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Alaskans Prepare For Volcanic Eruption

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the anchorage-is-downwind dept.

Earth 293

An anonymous reader writes "Mount Redoubt, or Redoubt Volcano, is an active stratovolcano in the largely volcanic Aleutian Range of Alaska. The once quiet volcano has begun to roar once again. Its last eruption was in 1989 and geologists suggest that the next one is upon us. Alaskans who lived through the earlier eruption are stocking up on breathing masks and goggles. Starting on Friday, January 23 2009, the level of seismic activity increased markedly, and on Sunday AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level to WATCH. On the basis of all available monitoring data AVO regards that an eruption similar to or smaller than the one that occurred in 1989-90 is the most probable outcome. We expect such an eruption to occur within days to weeks." From the AP article: "Alaska's volcanoes are not like Hawaii's. 'Most of them don't put out the red river of lava,' said the observatory's John Power. Instead, they typically explode and shoot ash 30,000 to 50,000 feet high — more than nine miles — into the jet stream. 'It's a very abrasive kind of rock fragment,' Power said. The particulate has jagged edges and has been used as an industrial abrasive. 'They use this to polish all kinds of metals,' he said." The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive.

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Really? (3, Funny)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665509)

Perpare?

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665535)

Perpare?

Yup, that's the way we say it in Chicago. Just ask the mare.

Re:Really? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665555)

Yse, perpare! Seh's gnona bolw!

Re:Really? (1)

azav (469988) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665713)

Yeah. Someone should invent a spell checking program.

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666331)

You betcha! (winks)

Bah! (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665533)

My grandpappy stayed on this mountain, and I'll be damned if I'm going to leave it! I'm staying righ#@$#@%$NO CARRIER

Re:Bah! (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665961)

My grandpappy stayed on this mountain, and I'll be damned if I'm going to leave it! I'm staying righ#@$#@%$NO CARRIER

Ok, so we've got someone who is unwilling to evacuate. Check. Now all we need is a fairly attractive MILF who may sire the future leader of the human resistance^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^Wis the mayor of a small town. Oh and Pierce Brosnan too. Can't forget him. Add those two things in and I think we've got ourselves a movie ;)

(Bonus points for adding in a family dog that will survive all manner of bad situations even as the humans around him are dropping like flies)

Re:Bah! (3, Funny)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666213)

Better than Tommy Lee Jones stopping lava with concrete and fire hoses.... ... oh and a building.

Re:Bah! (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666341)

Ah, I'd forgotten about that one. Yeah that was pretty cheesy. They did actually manage such a feat [articlesextra.com] in Iceland once upon a time. Of course it took millions of gallons of water (far more then you'd get from fire trucks) and they didn't stop the lava flow -- all they did was divert it from a harbor that they were trying to save.

Re:Bah! (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666385)

It's been done. [nwsource.com]

Ocol (4, Funny)

Talisman (39902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665543)

Fi Noly Ilnux ahd a psellchecker.

Re:Ocol (1)

eat here_get gas (907110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666185)

i can see how this comment is funnier than the other (and therefore didn't get modded "redundant"). the other joke obviously forgot to include the word "Linux".
how funny....

Unresponsive web page (1)

trigggl (758335) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665549)

I assumed it was a slashdot effect, but I guess the site was down pre-slashdot. Perhaps it was the Drudge effect? That's where I tried from.

Re:Unresponsive web page (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665787)

They were not perpared.

Re:Unresponsive web page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666013)

Apparently you didn't RTFT, "Alaskans Perpare for VOLCANIC ERUPTION"

Re:Unresponsive web page (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666189)

A volcanic eruption will pale in comparison to the eruption I had in Palins mouth last night. Her daughter was fun too....

adding fuel to the (server) fire (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665577)

The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive.

And so you post a direct link to it on the slashdot front page?

Way to go, kdawson, way to go. You've ensured the Alaska Volcano Observatory site is going to be down even longer.

Why would you do that? Did that site molest you when you were young or something?

Re:adding fuel to the (server) fire (5, Funny)

Rasit (967850) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665637)

I have to admit that the first thing I did upon reading that was to click the link to see if the server really was down. *hangs head in shame*

Re:adding fuel to the (server) fire (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665969)

I did the same, but for another reason: when it goes down, you have to make sure it /stays/ down.

