Friday, June 05, 2015

Waiting for "the Big One"

I went to the movies with my granddaughter to see the film San Andreas... She wanted to see it, and I needed an excuse to get out of the house and get back into activities since it is two months since my husband died.

It was okay: Lots of special effects but the plot was...duh.

Uh, how did he expect to travel from LA to San Francisco in a helicopter after rescuing (only) his wife in LA?  usually helicopters can't fly that far without getting more fuel...range 300 miles when it's almost 400 distance between the cities. And he had wasted a lot of fuel hovering...

For that matter, how come ONLY his wife was on the roof to rescue (when she arrived quite a few folks were there) and then the real question: How many people died because he didn't rescue them with the helicopter/stolen truck/stolen airplane/stolen boat trying to rescue his daughter, as if no one else in the world could do it?

As a doc, one of the things you are professional about is that the job comes first. Ditto for cops and firemen (which is why their divorce rates are so high).

As for the Tsunami: The wave was high but the sea hardly fell before it arrived, and after it hit, the water stayed there for quite awhile, whereas I was under the impression it whooshed out taking people out to sea to drown, and then waves two and three etc. would come in for those still recovering from the first wave.

But what do I know? I've been through tornadoes, typhoons, floods, a minor earthquake and a minor war, but never a tsunami.

I told my granddaughter Ruby that not panicking was the most important thing, and she informed me that she knew that, thank you. She was stranded by a fast rising river when we were hit by a typhoon two years ago that turned north and strengthened with little warning. She was caught on the road, and the high bridge was nearly under water, so they stopped and parked...Then the river rose and rose...they had to find shelter, first out of the truck (taking her iPhone) to the gas station on higher ground, and then from the gas station to the roof of the gas station when it filled with water. She said that she was calm and had to calm a lot of others around her who were panicking.

Good girl. Takes after her grandfather, an ER doc who could cope with emergencies. Doesn't take after me.

Presumably I will be the one hyperventilating if we are hit with the big one that is expected to hit Manila one of these days.

The Marikina fault line goes west of us and east of Manila, and has the potential to kill thousands.

The fault possesses a threat of a large scale earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or higher [2]within the Manila Metropolitan Area with death toll predicted to be as high as 35,000[3][4] and some 120,000 or higher[3] injured[4] and more than three million needed to be evacuated.[5]
presumably we'd get a lot of refugees either stopping or trying to pass through to get to family.

I wasn't living here when Mt Pinatubo exploded, but the refugees mostly fled out of the mountain to the west of here to Pampanga, but our niece had one family in her storage shed doing odd jobs in exchange for food and shelter until they could get a more permanent shelter. I suspect a similar scenario would occur here, with people putting up refugees, and the churches and schools used for evacuation centers.

The last earthquake in our area was 1990, also before I moved here. The main damage was to the rural mountains and the city of Baguio. The landslides cut off the main highway to that city, something that happens when we have bad typhoons and landslides also.

So should we worry about "the big one"? Yes. We have concrete block buildings for our home/business center that are well reinforced by thick wire rods to stabilize them in an earthquake, but if it was a serious earthquake, it would probably collapse.

We also have our own pump, and generators, which were a godsend when we were hit by the large typhoon two years ago, but again whether we could get gasoline for them is another question. If worse comes to worse, we'll make bio diesel and use the truck engine with an electricity inverter for lights etc. or cut down the trees for fire and eat our koi with the rice we have stored in our storage area.

My husband promised me if I moved here, I would always have rice to eat. He lived through WWII and the depression and knew about such things.


well, anyway, the film San Andreas is a big hit here and it has started a discussion on TV and presumably on the local language talk shows on the radio about earthquake preparedness. Manny Paquiao has filmed a lot of short "what to do in an emergency" TV spots too.

but it is a bit of an "eye roll" movie where you just shake your head when the Rock does something incredible, and say "Sure you did that"...

The ones who really steal the show are Paul Giamatti (the driver from Saving Mr Banks). And Alexandra Daddario, with her luminous blue eyes playing the maiden in distress who keeps cool and manages to survive. Athena would be proud of her.

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