Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Structural’ Category

11/9/1965: The Great Northeast Blackout


“…..The Great Northeast Blackout began at the height of rush hour, delaying millions of commuters, trapping 800,000 people in New York’s subways, and stranding thousands more in office buildings, elevators, and trains. Ten thousand National Guardsmen and 5,000 off-duty policemen were called into service to prevent looting……”

On this day in 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge spectacularly collapses


“……Following the collapse, it was revealed that the engineers had not properly considered the aerodynamic forces that were in play at the location during a period of strong winds. At the time of construction, such forces were not commonly taken into consideration by engineers and designers…..”

An eastern China coal mine collapse 11 dead, with 10 miners still trapped underground


Rome escalator suddenly speeds up injuring dozens of soccer fans.

South Carolina: At least 30 people were injured when a floor collapsed at a party at Clemson University



10/20/1944: Two liquid gas tanks explode in Cleveland, Ohio, killing 130 people and injuring more than 200 more.

History Channel

Mexico Beach reduced to rubble in the aftermath of Michael


“……..Mr. Foster, 60, and his 99-year-old mother had no car, no electricity. The food had spoiled in his refrigerator. The storm had ripped off large sections of his roof. He had no working plumbing to flush with. No water to drink. And as of Friday afternoon, he had seen no sign of government help……This was the problem that government officials were racing to solve on Friday, as desperation grew in and around Panama City under a burning sun. Long lines formed for gas and food, and across the battered coastline, those who were poor, trapped and isolated sent out pleas for help……”

Monterrey, Mexico: A shopping mall under construction collapsed Thursday, killing at least 7 and leaving another 9 missing



10/9/1963, Italy: A landslide leads to over 2,000 deaths when it causes a sudden and massive wave of water to overwhelm the Diga del Vajont dam.


Hurricane-proofing a Nantucket hospital


By Cynthia McCormick
The Cape Cod Times

See the source image

  • The 106,000-square-foot, 14-bed hospital is being built to hurricane design specifications established by Miami-Dade County
  • Will allow the hospital to withstand Hurricane Irma-strength winds of 185 mph, rather than 150 mph as specified by Massachusetts building codes
  • Massive 5-foot-by-5-foot concrete footings fortified by mesh
  • Andersen Stormwatch windows
  • A double-hulled exterior building shell will help the new hospital stand up to Category 5 winds
  • Analog and digital phone lines
  • Access to satellite phones
  • The new Nantucket Cottage Hospital won’t even have a basement.
  • The boiler room, currently located in the basement of the existing hospital, will be shackled to the flat roof of the new hospital, including two massive generators
  • Electrical transformer switches will be located on the second floor instead of the first
  • The fuel-pumping room is being built at grade level, but will have waterproof curbing like an inverted bathtub
  • The six-over-six Andersen windows have multiple fastenings and have withstood objects hurled by hurricane-force winds in ballistic tests
  • The shell of the building is constructed almost like two walls, with a water and vapor barrier between the inner and outer skin
  • will have a larger capacity to go days without supplies
  • will have enough food for seven to 10 days and generator fuel for many days
  • will have 27,000 gallons of fuel on-site for the dual-purpose generators, more than three times the current capacity of 8,000 gallons of oil and propane
  • The final cost is estimated to run about $120 million






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