Scientists are warning that a major quake on the New Madrid fault would not only destroy much of the Midwest United States’ infrastructure, but unleash the fury of a radiation hell thousands of times worse than the Fukushima, Japan disaster. An incredible 15 aging nuclear reactors are exposed to potential catastrophic destruction when another Great Quake—like the one that reversed the flow of the Mississippi River during the early 1800s—slams the country again.
Great quake long overdue
Nature is cruel, unyielding and blind. It has titanic forces at its command and when they are unleashed humans are often swept away like a gigantic hand sweeping away puny mites.
The only defenses humans have against the ravages of Nature unleashed are luck and common sense. Luck cannot be relied upon and common sense is also pushed to the wayside to make way for profit, political expediency, or simply emotional desire. Those three things are why people keep rebuilding in known flood zones and regions hit by monster hurricanes. They are the reason behind atomic power plants like California’s El Diablo literally being built on top of the notorious San Andreas fault.
Those three things add up to long range folly. Especially when two of the most devastating earthquakes ever to hit America occurred in a region where nuclear power plants, atomic waste facilities, and nuclear recycling centers now sit.
A megathrust quake will destroy most of Midwestern United States and kill a million or more people. It will cause up to a trillion dollars in property damage. It’s not a question of if, but when. And when, say some geophysicists, may be closer than anyone wants to believe. [See: Devastating Megaquake May Destroy Midwest Soon]
More frequent earthquakes within the region of the New Madrid Fault have many experts increasingly on edge that another megaquake like the one that destroyed much of the Midwest during the early 1800s may be about to occur.
The New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812 were so powerful and widespread that if they occurred today the damage and loss of life are incalculable.
Today such megaquakes would destroy much of the infrastructure of the middle US, disrupt transportation throughout the country, threaten the Internet and energy supplies, disrupt food distribution networks, and even destroy major cities.
ABC News reported that “Another study by the Mid-America Earthquake Center [in 2010] estimates that nearly 750,000 buildings would be damaged, 3,000 bridges would potentially collapse, 400,000 breaks and leaks to local pipelines and $300 billion in direct damage and $600 billion in indirect losses would occur.
“‘Although Memphis is likely to be the focus of major damage in the region, St. Louis, Mo., Little Rock, Ark., and many small and medium sized cities would also sustain damage,’ the U.S. Geological Survey found.”
And all of that will be followed by the catastrophic rupture of several or more nuclear facilities leading to the loss or compromise of critical core containment and massive radioactive release.
How bad could it be? Think of Japan’s TEPCO reactors accident on steroids.
While some experts contend that the earthquakes in Arkansas and dozens more in Oklahoma—including the historic 5.6 temblor—are helping to relieve pressure that’s built up on the main fault lines, other geophysicists aren’t so sure. They see the increased activity as a potential warning sign that a gigantic killer quake may be imminent and are warning people to be prepared.
And the event might occur sooner than even some scientists anticipate as recently volcanic venting in several states has been recorded by geosynchronous satellites. [See: Frightening Volcanic Venting Signals Coming Midwest Megaquake]
As is often the case, the expert’s dire warnings are being ignored.
15 Fukushimas scattered across Midwestern states
Before It’s News lives up to it’s name with the important report that appeared March 16, 2011 focusing on 15 nuclear reactor sites at high risk from a mega New Madrid quake.
Blogger Zen Gardner revealed that “There are 15 nuclear power plants in the New Madrid fault zone—three reactors in Alabama—that are of the same or similar design as the site in Japan experiencing problems.
“The USGS report predicts that a major quake would create horrific scenes like something out of a science fiction movie, potentially cutting the Eastern part of the country off from the West in terms of vehicular traffic and road commerce.”
But it’s worse than that. Crops would be poisoned and entire swaths of fertile farmland lost for at least a generation, perhaps longer. The disaster would cause the US to collapse economically and cause the world to crash into a decades-long depression. Starvation in many parts of the world would become the norm—even in industrialized nations.
Industries would collapse and up to one billion people could perish. Most of those shock waves would precipitate from the massive release of radiation, not the megaquake destruction of the landscape.
Nuclear power plants
Some of the nuclear power plants are old GE designs, the same as the TEPCO reactors in Fukushima that evidence reveals are breached.
Could the same fate await one of more of the 15 nuclear reactors weathering a massive Midwest quake? Most certainly. While it’s true that little advanced planning—even from FEMA—has gone into preparedness for a nightmare nuclear cloud of radiation sweeping across a good portion of the United States, in fairness no agency however well-manned and funded could deal with such a Doomsday disaster.
And then there are the many nuclear fuel rod storage facilities that are scattered across the landscape like scaled up atomic versions of IEDs (improvised explosive devices)…only magnitudes worse.
The nuclear waste and processing plants will also be exposed and some will suffer damage. How extreme will the damage be? No expert can begin to hazard a guess.
Hell in the Heartland
When the next Great New Madrid Earthquake strikes most experts agree the infrastructure will be catastrophically damaged. Emergency services will be ineffective at best. Civil services, police and fire departments will be helpless. Communication will be gone, distribution gone, food scarce, gasoline unobtainable, and utilities offline.
Then hell will rise from Earth in the form of a deadly invisible cloud of drifting death leaving behind it twisted lives, mutations, dying victims and cancer deaths mounting over the next few dozen years.
Mother Nature will do its best to slap Mankind down.
Mankind’s folly could finish the job.