Re:adding fuel to the (server) fire (4, Funny)

nonewmsgs (1249950) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666429)

i just checked it to try to see if it is back up and it is, so we don't have to worry. you can always see for yourselves if you don't believe me.

Re:adding fuel to the (server) fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665647)

Neh, it's just that he likes Alaskans.

Re:adding fuel to the (server) fire (1)

AntEater (16627) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665655)

The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive.

I'm sure we have nothing at all to do with this. Nothing at all...

Re:adding fuel to the (server) fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666095)

It is a secret /. conspiracy to destroy Alaska.

Re:adding fuel to the (server) fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666187)

The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive.

And so you post a direct link to it on the slashdot front page? Way to go, kdawson, way to go. You've ensured the Alaska Volcano Observatory site is going to be down even longer. Why would you do that? Did that site molest you when you were young or something?

Because he doesn't actually believe that anybody reads the article anyway?

I have a vague memory of St. Helens (4, Informative)

txoof (553270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665585)

I find this to be pretty exciting. I was just a little kid when St. Helens blew her top. I remember the ash coating our cars in Colorado. I thought it was so cool that it was snowing dirt.

Then again, I don't live right under the thing and my home, livelihood, health and property aren't currently being threatened by microscopic airborne razor blades.

Have any slashdot readers been close to an erupting volcano? Especially the subduction zone variety? Can you give us an account of what it's like?

These ring-o-fire volcanoes usually explode rather than ooze due to the composition of their magma. There's lots of dissolved gasses that like to become undissolved in massive bangs.

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (5, Informative)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665771)

Have you ever being in an earthquake? those in which you can listen the earth "roaring"? A volcano it's a bit more frightening since earth roars, smells like the Erebus should smell and the sight of a 5 mile high gray cloud makes it apocalyptic.

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665875)

I accidentally the whole earthquake!

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665999)

I've been in several earthquakes, the largest being 7.8, and I've never heard the "earth roar". My most recent was earlier this month in Costa Rica [cnn.com] , where I live.

        I've heard my house rattling, I've seen things falling off my tables and walls. But the only time I've heard the earth "roar" was while watching Hollywood movies of earthquakes.

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (1)

Remloc (1165839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666361)

May depend on the composition of the faults/rock.
The larger ones in Southern California definitely make noise. I always called it "grinding," but "roar" could also be an appropriate term.

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666441)

Perhaps your hearing is limited in the low frequencies, or you haven't been in enough earthquakes, or you need to be in one away from buildings?

I have been in countless minor but very local earthquakes and some major ones, and have often noticed a deep rumbling or "roaring" sound before the first bit of obvious shaking arrives. The local ones were the loudest, sometimes consisting of a rumble and then one sharp bang which sounded like something crashed into my house.

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666533)

Not exactly a roar, but there was a tiny (M2.9) earthquake whose epicenter was very close (2km) to my house. It was too small to feel, but I distinctly heard it as a sharp "boom" sound that resonated in my basement. I doubt anyone without a basement heard or felt it.

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (2)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666271)

Call me crazy, but I think a volcanic plume is beautiful. I love the pattern in the the clouds of the pyroclastic flows.

And this is a good time for us to observe a volcano fairly close to a major population center, so we can be ready when Yellowstone erupts on 12/21/12 at 11:11 GMT.

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665783)

Then again, I don't live right under the thing and my home, livelihood, health and property aren't currently being threatened by microscopic airborne razor blades.

Those microscopic airborne razor blades will probably be distributed across much of the US due to the jet stream.

On the plus side, a dust mask is probably sufficient protection for those without beards.

Re:I have a vague memory of St. Helens (1)

trigggl (758335) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665819)

I was a kid in Eugene(sp), Oregon when Mt. St. Helens blew. I was too young to know what was going on at the time, but I remember hearing 2 very loud booms followed by rattling windows. I thought maybe it was a sonic boom, but didn't see any airplanes. Also, it was a bright sunny day with no thunderclouds. Later that year, I flew out of Portland Oregon to St. Louis. It was kind of a gray orangish sky with a thin film of ash on the ground.

