Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Historical Event’ Category

The so-called Loma Prieta earthquake hits the San Francisco Bay Area on October 17, 1989, killing 67 people, injuring 3,757 and causing more than $5 billion in damages.

DYFI intensity map

M 6.9 – Loma Prieta, California Earthquake

  • 1989-10-18 00:04:15 (UTC)
  • 37.036°N 121.880°W
  • 17.2 km depth
In the Santa Cruz Mountains in the forest of Nisene Marks State Park, about 16 kilometers northeast of Santa Cruz and about 7 kilometers south of Loma Prieta Mountains, California.This major earthquake caused 63 deaths, 3,757 injuries, and an estimated $6 billion in property damage. It was the largest earthquake to occur on the San Andreas fault since the great San Francisco earthquake in April 1906.The most severe property damage occurred in Oakland and San Francisco, about 100 kilometer north of the fault segment that slipped on the San Andreas. MM intensity IX was assigned to San Francisco’s Marina District, where several houses collapsed, and to four areas in Oakland and San Francisco, where reinforced-concrete viaducts collapsed: Nimitz Freeway (Interstate 880) in Oakland, and Embarcadero Freeway, Highway 101, and Interstate 280 in San Francisco. Communities sustaining heavy damage in the epicentral area included Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville.

Liquefaction, as evidenced by sand boils, lateral spreading, settling, and slumping, occurred as far as 110 kilometers from the epicenter. It caused severe damage to buildings in San Francisco’s Marina district as well as along the coastal areas of Oakland and Alameda in the east San Francisco Bay shore area. Liquefaction also contributed significantly to the property damage in the Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay areas, which lie near the epicentral zone. Structures damaged by liquefaction include buildings, bridges, highways, pipelines, port facilities, airport runways, and levees. Subsurface soil conditions, which amplified accelerations in the San Francisco Bay area, strongly influenced structural damage patterns and probably contributed to liquefaction problems in loose, sandy fills underlain by deep, cohesive soil deposits.

Engineered buildings, including those near the epicenter, performed well during the earthquake. Hospital buildings in the region sustained only minor system and cosmetic damage, and operational interruptions did not occur. Only five schools sustained severe damage, estimated at $81 million.

Most of the spectacular damage to buildings was sustained by unreinforced masonry buildings constructed of wood-frame roof and floor systems supported by unreinforced brick walls. These structures failed in areas near the epicenter as well as in areas far from the epicenter, at San Francisco and Monterey. The severe shaking near Santa Cruz caused heavy damage to the unreinforced masonry buildings in that area, particularly in the Santa Cruz Pacific Garden Mall, which consisted of several blocks of unreinforced masonry store buildings.

More than 80 of the 1,500 bridges in the area sustained minor damage, 10 required temporary supports, and 10 were closed owing to major structural damage. One or more spans collapsed on three bridges. The most severe damage occurred to older structures on poor ground, such as the Cypress Street Viaduct (41 deaths) and the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (one death). Damage to the transportation system was estimated at $1.8 billion.

Most of the more than 1,000 landslides and rockfalls occurred in the epicentral zone in the Santa Cruz Mountains. One slide, on State Highway 17, disrupted traffic for about 1 month.

The earthquake produced a pattern of northwest-trending extensional fractures in the north end of the aftershock zone northwest of the epicenter, but through-going right-lateral surface faulting was not found above the rupture defined by the main shock and its aftershocks. Six feet of right-lateral strike-slip and 4 feet of reverse-slip was inferred from geodetic data. The only surface fracturing that might be attributed to primary tectonic faulting occurred along a trace of the San Andreas near Mount Madonna Road in the Corralitos area, where en echelon cracks showed 2 centimeters of right-lateral displacement.

Extensional fractures (maximum net displacement of 92 centimeters) were observed about 12 kilometers northwest of the epicenter, in the Summit Road-Skyland Ridge area, east of State Highway 17, whereas zones of compressional deformation were found along the northeast foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains between Blossom Hill and Palo Alto. In Los Altos and Los Gatos, ground deformation appeared to be associated closely with zones of heavy structural damage and broken underground utility lines.

Other towns in the area that also experienced severe property damage include Boulder Creek, Corralitos, Hollister, Moss Landing, and several smaller communities in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

This earthquake was felt over most of central California and in part of western Nevada. The rate of aftershock activity decreased rapidly with time, but the total number of aftershocks was less than that expected from a generic California earthquake of similar magnitude. Fifty-one aftershocks of magnitude 3.0 and larger occurred during the first day after the main shock, and 16 occurred during the second day. After 3 weeks, 87 magnitude 3.0 and larger aftershocks had occurred.

Abridged from Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), by Carl W. Stover and Jerry L. Coffman, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1993.

