Complex megadisasters

There are disasters. There are megadisasters. And now there are complex megadisasters.

From The Christian Science Monitor: Mega-quakes and mega-disasters: Will US heed wake-up call in Japan?

The crisis in Japan could be considered the first “complex megadisaster” the world has ever seen — a potent combination of natural and technological calamities that might become more common in the future.

A megadisaster is a catastrophe that threatens very quickly to overwhelm an area’s capacity to get people to safety, treat casualties, protect vital infrastructure and control panic or chaos, said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

“A complex megadisaster, which is what I’ve been calling the crisis in Japan, is a natural catastrophe overlaid by a technological situation,” Redlener told LiveScience. “You have four catastrophes in Japan: the earthquake, the tsunami, the continuing concerns about the instability of the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, and the humanitarian crisis of having hundreds of thousands of people displaced.”

God have mercy.

Grace and Peace

HT: Geology News

3 thoughts on “Complex megadisasters

  1. Monk

    No boz, I think they’ll take a larger jump than that – all the way to SuperComplex UltraDeath MegaDisaster.

    After that point they’ll need to have some giant transforming robots to advanced to the next level of naming – the Ultimate-Omega-Super-Ultra-Mega Disaster.


  2. Just watched the special on John Muir. I would say that the San Francisco earthquake was clearly a megadisaster. The quake ruptured both the gas pipes and the water pipes. The gas fueled the fire and the lack of water kept the fire-fighters from quenching it. And it eventually meant that one of the valleys in the Yosemite National Park had to become a reservoir for the city (the Hetch-Hetchy)–the final victim of the disaster.


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