Earthquakes are terrible; just today a 7.8 Earthquake killed 1400 people in Nepal and the number keeps rising. A truly gigantic quake will cause even more destruction -- two in the past 55 years- the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake (9.2) and the 1960 Chilean Earthquake (9.3) were the two biggest to strike in modern times, and caused destruction with massive ground shaking and Pacific tsunamis that followed.
Luckily, both of these megaquakes did not hit major metropolitan areas. The last time a large city in the United States was struck by an enormous quake was in 1906 in San Francisco, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and killed at least 3,000 people. The 1989 Loma Prieta quake in San Francisco by comparison caused far less damage since it measured 6.9 and only lasted 15 seconds.
What if a truly massive earthquake were to hit near a major metropolitan area on the Pacific Coast of the United States or Canada? The scenes of devastation would be intense, with older and unreinforced skyscrapers collapsing and streets themselves bucking up beyond repair. The coastal tsunami that would follow would spread the destruction.
An earthquake of this size occur off the coast of the Pacific Northwest of the United States in 1700- The Cascadia Quake estimated at 8.7 - 9.2. If a 9.5 quake this size were to hit near a central city, estimates are that damage to masonry structures would level the older parts of downtown. Now, before you lost sleep over this, a quake of this size hits every 1100 years in this area, so we have a good 700 years to go to prepare.
The post-apocalyptic city of Xin in Second Life, which is a new role play destination, stuck me as what a city in the Pacific Northwest - perhaps Portland, Seattle, or Vancouver, British Columbia would look like if a quake of this magnitude were to occur. The toppled skyscrapers strewn about at random angles are particularly terrifying.
We are left to assume that a time period of several decades has passed since a natural disaster has hit Xin, because of the prevalence of moss and rain forest vegetation that is slowly taking over the landscape. There is a strange beauty here, what has remained after the quake has aged gracefully and yielded ruins which can look remarkably beautiful in the light of different hours of the day.
Xin is highly recommended, it is one of the best designed and most believable destinations of its kind in Second Life. Although I am not a role player, the opportunities here as well as this destination as a potential place to live are going to be attractive to many. I highly recommend a visit, I enjoyed taking photographs here and wandering the landscape.
To see more blog coverage and photography:
Love to Decorate:
To see my recent blog coverage of post-apocalyptic themed sims:
After The Fall
The End Of The World As We Know It:
To see my recent blog coverage of post-apocalyptic themed sims (continued):
Insilico (ground level):