Montserrat (1)

ConanG (699649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666471)

I was sailing near Montserrat [wikipedia.org] during the June '97 eruption. I didn't hear it, but I could definitely smell the sulfur. The skies gradually turned dark over the course of days and remained that way for quite a while. I remember thinking it was pretty cool until I found out how devastating it was to the people living there. 19 lost their lives.

I've also seen Etna (at NAS Sigonella from 15 miles), St. Helens (recent minor eruptions), and Kilauea (March '08 explosions). I've seen magma from Etna and Kiluea.

Kilauea is the most spectacular, in my opinion. Especially watching the magma enter the ocean. There was a massive amount of Vog [wikipedia.org] in March and April all around the Big Island. I was able to clearly see the observatories atop Mauna Kea from Hilo before the explosions, but not after (I left in early May).

Simpsons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665597)

I'm pretty sure the goggles tag is a reference to the simpsons. I'm wondering if that episode is famous enough to warrant a meme or if its just because it was the one they showed last night.

Re:Simpsons? (2, Funny)

Rasit (967850) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665683)

I'm pretty sure the goggles tag is a reference to the simpsons. I'm wondering if that episode is famous enough to warrant a meme or if its just because it was the one they showed last night.

The googles, they do nothing! [google.com] = 239,000 results.
The goggles do nothing [google.com] = 325,000 results.

I think that it qualifies to be called a internet meme.

Poor Observatory (3, Funny)

gakguk (530867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665603)

> The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive.

And we're helping the poor sysadm by linking from /. homepage, right? kdawson, you're da man :)

Sarah Palin (5, Funny)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665617)

So I guess Sarah Palin is not the only thing from Alaska that emits a lot of gas and hot air.

And with all that ash in the air... (4, Funny)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665673)

she won't be able to see Russia from her backyard anymore!

Re:And with all that ash in the air... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665703)

Goddamn it, beat me to it.

Well played sir, well played.

Re:Sarah Palin (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665693)

Yeah it's considered an industrial strength abrasive!

Sarah, not the volcano. That would be an insult to the volcano.

-AC

Re:Sarah Palin (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665711)

Bad comparison. When a volcano wants your attention, it spits. When Sarah Palin wants something, she swallows.

Re:Sarah Palin (-1, Troll)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665903)

I'm suprised she hasn't offered to just go and try and shoot it dead from a helicopter yet.

Sounds scary (1)

david@ecsd.com (45841) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666405)

You betcha!

Re:Sarah Palin (0, Troll)

INT_QRK (1043164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666571)

How utterly clever. Did you think of it yourself or did you get your political thoughts from the great analytical thinkers of our time, like, Letterman, Rosie O'Donnell, the faculty of The View...

Damn globe (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665639)

...contributing to its own global warming.

Re:Damn globe (5, Funny)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665853)

one would say.. "it's like the earth wants to get rid of us" but thats crazy talk. It's more like the underground Molemen are pissed off by all the media coverage for things like tsunamis and fires. Maybe Dr. Evil allied with the Molemen and tried to blow the inners of the earth again but Austin Powers could not do anythings since he converted to some kind of guru. I blame religion for this.

Re:Damn globe (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666049)

It's more like the underground Molemen are pissed off

Crab people. Crab people. Taste like crab, talk like people. Crab people. Crab people.......

Re:Damn globe (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666559)

You make joke, good joke mind you.

Actually I'd love to see a comparison of supposed man made climate changing gasses verses natural. Do you know there is a lake in Rawanda that contains enough gases to end live as we no it if it turns over, ya the planet is trying to kill us!

Governor Palin (0, Troll)

linumax (910946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665651)

is looking out her window with anxiety, 'perparing' to obtain her PhD in Igneous petrology.

Sarah Palin an expert in geology and vulcanology (5, Funny)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665665)

Given her foreign policy credentials, are the Republican talking heads going to advance this event as proof of her experience with geology and vulconalogy?

and Mr. Present, the Messiah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665719)

can just admonish the volcano?

Sorry, after three weeks of Change I think I might have been better off with moose gurl.

Re:and Mr. Present, the Messiah (2, Insightful)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666007)

Wow, is that the best the dittoheads can come up with? I think Rush was much more comical and insightful on drugs.

