Wednesday, October 18, 2006

---Houston Storms, Hawaii Quake, Response to NK, More HiRISE Pictures 

Houston storms
My Way News [AP]- 3 Dead in Texas Thunderstorms, Flooding
11-13 inches of rain wouldn't normally be catastrophic, but this time it was
teamed with heavy onshore flow into Galveston Bay. The higher than normal
tides in the Bay, where much of the Houston area drains through a network of
bayous and creeks caused water to rise all over the city and the surrounding
The resulting flooding has killed four at latest count, including a mother and
daughter who were tragically trapped in rising water under an underpass. It
seems from news accounts that they might have escaped if they had basic
lifesaving information about getting out of submerged vehicles. I guess we won't
ever know for sure.
[ This http://www.lifesaving.com article mentions kicking out the back window. I
believe that most or all auto windshields are also designed to pop out if struck at the
upper center. I guess if the car sinks nose-first and flips over, that might not be an option.
Panic probably keeps a lot of people in this situation from being able to think about the
need to equalize pressures before the doors will open, often with disastrous
results. Intentionally flooding the car with water is the last thing many of us would want to
consider. Electric windows can also complicate escape by refusing to open.
I finally had to go outside after most of the rain had gone through. I had no idea
that there were lingering problems, because our street and yard were only damp.
I had to ford several small ponds in the sedan, and our van spent several hours
parked on a sidewalk. Cars and trucks were abandoned everywhere, often
disabled by water. A few hours later, it was all cleared away in most of the area,
leaving all the streets damp and muddy.

My Way News [AP]- Hawaii Quake Damage Estimated at $46M
$46 million damage to schools, harbor facilities, and other property so far.
Blessedly, no known fatalities or serious injuries.
The story compares this to $25 billion damages in an earthquake of similar
intensity in Los Angeles in 1994. Of course, if the million dollars of damage is
done to your property, the comparison probably isn'’t that helpful.

Here we go!
My Way News - Rice Vows 'Full Range' Defense of Japan
Just along for the ride, though....

More nice pictures
HiRISE Operations Center -- HiROC
A larger batch of extremely high resolution pictures has come back from the MRO-HiRISE
reconnaissance camera at Mars. This one includes a stratified cliff face in a possible "“delta"
or "alluvial fan"” in the Holden Crater:
I don't see real estate developments going up on any of this terrain anytime soon....


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