The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them)

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by Lucy Jones

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385542708
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/17/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 105,300
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

DR. LUCY JONES was a seismologist for the U.S. Geological Survey for thirty years, most recently as Science Advisor for Risk Reduction. She created the Great ShakeOut Drill, an earthquake preparation experiment that by 2016 included 53 million participants around the world. A research associate at Caltech, she holds a PhD in geophysics from MIT and a BA in Chinese language and literature from Brown University. She lives in Southern California.

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Chapter One
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Excerpted from "The Big Ones"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Lucy Jones.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us (and What We Can Do About Them) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
diane92345 More than 1 year ago
A history of disasters and a prediction of The Big Ones fill Dr. Jones' book. Containing a wealth of information about the science underlying disasters, The Big Ones is written in an informal and non-technical manner. From Pompeii and Iceland’s volcanos, to California's 1861 floods, to earthquakes in 1775 Lisbon, 1923 Japan, 2004 Sumatra and 2005 Hurricane Katrina, floods are surprisingly the most dangerous threat. Many people live through an earthquake but the subsequent tsunami's flood waters kill them. Most victims of Hurricane Katrina died after the levees were overrun and broken from the resulting flood waters. The good news is if you live above 500 feet, there is no reason to worry about tsunamis even if you are on a cliff directly above the ocean. Born and living my entire life in Los Angeles, Dr. Jones was a familiar face on television after each earthquake. The 1971 6.5 earthquake in the valley knocked down a nearby supermarket's roof while I watched from my bedroom window. The 1994 6.7 Northridge earthquake shook for only 7 seconds but felt like an hour. The Big One in the book is prophesied to be 7.8 to 8.2 and last 50 seconds. Since I drive literally over the San Andreas fault to work every day, the earthquake prediction was the most interesting to me. The fault slippage will leave a 20 to 30 foot trench between the Californian coast and the rest of the United States—for 250-350 miles close to parallel with the coast—adversely impacting rescue efforts. Earthquake locations can be predicted but not their timing. However, some locations are still surprising like the New Madrid Missouri earthquake in 1811 that leveled the town. The Big Ones is recommended for all interested in natural disasters or for anyone wanting to learn from past disasters. 4 stars. Thanks to the publisher, Doubleday, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us by Lucy Jones is a highly recommended look at eleven of the world's greatest natural disasters. Dr. Jones tells the historical and geological stories of the selected disasters, and what they have revealed about the population effected. Each disaster covered was the "Big One"at the time it happened and fundamentally changed the community and culture in the region. Taken together as a whole, all of these disasters can provide insight into how fear influences the response to catastrophes and the reasoning behind those reactions. The disasters covered are: Pompeii, Roman Empire, AD 79: A volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius sent down poisonous gases and heavy ash to bury the Roman city. Lisbon, Portugal, 1755: On November 1, All Saints Day, An earthquake occurred with the smallest estimated magnitude being 8.5 and the largest is 9.0. A tsunami headed up the mouth the Tagus River. Iceland, 1783: The Laki eruption in 1783-84 resulted in 10,000 deaths, from the gases and famine. The gas emissions effected weather and health across Europe. California, United States, 1861–62: A devastating flood occurred in the winter of 1861–62, killing thousands and bankrupting the state. A three-hundred-mile stretch of California’s Central Valley was covered under thirty feet deep in water. Tokyo-Yokohama, Japan, 1923: An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 destroyed most of Tokyo and Yokohama and killed over 140,000 people. Mississippi, United States, 1927: A flood covered over twenty-six thousand square miles of land had been flooded, displacing over six hundred thousand people. Tangshan, China, 1976: July 27, 1976 a magnitude 7.8 struck right on a fault running right through Tangshan, a city of 1.5 million people. The Indian Ocean, 2004: The magnitude 9.1 earthquake and tsunami hit the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, on December 26, 2004. The physical scale of it was unprecedented. The length of the fault that moved in that earthquake was over nine hundred miles. Wave heights from the resulting tsunami were 100 ft, 65 ft, to 35 feet and travel across the ocean, slamming into the coastlines of eleven countries. New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, 2005: Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 storm that stretched some 400 miles across, struck the gulf coast of the United States causing $100 billion in damages. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes while FEMA was slow to react. L’Aquila, Italy, 2009: An earthquake swarm starts in January and leads up to the big one, on April 6, when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake tore L’Aquila apart. The city sat directly on top of a fault and every building sustained damage and twenty thousand were destroyed. Fortune Tohoku, Japan, 2011: On March 11th a magnitude 9 earthquake occurred offshore, where a fault slipped 250 miles. The resulting tsunami was several times larger than expected, with waves from 40 to 100 feet high. Waves hit the backup generators at the Daiichi nuclear power plant and the cooling systems failed for three reactors, which then overheated and nuclear fuel melted. The final chapter is based on the likelihood that the San Andreas fault will slip, resulting in a huge earthquake occurring in Los Angeles in the future and the ShakeOut program. Dr. Jones includes notes, a bibliography and illustration credits. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.