Re:and Mr. Present, the Messiah (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666455)

Sorry, after three weeks of Change I think I might have been better off with moose gurl.

Yup, sounds like a Republican. He isn't even aware that Obama's only been in charge for just over a week. I always get the feeling that Republicans were the ones who failed their 7th grade Civics classes.

Re:Sarah Palin an expert in geology and vulcanolog (2, Funny)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665861)

Score 2, Flamebait? Boy is someone still sore about the election.

Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (4, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665675)

My prayer to all those concerned is to work hard in order to avoid another "Katrina." Just like Katrina, we know this natural disaster is probably coming, like Katrina, we know its likely to be big and therefore affect many folks.

So let us prepare and not screw up everything. Events that transpired during and after Katrina were no less than events that would have transpired in a 3rd world country. Now that's shameful and we should avoid it.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (5, Informative)

wurble (1430179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665831)

It can't be as bad as Katrina. There are currently over 1,000,000 people in the New Orleans metro area. That's AFTER Katrina; the population of new Orleans literally dropped in half since 2000. And Katrina affected a heck of a lot larger area than just the New Orleans metro.

The entire state of Alaska has around 680,000 people.

So while this has the potential to be a major disaster, it will never be anything as bad as Katrina in scale and number of people affected.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666273)

This will probably look good for Obama.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (4, Funny)

ari_j (90255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666371)

Also, Alaskans are, in general, more prepared to go without power, heat, water, transportation, and the like for months at a time. They call it "winter."

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666551)

Also, Alaskans are, in general, more prepared to go without power, heat, water, transportation, and the like for months at a time. They call it "winter."

It's also known as "self-sufficiency", and it works a lot better than "government dependence", which was what was expected by too many people after Hurricane Katrina.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (1)

laejoh (648921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665839)

my pary are already with the father who lost his chrilden ; i am truley sorry for your lots!

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (3, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665847)

I have to admit I'm a bit torn by this sentiment. On the one hand, yes, this is shaping up to be rather tragic. On the other, isn't this sort of thing rather avoidable by just not living there?

To be fair, Katrina (specifically as it pertains to New Orleans) is only about 50/50 on the whole 'just dont live there' thing for me - hurricanes can hit the entire coast, but perhaps you should consider allowing the below-sea-level areas to flood at some point. Or fill it in somehow, or use a system of tubes, or stilts, or whatever engineering marvel amounts to a better idea than 'build a wall and pray'. It isn't like water is some kind of super-intelligent villain. It just sort of flows downhill until it hits the ocean...

This Alaskan situation, on the other hand, is a volcano. It doesn't move around much. It also erupts in a fairly predicable way, and makes a lot of noise letting you know its about to happen.

It just reminds me of the security guard on Austin Powers, I guess.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666291)

So you're saying 2000 years after Pompeii we still haven't figured out that living next to a volcano is a bad idea???

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666373)

So you're saying 2000 years after Pompeii we still haven't figured out that living next to a volcano is a bad idea???

The problem is that some of the most fertile ground you can find is right next to a volcano (usually, but not always). Not so important now, but it was hugely important during our agrarian days.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666383)

I have to admit I'm a bit torn by this sentiment. On the one hand, yes, this is shaping up to be rather tragic. On the other, isn't this sort of thing rather avoidable by just not living there?

No. There are not enough safe areas on Earth to hold all or even the majority of the population, and even those are safe only in relation to some other area. Add the facts that the tighter you pack humans, the easier it is for plagues and such to spread, the more dependent on infrastructure they become, and the more destruction any disaster that does happen causes, and it becomes obvious that "don't live in a dangerous area" is not viable advice.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666523)

it becomes obvious that "don't live in a dangerous area" is not viable advice

Perhaps. It could be modified a bit, however, could it not?

Perhaps "if you live in a dangerous area, be prepared to periodically evacuate and rebuild"?

Or "live in the least dangerous area possible"?

I do fundamentally disagree, however, that Alaska has become populated through necessity. There are still vast tracts of land in the lower-48 that are uninhabited. Look also at New Orleans after Katrina. The relief efforts somehow managed to find a place to park trailers that was above the water line. I saw a few photos, and didn't notice that they were all packed between skyscrapers...

