Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If Chicago Had a Tsunami...the Sloop Would be Screwed

Obviously the horrible events in Japan are nothing to scoff at. As we watch the pictures and videos roll in it's tough to contemplate how anyone could cope with something like this. If you're interested in donating to the red cross, here is a link to do so.

If you're like us, it's hard to see the images and really understand the scale of the disaster (even though we know it's huge). Living by a large body of water always makes for unusual weather problems, but luckily for us it appears that we don't have much to worry about since the history of earthquakes in Chicago is relatively small both in amount and intensity.

Regardless, we found this interesting link at Curbed Chicago that helps put the scale of the Japanese disaster into perspective for people like us:

Chicago as we know it wouldn't exist anymore.

(Hat tip: Kelly T!)


Anonymous said...

1. A Tsunami on a lake is called a seiche. See

2. The tsunami in Japan hit a moderately populated area. Chicago area is densely populated. Since only about 3% of the earth's surface is densely populated, most natural disasters are proximate but not close to highly populated areas. So the comparison is, mostly, for amusement value.

3. Earthquakes do happen in the midwest, some at very high magnitudes. See We will eventually have one in Chicago--the difference between Chicagoland and Southern California is that a large earthquake there is highly likely within the next 30 years; a large earthquake in Chicago is likely within the next 300,000 years.

Anonymous said...

Sort of a random comparison; do we have a fault in the lake that would drive water displacement, as happened in Japan?

Might be more interesting to compare likely earthquake magnitudes with likely building damage, since our construction practices are less fit to withstand such situations