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Disaster! 10 Cities Most at Risk

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Disaster! 10 Cities Most at Risk

Natural disasters can strike any city at anytime, but some cities are more at risk than others. Tokyo and San Francisco are the cities facing the biggest damage potential from natural disasters such as earthquakes, Bloomberg reports of a new study issued by Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer.

The cities with the biggest risk have one thing in common: They are megacities with metropolitan areas of more than 10 million people. In addition to natural disasters, which can affect any city, big cities face a greater risk of damage from industrial accidents, air disasters, and terrorism.

Munich Re developed a natural hazard risk index to calculate the danger of natural disaster in a given area as well as the value that may be destroyed. No 1. Tokyo scored 710 points, while San Francisco was a distant No. 2 with 167 points. Tokyo's risk was the highest due to its huge population and a high risk of earthquakes, along with lower levels of risk from storm damage, volcanic eruption, and tsunamis.

Top 10 cities with the biggest damage potential from natural disasters:

1.Tokyo

2.San Francisco

3.Los Angeles

4.Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto

5.Miami

6.New York

7.Hong Kong

8.Manila-Quezon

9.London

10.Paris

Source: Munich Re

The most expensive disaster to date: The 1995 earthquake that hit Kobe in western Japan killed more than 6,000 people and destroyed the city. Damages exceeded $100 billion. By comparison, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake killed 3,000 people, and the tsunami that hit south Asia on Dec. 26, 2004 is estimated to incur $10 billion in total economic damage.

citiesatrisk135.jpg

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It's more about value in this case. Manila is certainly more at risk for natural disasters than New York, but the potential value of damage is much greater in New York. Likewise for London and Paris, their disaster quotient might not be as high as a Mexico City or New Orleans, but the value of the damage makes up for that.

At least that's how I read it.

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Are there any other cities that come close like Mexico City and the 8.0 earthquake they had in 1985?

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^^ 1906 SF Earthquake was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. History.

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Most died from fire, not the quake itself, no building near downtown SF is from before 1906 b/c the old downtown was wiped out.

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^^Interesting point. Just like the tsunami recently the natural disaster is only the beginning, fires after quakes and water contamination and diseases after tsunamis take even more lives.

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The death toll of the tsunami is close to 230,000; there's a topic on this in the Asia Pacific forum. The reason for this jump is that the missing are added, but still, it could rise due to poor sanitary conditions and the aid effort could be stalled due to regional conflicts in the disaster area.

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I could imagine that a tsunami hitting Tokyo would be a disastor of major proportions. They do have warning systems and the most disaster resistant builtings in the world are constructed in Tokyo, but I simply don't see how they could evacuate so many people out of harms way.

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What kind of disaster would hit London or New York? Neither is on a fault nor in the 'Circle of fire'.

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What kind of disaster would hit London or New York?  Neither is on a fault nor in the 'Circle of fire'.

New York is on the coastline so theoretically if a tsunami came off the opposite coast int he Atlantic it would devastate places like Miami, FL & New York, NY. As far as London goes, check out this chilling theory of global warming:

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2004/05mar_arctic.htm

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also, terrorism or war.

a severe winter storm or blizzard in NYC's case, i hear they can get pretty bad sometimes.

NYC does have a chance of hurricane damage.

out of control fire or industrial accident.

riot.

i'm sure we could think of some others if we tried.

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Flooding from hurricanes or global warming; Manhattan Island is not that high above sea level, so a little rise in the water level could flood the areas right next to the water currently and push inward, flooding all the low-lying city streets and the metro subway, causing total commuter hell. Anywhere in NYC that is not significantly above sea level could be flooded also.

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I read some news source that mentioed that one of the worst natural disasters occured in India where flooding killed approxomately 500,000 people over several weeks. I think that it was sometime in the early 70's.

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New York City is VERY susceptible to storm surge from a hurricane. It's rare, but major hurricanes do impact the Northeast. The 1938 New England Hurricane had a very serious storm surge in Providence and the same type of surge in NYC would nearly inundate Manhattan. Can you imagine the damage from 100+ MPH winds and half of Manhattan under water?

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And they failed to add Mexico City to that list???

Let's see, sit on a HUGE fault, that is as active as the San Andreas.

Oh, it also sits at the bottom of one of the worlds largest and most active volcanos. Nat'l Geo. did a survey a while back and estimated that 50% of the population would likely die almost instantly during an eruption. Considering that this volcano is very young, it has a lot left in it.

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Anyone know the worlds biggest tsunami? About 1200 feet tall in Alaska 1952 or 54 I forget, And it was caused by a nearby mountin a huge mudslide/rock wich caused it and they say that there is an Island with 2 volcanoes one dead and one alive they say that every eruption the dead volcanoes slides of they say that one day during the next cetury the volcanoe will slide into the water and will cause a 1000 foot wave that will devastate the alantic seabord in Noth America that will extend from New York to Miami. Sorry for my misspelling.

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I'm never heard anything like that... Any reliable sources?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

^ from the BBC:

Mega-tsunami: Wave of Destruction

BBC Two: 7pm 24 May 2004

En espa

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It may sound odd, but New York might also be affected by earthquakes. There are active fault lines there and buildings are generally not to the standards of other earhtquake prone cities. I think newer ones might be. Granted, this isn't like Tokyo or San Francisco.

Probably a lesser threat, but I'm also wondering about the impact of a major eruption of Fuji on Tokyo....

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If I can remember correctly from an earthquake chart measuring earthquake risk, some east coast cities are at the same risk as the west coast although it's not that active. Buffalo, Boston, and basically the entire state of South Carolina could have major quakes. Charleston already had one a little over a hundred years ago. However, it may not occur or occur again in our lifetimes in any of these places. New York could have some quakes but nothing major, they have faults too but no San Andreas. Also some of the most powerful earthqaukes have happened along the New Madrid zone along the Mississippi between southeastern Missouri, western Tennessee, and northeastern Arkansas. A giant quake there would affect more than just that area.

And being in Va, my earth science teacher in 7th grade kinda scared me saying we'd have a major quake here in 20 years. Got 5 years left! Gotta run!

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