The more I think about it, I'm going to need to see some numbers to support your premise that "there are not enough safe areas on Earth to hold the majority of the population". It would seem to take a very tight definition of 'safe' to make that statement true.

Again, I'm not overly concerned about hurricanes, tornadoes, and the like. Those are harder to predict. That's fair. On the other hand, floods and volcanoes are in a totally different league.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (3, Insightful)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665849)

Doubtful that it will be another Katrina for three reasons
1) the People in he nearby cities are preparing for it. Buying emergencies suppies, food, flashlights,etc.
2) The mayors in nearby cities are informing the people, have emergency procedures already in place and plan to follow them.
3) the governor is working with the mayors, has plans aready in place for when emergencies happen, and is prepared to activate emergency personnel as needed.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (4, Funny)

NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666033)

4) Michael "heck of a job" Brown no longer at FEMA

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (3, Interesting)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666509)

Ok... you know what.. stop beating the horse, because its dead.

Lay the blame on Ray 'Chocolate Town' Nagin and Governor Blanco. They waited less than 24 hours for a mandatory evacuation. How many city and school buses could have been used to get those out of the affected area if the evacuation would have been called at the proper time 48+ hours before? Instead the sit there and the city floods. The media, already with an intense hatred of Bush, lays blame on him. Reality is, FEMA was there

"New Orleans's emergency operations chief Terry Ebbert blamed the inadequate response on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "This is not a FEMA operation. I haven't seen a single FEMA guy", he said. "FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."[9] At the time, the main staging area was only 6 miles away along the adjoining I-10 at the Causeway intersection, and FEMA had apparently been at the Superdome three days earlier."

Was there dropped balls on all sides? Yes. But if Nagin would have done his job, then the loss of life would have been significantly lessened.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666139)

I can think of another reason

4) The people who live there know that in an emergency they may well be on their own for an extended period and need be able to take care of themselves and are generally prepared accordingly.

In Katrina, people generally blew off the danger because they had been spared many hurricanes previously, and they figured if there really is a problem, the government will solve it.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665855)

Umm, an ash cloud can be harmful, but the nearest large city has fewer than 280,000 people. Last time it erupted they told us to take out our contacts and stay indoors. Kids sold pantyhose on streetcorners to put over the air intake of your car. Footprints in the snow after the fallout appear brilliantly white, and after a couple days of sulphury flavor, the dust problem goes away. This will not be another Katrina.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666569)

Hmmm, it could very well be another Katrina event. First, Anchorage at 280,000 people is about half the size of New Orleans at the time it was devastated by Katrina. Second, a considerable portion of Anchorage is on high ground (I see parts of it are hundreds of feet above sea level) so it probably won't get completely wiped by a tsunami. So similar physical damage though loss of life would be much higher.

For any Anchorage people out there, here's my take. You're at the end of a huge fjord and downhill from at least three active stratovolcanoes. You also happen to be near a very active earthquake zone that has in the past produced the second and third largest earthquakes ever measured. You don't get to say that there won't be a Katrina. The only question at this point is the frequency of events that are capable of destroying Anchorage, not whether they will happen. My take is that Anchorage probably has the worst long term disaster risk of any major city in the US.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665907)

Events that transpired during and after Katrina were no less than events that would have transpired in a 3rd world country.

      Please don't insult 3rd world countries by comparing them to the United States.

      A citizen of the 3rd world.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666077)

You're right. Unlike the crappy job the City, Parish, and State governments did in preparation for a hurricane and the absolute lack of response they gave after "Katrina", lets ensure that the Alaskan City, County, and State governments do their job and make sure preparations are taken care of. Lets not forget the inconvenient fact that its the local governments job to response first... not sit on their ass and wait for Federal hand-outs.

Based on all current reports, Alaaskan's are on top of it.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (4, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666209)

"Just like Katrina, we know this natural disaster is probably coming, like Katrina, we know its likely to be big and therefore affect many folks."

And just like Katrina, anyone too stupid to look after their own behinds and expect the government to come save them is an idiot who probably is due for a Darwinistic culling.

