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John Gruchacz

GRG 3623.001
Natural Hazards Journal

Entry 1. Wildfires in Valparaiso, Chile

There was a large wildfire in Chile that has killed at least 12, and destroyed over
2,000 homes in 6 hours. The fire has swept more than 2.5 million square meters
(roughly 660 acres) and continues to spread due to very high winds. A state of
emergency was declared due to the fact that the fires are rapidly approaching the
capital city of Santiago. Fire fighters from 7 provinces have been called in to combat
the fire, and over 10,000 people have been evacuated to safety from the flames.
This has had a large impact on the human population, killing a few and forcing
thousands of people to seek refuge out of the line of the wildfires. The local
firefighters are having trouble fighting the fires due to inadequate equipment.

There arent that many different steps that could have been taken to avoid wildfires,
they are a natural process when the conditions are right. I do believe that Chile,
along with any other country or area that can be effected by wildfires, should put
their fire fighters and whoever is going to be combatting the fire, should be put
through firefighting training and how to properly deal with wildfires and containing
them so that they do not continue to spread. Unfortunately in this case, there are
high winds and other elements that are making these fires spread quite well, which
very bad news for anyone who is trying to combat it. Hopefully when the fire is
finally contained and they start to survey the damage and try to figure out what
exactly was destroyed and what have you, hopefully they can educate the locals,
and warn them that this could happen again and that people should consider the
area that they are building their homes and businesses in as a potential that they
could lose them to a disaster such as a wildfire.

Entry 2. Avalanche at Mt. Everest.

12 Mt. Everest guides were killed and 3 climbers were seriously injured, and 4
people are missing in a high altitude avalanche that hit a group of about 50 people
near the high base camp of Khumbu Ice Fall. An avalanche at that altitude is very
hard to avoid so it isnt surprising that there was a large number of fatalities. They
might close the mountain to climbers until further notice.

Avalanches are very serious because you can easily get yourself in to a lot of
trouble when one starts, especially when you are at a high altitude like 20,000 feet
up on Mt. Everest. There is no room to avoid it, and you can find yourself getting
knocked down the side of a very dangerous mountain, or buried to where the small
number of people that are up there with you cant find you. Officials were debating
on closing the mountain for the rest of the year, which I agree with, to make sure
that there wont be another event of this kind of magnitude, which could result in
more lives lost. There a few ways that avalanches can start, so the people on the
mountain may not have been the source of the start of the avalanche, but I am sure
the next climbers that make the treacherous journey up Mt. Everest will be properly
prepared for an avalanche and will have a plan on what to do if an avalanche

Entry 3.
Tornados in the MidSouth.
12 are dead and more than 100 people had to be treated at local hospitals after
severe weather ripped through the Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Iowa on Sunday. One
tornado was estimated to be a half mile wide, and had winds up to 150 MPH. The
tornados left a few towns in complete ruins, and estimated that there were about 70
destroyed homes, and 20 destroyed businesses in one town alone. This was the first
day of an expected 3 day stretch of extremely severe weather that is supposed to
continue throughout the area. Shelters have been set up for the many people that
have become homeless, and they are still damage estimates being made.

Severe weather is a very common in the United States, especially in the central part
of the United States due to unique location of our beloved continent. People are
heavily educated in what to do in the case of severe weather and how to handle
themselves and their loved ones to prepare for weather phenomenon such as
tornados. The problem with tornados is that they are still very difficult to predict,
the only thing that can be predicted is when a weather system is developing has the
proper conditions to spawn a tornado, but in terms of intensity of length, that can
still cant be determined. Officials have to go out after the store is gone to do a
damage estimate to figure out the size and intensity of the tornado that occurred. If
humans dont want to run the risk of being effected by a severe thunderstorm that
has the ability to produce such catastrophic tornados, then they need to do their
research on where to build a home, but I would completely avoid the entire midwest. There isnt really a way to mitigate damage caused by a tornado, all you can
do is keep yourself, and your family safe by taking the proper steps of either going

to a storm cellar, or a bathroom and taking proper shelter if there is a tornado