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Index – Abroad – An unprecedented disaster threatens the state of California

Index - Abroad - An unprecedented disaster threatens the state of California

In California, natural disasters are not unique to the region. The name of the US Pacific coast state is almost synonymous with earthquakes, forests and wildfires that burn vast areas, and droughts and droughts that make life miserable for everyone. However, flooding is not a regular thing that locals have to worry about. Now, however, it seems that everything is about to change, as the country is threatened by an inevitable “massive stream” that will cause a devastating catastrophe in the history of the United States.

This wasn’t the case over 150 years ago

For decades, experts have been trying to draw the attention of people living in California to the impending disaster, but its danger has not yet taken root in the public consciousness, and the state is not considered a flood-prone area. This is mostly due to the fact that the last massive flood occurred more than 150 years ago, around 1861 and 1862, and its memory has already faded into obscurity, reports.

Daniel L Swin He is a climate researcher from the University of California, San Diego, who warned in a study published in early August that the chance of mega-floods due to climate change is much greater than previously thought.

We were lucky that this didn’t happen in the 20th century and I would be very surprised if we avoided it in the 21st century

The climate researcher told the New York Times.

The story dates back to the nineteenth century

The forgotten catastrophe began on Christmas Day 1861, after years of drought, as it began to rain and fell almost continuously for more than forty days, melting the snow that had previously fallen on the mountains, SFGate Tab Put it this wayThey “turned the streams into raging torrents” that washed away everything in their path, including mining settlements, farms, homes, bridges and roads.

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In floods and hundreds of landslides caused by rain, it is estimated that one percent of the state’s population at that time – about four thousand people – died, a quarter of eight hundred thousand heads of cattle perished, and one in eight buildings was completely destroyed. destroyed.

California’s capital at the time, Sacramento, was completely submerged. The newly elected ruler could only go to his inauguration by boat, and when he got home, he was able to enter his house through an upstairs window.

The disaster forced the governor and legislature to move their headquarters to San Francisco. The economic damage was so great that California was on the brink of bankruptcy, and state employees — including the governor and members of the legislature — had not been paid for a year and a half.

In addition, the postal service ceased, the telegraph system became inoperable, traffic almost stopped, and the survivors were tormented by starvation, after water also washed away agriculture. He died just months later.

Climate change is not helping the situation either

Due to the current massive floods, nearly one and a half million people will become homeless, the most important transport routes will become unusable for a long time, dams will burst, and floods will affect almost all major cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento You’ll be completely immersed, as well San Francisco Part of it. The agricultural sector of the state will be completely destroyed.

It will be five times stronger than A Hurricane Katrina The devastation caused and three times greater than the expected devastation was caused by a large earthquake on the Szent András fault line.

Recent studies have drawn attention to the fact that the risks of mega-floods have been multiplied by the effects of climate change – readable on the page. In the years now, there’s been a 1 percent chance of it happening, which has now doubled, and could be more serious than previously thought.

According to the researchers, given the risks, the country should focus more on flood protection and reform disaster prevention plans. Although the authorities have already begun to prepare for massive floods, experts believe that the flood protection system will not be able to handle a disaster of this scale at the moment.

(Cover Photo: Wildfire at Shaver Lake Harbor in California on September 6, 2020. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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