 5 am - carrying big logs for stamina (ugh! The very thought makes me wanna barf!). Suddenly, our knees all went weak - I initially thought it was just me, because I was tired. Then, it all became rather disconcerting - all we could do was to hit the dirt, and hold on for dear life. It was bizarre - as if God had grabbed the land, and shaken it like a carpet. Things were bouncing all over the place - and it was the most unsettling feeling of not being in control. Lasted about 25-30 secs...

    One usual by-product of an earthquake out at sea is a Tsunami - its intensity directly proportional to the scale of the earthquake. It always used to amaze me to hear that when a Tsunami alert would occur in New Zealand, hordes of people would go down to the beach to watch it come in. These things would HOON in at a GREAT rate of knots - and the basic rule of thumb is that if you can see it, you can't outrun it... Luckily, Tsunamis around New Zealand die out fairly quickly - but there's always the chance that the BIG Kahuna could come in, and they'd all be screwed...

    I filmed a really cool job once in South Africa - at a gold mine known as the Western Deep Levels, which is the deepest mine in the world. The elevator alone took us down at a stunning 75km/h, to the unlikely depth of just over 10 000 FEET (to give you some idea - below the level where the Titanic sits on the bottom of the Atlantic) - to level 86!

    Once underground, it reminded me from a scene out of a James Bond movie - entering the lair of the Evil Blofeld. The cavern was HUGE - with squared-off ceilings and walls, the place was really well-lit, and had everything - shops, rally points, trucks, and even a TRAIN station... a veritable city. Absolutely incredible. We walked about 1000 metres following some train lines and service tunnels before we came to the drilling operation.

    It's a 24-hour business - split into 6 shifts. 4 hours of drilling (they get paid for each hole they dig), 3 hours of planting explosives (the more dangerous job gets less time, so as to keep them as safe as possible), and 4 hours for the clearing crew, before the cycle begins all over again...

    Our initial story was about how to keep the miners cool - one foot beneath the ground, the temp. sits at around 18 ºC - and every 100 ft. you dig, it goes up 1 ºC. Do the math, and the temperature gets hotter than STEAM where they are. So, on the surface they have HUGE ice-making machines constantly pumping their product down big tubes, which pass by an immense fan system. Don't get me wrong - it's still hot, but survivable...

    So we're down there, doing a Piece to Camera with the reporter. The sound recordist isn't looking happy, and holds us up - again.

    "WHAT IS that grinding sound? It's really pi$$ing me off!"

    "Oh", says the mine representative. "It's a seismic event - we get them on average every 7 minutes".

    "WHAT?!? You mean an EARTHQUAKE?!?"

    "Yeah - well - where did you THINK gold came from? The highest concentrations are from where two plates meet. Don't worry, though - we have an excellent earthquake detection centre with a 96% success rate."

    "What about the OTHER F***ING 4%?!?"

    Looking up at the cavern's ceiling, I couldn't help but think about the 10 THOUSAND feet of rock above my head...

    With that, we literally SCURRIED up an hour or so before the shift change (a bit like scalded cats!), and made our way to the Seismic lab. Amazing for 1995 really - there were a HUGE collection of SGI systems sitting in a crummy pre-fab office, all top-spec. at the time. The supervisor was explaining everything to us - pulling up a 3D representation of the whole mine operation. Overlaid on the map were a series of colour-coded spheres, representing earthquake intensity (small green for minor, medium blue for standard, large red for intense). From this, they could extrapolate the data to find "weak spots", and had the authority to clear the mine at any time. The supervisor had a 3D headset on, and a cybernetic glove - very cool - and, like in Minority Report, or even Disclosure, made gestures in the air to pull up menus, rotate the map or zoom in on specific locations. He showed us where we were in Level 86, and what earthquakes we'd experienced whilst underground. All fascinating footage, as well...

    Then - out of the blue - an alarm klaxon went off, followed by the unmistakable weak feeling in my legs. I went straight for the table, and dove underneath (yeah - really brave!). Looking around, though, I'd seen the majority of the scientists in my field of vision doing exactly that - and my sound recordist and producer under the table adjacent. The reporter, however, was crouching in the doorway, and she was screaming like a banshee. The noise was horrendous - alarms, crunching, rumbling and the crashing of fallen objects - it was a biggie. I sat there, under the table, and filmed her indignation, thinking it would look great on the Christmas tape - if we got out...

    Think of Fatboy Slim's video "Push the Tempo", and you'll get the picture.

