John Casey’s new book Upheaval is out and connects the anti-correlation of low sunspot activity and high earthquake activity. The take away is that during grand solar minimums such as the type we are entering now, there will be a major 8.0+ quake in the Mississippi River Valley destroying bridges, ripping apart gas pipelines and all trade crossing the Mississippi will come to a halt. Also Switzerland experiences the most days below zero since 1964 and flash frozen Pike with a fish in its mouth, Mastodon.
Updated 8:42 a.m. Hours after being contacted by Danger Room, the New York Army National Guard on Tuesday night abruptly reversed a decision to send hundreds of soldiers out-of-state in the midst of the Hurricane Sandy relief effort.
The troops were previously declared unavailable to help New York recover from the state’s biggest hurricane in centuries. Instead, they were assigned to fight a fake disaster.
But hours before they were set to deploy, the troops’ participation in a week-long exercise in Missouri known as “Vigilant Guard” was cancelled. The exercise is designed to test the response to a mock earthquake in the Midwest. Until Tuesday, that previously scheduled drill took precedence over the real-world catastrophe that struck the East Coast. It was declared a bureaucratic near-impossibility to redeploy hundreds of guardsmen at a moment’s notice, even at a moment when so many are in need.
Troops from the New York Army National Guard’s 104th Military Police Battalion, the 1156th Engineer Company – 450 soldiers in all — were poised to head to the middle of the country. Dozens more from the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade were supposed to train in Pennsylvania this weekend. ”At this point in time, we’re still sending our soldiers to Vigilant Guard,” Eric Durr, a spokesman for the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, told Danger Room late Tuesday afternoon.
Hours later, that changed. “Last night the decision was made to cancel New York National Guard participation in Vigilant Guard,” Durr emailed on Wednesday morning. “The adjutant general [the Guard’s commanding officer] decided to keep troops in state in case they are needed.”
In May, the federal government simulated an earthquake so massive, it killed 100,000 Midwesterners instantly, and forced more than 7 million people out of their homes. At the time, National Level Exercise 11 went largely unnoticed; the scenario seemed too far-fetched — states like Illinois and Missouri are in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at the edge of one. A major quake happens there once every several generations.
But Tuesday’s earthquake along the East Coast is a reminder that disasters can hit where they’re least expected. And if the nightmare scenario comes, government officials worry that state and federal authorities won’t be able to handle the “cascading failures” that follow. The results of May’s disaster exercise won’t be released to the public. But privately, these government officials say they’re glad that this earthquake was just a drill — and not the big one. Especially because there are so many nuclear power plants in the fault zone.
National Level Exercise 11, or NLE 11, was, in essence, a replay of a disaster that happened 200 years earlier. On Dec. 16, 1811, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit the New Madrid fault line, which lies on the border region of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. It’s by far the largest earthquake ever to strike the United States east of the Rockies. Up to 129,000 square kilometers [50,000 square miles] were hit with “raised or sunken lands, fissures, sinks, sand blows, and large landslides,” according to the U.S. Geological Service. “Huge waves on the Mississippi River overwhelmed many boats and washed others high onto the shore. High banks caved and collapsed into the river; sand bars and points of islands gave way; whole islands disappeared.” People as far away as New York City were awakened by the shaking.
More quakes, of a similar size, followed. But the loss of life was minimal: Not too many people lived in the area at the time. Today, there are more than 15 million people living in the quake zone. If a similar quake hit, “7.2 million people could be displaced, with 2 million seeking temporary shelter” in the first three days, FEMA Associate Adminsitrator William Carwile told a Congressional panel in 2010 (.pdf). “Direct economic losses for the eight states could total nearly $300 billion, while indirect losses at least twice that amount.”
NLE 11 DHS FEMA New Madrid Fault Earthquake “History”
During NLE 11, more than 9,000 National Guardsmen were dispatched to 50 sites around Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee for mock disaster relief. They were joined by workers from the Food and Drug Administration, state agencies, and charity groups like the American Red Cross. It was a truly massive undertaking — especially considering there were all-too-real tornadoes assaulting the region at the same time.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Thousands of emergency responders from across the state are launching massive training drills that will cover a host of scenarios from cyber-attacks to earthquakes.
Nearly 3,000 federal, state and local responders will participate in the exercises, dubbed Vigilant Guard ’11. Situations will take place at nine different sites around the state. Scenarios will include a cyber-attack on Madison’s power grid, chemical spills, flooding, a mysterious ship on Lake Michigan rigged with a bomb and sending aid to Indiana in response to an earthquake along the New Madrid fault line.
The exercises are set to begin Saturday morning and run through Thursday.
Pressure is building on the north American plate beyond the rocky mountain continental divide. As far north as the Cascadia range in the Pacific Northwest, south east to Yellowstone, then further south east to Georgia, up north to Montreal / New York …
The threat of a new madrid earthquake , in my opinion, goes up ANOTHER notch, with the signs of more activity in the north east, extending along the faults down to Arkansas.
May 03 (Reuters) – Flames shot up and a loud boom was heard on Monday as the U.S. government blew a hole in a Mississippi River flood levee in a bid to save several towns in Illinois and Kentucky from being inundated.
A witness said water began to pour out of the hole after the explosion and is expected to eventually flood some 130,000 acres of farmland in Missouri in order to spare the towns.
The deliberate destruction of the levee after nightfall and during a driving rain, ended days of fierce debate and legal wrangling over how to cope with the rising flood waters of the Mississippi and nearby Ohio river.
Carlin Bennett, a commissioner in the rural Missouri county that will bear the brunt of the flooding, estimated the U.S. government action will cause $1 billion in property damage.
“It’s going to be like a mini tsunami through here,” he said. “We can’t really imagine it right now.”
The state of Missouri petitioned all the way to the Supreme Court in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the action. The states of Illinois and Kentucky opposed Missouri, joining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in pushing for destruction of the levee in hopes of saving several towns in their states.
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