Be intelligent. Prepare yourself. Evacuate as YOUR judgement suggests is reasonable, and understand that the consequences for being wrong could be severe, so you might want to err on the side of caution.

What shamed me as an American during Katrina wasn't the much-publicized "failure" of Bush and co. No, what disgusted me was that in a society with free public education to age 18, widespread information-distribution technology, and AMPLE transportation resources, we have apparently bred a new generation of sheep, er, Americans with no interest in helping their fellow-man, so dependent and with so little motivation that even self-preservation can't get them to lift a finger in their own interest.

That's what a "government" is for (3, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666427)

Sad to break this to you, but humans usually _organize_ for this kind of thing, so it doesn't become a matter of individual people helping individual people. There are a lot of things which just don't scale if done that way.

E.g.,

- It's more efficient and a better use of everyone's resources to have a tiny fraction of the population as cops, than to have each person stand guard with a shotgun on their own property 27/7. The former lets you actually, say, go to work and leave that home unattended.

- It's more efficient to have a few doctors, than have everyone learn to treat their own wounds and illnesses,

- It's more efficient to have an insurance spread the risk and cost, than have everyone save for the freak case that an airplane falls on their roof, they run their car into a tree, _and_ get a MRSA infection in the resulting fractures

- It's more efficient to have some consumer laws and organizations, than have everyone spend countless hours and effort running the EULA for every single pencil, second-hand car, and party hat by a lawyer to be sure they haven't sold their firstborn into slavery in clause 255 on page 100 of the small print,

Etc.

Just like making shoes for a hundred million people ends up cheaper and more efficient that each of those people each raising their own pig/cow/whatever, personally tanning its hide, and sewing their own shoes.

People organize so a centralized group can do some things cheaper and more efficient than in an every-man-for-himself world. _That's why we have governments (local, federal, whatever), agencies like the FEMA, etc. That's their job.

And the fact that you're so quick to dismiss their responsibility and blame it on the victims... well, maybe _that_ idiocy is proof of what's wrong with education.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (0, Flamebait)

citizenr (871508) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666211)

My prayer

when was the last time that helped anyone?

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666561)

Agreed. I like to think how 2000 years ago, this volcano erupting would have been a sure sign that some god hated humans and was punishing them. Today, we can predict it and have taken god out of it.

These days, some people pray for god to stop events that have been predicted by science. I think that the idea of god will always be there, but that it has definitely become less influential than in the past. It's a process, it will take a while, but hopefully the idea can be banished forever in some Utopian future.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666317)

A look at the map [google.com] sometimes helps to get some kind of perspective.

Re:Let's work to avoid another "Katrina" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666325)

I'm sure this will not be another Katrina. You are comparing a group of self-reliant, independent, hardworking generally conservative people in Alaska to a bunch of whiny liberals who expect the Government to take care of their every need.

Also you won't see any city in Alaska trying to violate the 2nd Amendment like happened in New Orleans. Not only do the police in Alaska known and understand the 2nd Amendment, they also know if they attempted to illegal take people firearms they would be shot.

Server Unresponsive (1)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665865)

The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory [alaska.edu] appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive.

The server's unresponsive, but damn it we're still going to link to it. If it had any chance at all to recover, we're going to make sure it stays down for the count. What did the machine do to piss off the slashdot editor?

Re:Server Unresponsive (0, Troll)

mysticgoat (582871) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666323)

Oh yeah! And let's be sure to add redundant links, just in case somebody doesn't recognize that they missed their first chance to contribute to the problem.

I'll help out too: Alaska Volcano Observatory [www.teh.tubgirl]

Things like this... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665899)

...remind me to call my mom, kiss my wife, and hug my kids. If this volcano blows, people in Alaska are going to have a really bad time. Additionally if the big one under the Rockies goes up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_caldera), we're ALL going to die.

And its overdue. And it is moving. Yeah!

To be fair, no respectable person seems to think it is going to happen any time soon, but it still serves as a gentle reminder of how fragile everything we hold dear truly is...

Yellowstone (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666035)

The biggest problem with the Yellowstone supervolcano would be the large amounts of ash ejected REALLY high into the atmosphere and across large portions of the US as well due to the high pressure eruption.

