Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Unnatural events

Not all emergency events are caused by Mother Nature. Sometimes we're the ones who cause the incident - just like today, where a chemical leak in Christchurch has caused the evacuation of a processing plant, and several city blocks surrounding the site. Nine people have been taken to hospital so far, after being overcome by fumes, and the police & fire service have set up decontamination showers for people leaving the area. I've seen decontamination showers in action, they aren't a lot of fun for the person being scrubbed down - though certainly better than whatever the contamination was going to do to you.

And occassionally we do something bad to Mother Nature - there's the Sidoarjo mud eruption in Java, Indonesia, which has continued unabated for almost two years, flooding an area of 7 km2 and displacing more than 25,000 people. There is some debate as to the cause of the eruption, but scientists now blame a well drilling blowout, rather than an earlier earthquake. Oops! Bit worse than hitting the water or gas main with your digger....

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