    It lasted about 35-40 seconds, but it seemed like an eternity. Within 2 minutes, reports had come through the printer as to the extent of the damage through the mine.

    "Oh, dear", said the supervisor. "What level did you say you were in?"

    "Level 86"


    He looked up from his printout -

    "...Level 86 doesn't exist anymore."
  17. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Nothing really major for me, a couple of quakes in California and Greece and about a dozen hurricanes, but living in CT growing up, they weren't as bad as the ones you might see in FL or the Carolinas.

    The only interesting one might be stuck in a blizzard 10kms from camp in Greenland - it was a white out and we couldn't see more than a couple feet. Parked the snowmobiles in group, hunkered down and waited a couple hours for it to clear.....we were really lucky it didn't last....

  18. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    The most I've seen is hurricanes, but tornados are known to touchdown in some areas south to New Orleans. Heavy rain, strong winds & power outages; it's not unheard of to see 2 feet of rainfall during one. :eek:

    oh yeah...shadow...I'm going with all 3... ;)
  19. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Re: Yeah, yeah - I KNOW this is long, but...

    OMG! That's a little dramatic, wow. So did anyone die? That's just a little nuts, and all this for gold.......scary.
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Ahh I miss those redwood trees you got up there V... Sorry to hear one almost took your house out.

    Myself, I was at Cabrillo in 1989 when the ground started to shake. Suddenly I was surfing waves on the pavement. I was looking all around since I was between several buildings at the time, and was hoping none of them starting coming my way. Luckily they all held. I was supposed to turn in an assignment for a class in Pascal (hows that for a dead language!) that I hadn't finished yet, and as the wonderful student that I was in HS (I was taking classes at Cabrillo during my senior year at Aptos High) I was waaaayyy behind in a couple classes, and managed to use the week off to get caught up in everything! The only really scary part for me was immediately afterwards when my friend and I went to his car and tried to turn on the radio to hear some news and the entire radio spectrum was dead. Then I started to worry, and we had to go back to his house to check on things since his parents were out of town, and swap out his mom's prelude for his 4WD truck so we could get around over all the downed trees and crud on the roads. Our house was a mess, but thankfully our chimney didn't fall over onto the roof, and there was no structural damage to the house. My poor sister (who was 12 at the time) lost her pet fish, the tank fell over and we found the fish stuck to the kitchen floor 2 days later. My mom was microwaving some leftover lasagna at the time, and the lasagna and the plate it was on came out of the microwave and landed in the drawer underneath, then the microwave and drawer closed again. Didn't find the lasagna for several (smelly) days! Spent the night out in the yard cause I couldn't get to my bed since my entire room was on my floor. My dad lost a nice photographic print he'd bought, the glass broke and scratched the print all up. All in all it could have been worse.

    Then a friend of mine who had just moved to the Aptos area got to experience that one, and about 3 months before the Northridge quake he moved down there. He got the double whammy.
  21. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    those were the two most costly quakes in california history...billions in damage and lots of expensive structures there that were not around in the 1906 quake

    i could not imagine a double whammy...i would only be happy if i was a construction worker ;)
  22. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2001
    London, UK
    Re: Re: Yeah, yeah - I KNOW this is long, but...

    Luckily, there was a shift change in progress - so apart for a few "minor" injuries (sic.), no one was seriously hurt. It sort of got me thinking though - there WAS no warning, and there were a LOT of miners down there.

    I also left a can of Coke in the drilling area - that would've been "atomised" when the rock came down...

  23. Backtothemac macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    A tornado hit Tuscaloosa yesterday. An F2. Not too back, and no one was hurt. However a few years ago we had an F4 that killed 14 people, and missed my house by less than 3/4 of a mile.
  24. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    I actually took several Construction Management classes from the guy who was in charge of rebuilding the Cal State Northridge library after the quake down there. I got to see a bunch of the photos of the structural damage to the columns and the column footings, as well as the damage to the facade and other serious problems. It was amazing to see how fast they put that building back together.
  25. agreenster macrumors 68000


    Dec 6, 2001
    Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Re: Yeah, yeah - I KNOW this is long, but...

    GET OUT! You are either entirely full of $h!!te or have lived through one of the coolest things I have EVER heard of. So yeah, did anyone die or did everyone get out of level 86?

    Man, that whole experience is caught on tape? Sounds to me like you ought to write a script and sell it to a producer along with your footage for a possible movie! I would love to see what goes on 10,000 feet below the earth!


    Do you have any pictures of this place??

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