Maximum observed Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) IX

October 16, 1996: A stampede of soccer fans before a World Cup qualifying match in Guatemala City kills 84 people and seriously injures more than 100.

 


10/16/1991: one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history.

HxC

“George Jo Hennard drives his truck through a window in Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, and then opens fire on a lunch crowd of over 100 people, killing 23 and injuring 20 more. Hennard then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide……”


10/12/1918: The 1918 Moose Lake/Cloquet fire rages through Minnesota, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands homeles


10/9/1963: “……The displaced water crashed over the dam and into the Piave River below. It stormed down the river and engulfed the town of Longarone. Within minutes the town had virtually vanished and nearly 2,000 people were dead. The tsunami-like wave then rushed down to San Martino, where it killed hundreds more……”

“…..The Vaiont Gorge was located in a section of the Alps known for instability. In 1963, the area experienced heavy rains—about 90 inches by October 9. At 10:41 p.m., the wet land could no longer hold and a massive landslide came crashing down from Mount Toc, causing a huge pile of dirt and rocks to plunge into the reservoir at about 70 miles per hour. The impact of the debris caused an immense wave of water to rise as high as 300 feet above the level of the dam……”


The most devastating fire in United States history burns in Peshtigo, Wisconsin on October 8, 1871. Some 1,200 people lost their lives and 2 billion trees were consumed by flames.

HxC

 


October 8, 187: The Great Chicago Fire, a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages.

HxC

 


Virginia Tech and Lead Poisoning from the active shooter event

“……On April 16, 2007, Goddard was in French class at Virginia Tech when he was shot four times……One bullet pierced his shoulder and then exited. But three other bullets shattered into tiny pieces in his body, and doctors said it was too risky to remove them…..Goddard is suffering from lead poisoning. At one point, his levels were seven times higher than what’s considered safe….”The short term symptoms are hard to recognize — things like fatigue, irritability, memory loss. stomach pain,” Goddard said. “At the time when I learned about this, I was in grad school, I had a two-year-old, was about to have another one, and was trying to find a job. A lot of those things going on in my life could have caused those things.”
His mother who encouraged him to get a blood test after she read an article about the lasting impact of lead ammunition in shooting survivors.
Since his diagnosis, Goddard has had hip surgery to remove more bullet fragments, and he’s tried Chelation therapy to clear the toxic metal from his body.
“I tried it for a month,” he said. “I had to take like 30 pills a day, every day, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
The treatment worked, but Goddard struggled to take so many pills every day. As soon as he stopped taking the pills, the lead in his body elevated to dangerous levels again, although they aren’t as high as before he tried the therapy…..”

He was shot four times during the rampage at Virginia Tech and now he’s slowly being poisoned by the toxic lead bullets that are still in his body.

NBC

“……On April 16, 2007, Goddard was in French class at Virginia Tech when he was shot four times……One bullet pierced his shoulder and then exited. But three other bullets shattered into tiny pieces in his body, and doctors said it was too risky to remove them…..Goddard is suffering from lead poisoning. At one point, his levels were seven times higher than what’s considered safe….”The short term symptoms are hard to recognize — things like fatigue, irritability, memory loss. stomach pain,” Goddard said. “At the time when I learned about this, I was in grad school, I had a two-year-old, was about to have another one, and was trying to find a job. A lot of those things going on in my life could have caused those things.”
His mother who encouraged him to get a blood test after she read an article about the lasting impact of lead ammunition in shooting survivors.
Since his diagnosis, Goddard has had hip surgery to remove more bullet fragments, and he’s tried Chelation therapy to clear the toxic metal from his body.
“I tried it for a month,” he said. “I had to take like 30 pills a day, every day, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
The treatment worked, but Goddard struggled to take so many pills every day. As soon as he stopped taking the pills, the lead in his body elevated to dangerous levels again, although they aren’t as high as before he tried the therapy…..”

Victims of the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, which killed at least 10,000 people and infected hundreds of thousands more, are petitioning the US supreme court on Tuesday to hold the UN accountable for having brought the disease to the stricken country.

The Guardian

“……The UN has admitted that cholera was introduced to Haiti by peacekeepers in 2010 after about 1,000 troops were redeployed from Nepal to help in emergency work following a devastating earthquake. Basic health measures that could have been taken to prevent the transfer of the disease at the cost to the UN of only $2,000 were not taken, and instead raw sewage from the peacekeepers’ camps was dumped directly into rivers from which thousands of Haitians routinely drew water for cooking and drinking.

A leaked report carried out by the UN itself a month after the initial outbreak of cholera found serious sanitation flaws in the Haiti peacekeeping mission. Yet for six years the world body continued to deny it had anything to do with the health catastrophe……”

computer generated depiction of a cholera organism


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