The prudent thing would be to place tactical nuclear warheads in deep wells around the entire perimeter of the magma chamber, and if it begins erupting, to crack the whole top at once. The area around Yellowstone will be destroyed, but the outlet for the pressure will be so large, far less ash is going to be ejected far lower in the atmosphere. We may even be able to avoid a massive drop in global temperatures, and crop failures that would otherwise kill a billion people.

P.S. Had to post as Anon as I moderated some totally unrelated posts.

Meuge

OBLG: BSG (4, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666205)

And its overdue. And it is moving.

... and it has a plan.

We need practice at this (1)

Nautical Insanity (1190003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665983)

Because evacuations, preparations, and repair related to this volcano are going to be nothing compared to what will be needed when geologists start warning us that Yellowstone is about to blow.

Sitting here in Anchorage right now 'preparing' (3, Informative)

lukej (252598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666069)

If you mean by preparing, drinking some morning tea, and playing with my iPhone.

The Road (1)

agnosticanarch (105861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666251)

And to think, right now Hollywood is wasting time making a movie based on The Road [amazon.com] when pretty soon we'll all be living it! Better get that bathwater started...

~AA

Overloaded and unresponsive (1)

Dibblah (645750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666281)

"The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive. "

.... Okay. And just in case it wasn't busy enough, HERE'S THE LINK!

Nice way to empathize, /. submitter.

Think of the polar bears!!! (1)

belligerent0001 (966585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666295)

Come on people we are loosing our perspective here....First the polar bears loose their ice flows only to then be coated in gray ash! how will they ever survive this? And because they no longer have ice flows to hunt from, most of them have taken on land based jobs. If the volcano REALLY blows it's top this could spark a fairly localized volcanic winter and these poor bears, who have taken it upon themselves to hunt from land will be force, once again to hunt from ice flows....HOLY SHIT people. We can not ask these bears to do this (as they have since the beginning of time)
On a more serious note did anyone catch new '78 like weather in the midwest? wasn't that about the same time period that the climatologist of the day were running around with their hair on fire spouting global cooling? Just checking...

AVO already overloaded, now Slashdot!? (1)

twistah (194990) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666305)

"The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive."

And so then you felt the best thing to do was to link to it from /.? This is a public safety resource that probably doesn't need the extra traffic right now.

Re:AVO already overloaded, now Slashdot!? (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666581)

Happily, they have done the sensible thing and replaced it with a single static HTML page. The tl;dr version is "Nothing happened yet, might happen later".

Unnecesary link (4, Insightful)

stm2 (141831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666329)

This is not Microsoft website in the day of the "slammer", this is a public service in an emergency, I think it would be wise to remove the link.

nobody can stop the Ash (1)

rarel (697734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666363)

Shop smart, shop S-MART!

abrasive particulate -- moon dust testing? (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666411)

Hrm. If it is possible to collect the particulate and magnetize it, it could be useful for testing future moon equipment.

-l

I was there for the last one (1)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666503)

I lived in Anchorage the last time there was an eruption, back in the 80's. It did scatter some ash, but not a whole lot, that far away. Mostly it was a matter of brushing the crap off your car so it wouldn't scratch the paint.

Wouldn't want to be much closer to it though... I could imagine what a foot of ash would be like.

Think of the Airlines as Well. (1)

BigAssRat (724675) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666507)

This takes me back to 1989 when I was supposed to be taking a MAC flight from L.A. to Seoul, South Korea. Because the eruption occurred a day or two before my flight was suppose to take off they had to cancel the flight. We were told that all routes were diverted because the MAC flight before the one I was supposed to be on experienced a sudden loss of altitude due to the ash in the air

So instead I ended up in lay-over status for 3 days, in a crappy hotel outside of LAX, waiting for a commercial flight to Seoul. I guess I won out in the end, instead of a 24 - 36 (I could never get a final answer to the actual flight time) hour military plane hop I got to fly on a commercial flight for 15, or so, hours.

I wonder what kind of plans or route diversions they are making for military and commercial flights right now?

One chance to stop the eruption! (3, Funny)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26666519)

Volcano God unhappy! Bind and gag Sarah Palin and throw her in, then everything will be OK!
..seriously, it's a win-win situation for everyone. ;-)
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