Nature’s Fury, Natural Disasters Today

A few stories involving Nature’s Fury currently in the news…Earthquakes & Droughts & Hurricanes & Typhoons, oh my!

 Earthquake Swarm

“A swarm” of several hundred earthquakes, the strongest measuring a 5.5 magnitude, were centered east of San Diego near California’s border with Mexico on Sunday afternoon but caused little damage, seismologists said.

Sunday’s shaking in Southern California’s Imperial Valley was the most activity recorded there since the 1970s, according to U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Johnson.

“We are having a swarm,” Johnson said. “We expect thousands of events (like this) over several days.”

via CNN

Drought

The insurance industry faces its biggest ever loss in agriculture as the worst drought to hit the US in more than half a century devastates the country’s multibillion-dollar corn and soybean crops, triggering large claims.

…Agricultural economists at the University of Illinois estimate the drought will trigger this year gross indemnities of roughly $30bn, with an underwriting loss of $18bn. Of that, the US government would shoulder around $14bn, while private sector insurers are likely to face a loss of $4bn, they said. Standard & Poor’s, the rating agency, put the losses of the private sector a notch higher at $5bn.

“The US drought is indeed a ‘catastrophic’ event,” Gregory W Locraft, insurance analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York, wrote in a recent note to clients, adding that it “is likely the largest [insurance] crop loss in history.”

via CNN

Tropical Storm / Hurricane

“The best thing to do in a storm like this is get out of its way,” said Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who urged residents to prepare for the worst.

He, along the governors of Louisiana and Alabama declared states of emergencies to help cope with the storm, which could make landfall near or on the August 29 seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

…A day after slamming Haiti, where at least six deaths were reported, Isaac slowed a little while passing through the Straits of Florida and lashing Cuba and the Florida Keys. The storm was expected to gain strength as it moves through the warm Gulf waters.

via CNN

Typhoon

A massive typhoon crossed over Okinawa on Sunday, bringing winds more ferocious than even the typhoon-weary Japanese island has seen in decades.

Typhoon Bolaven, with wind gusts that reached as high as 259 kilometers per hour (161 mph), is the strongest to strike the region in nearly 50 years. And with a cloud field of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), it is 20 times larger than Okinawa’s length.

“It’s been very, very severe,” said storm chaser James Reynolds, who was on the northwestern coast of the island during the worst of the storm.

via CNN

 

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