Should citizens in general be required to bail out certain cities over and over and over again? New Orleans is a case in point. Suppose a bunch of people got together to build a city and got around to the siting question (where to put it).

New Orleans is at major risk every hurricane season and every 2-4 years it gets hit hard. Let's suppose New Orleans didn't exist and the aforementioned group were to look at the area. "Hmm...there isn't enough land there to build the city on." "Yeah but I have an idea. We'll build walls around part of the water and pump the water out and build our city there." "Under sea level? You must be kidding!" "I'm serious as a heart attack! If the sea wall fails, we'll just depend on the Feds to help us out."

Cities built along the San Andreas Fault are another example.

Maybe Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle should be moved to Kentucky and Tennessee (but not along the Ohio River).

And what about people who build homes in 100 year flood plains? People love to build homes right on the banks of rivers, and they can do so because they know the county, state, or FEMA will come in and rescue them and probably help them out.

How much should the public pay for stupid decisions as to where to build cities or homes?

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Portland and Seattle are not on or even near the San Andreas fault. There is however a subduction zone off the coast of Oregon that in the distant past has produced 9.0 quakes. The Juan de Fuca plate is slowly disappearing under the North American plate, which is what makes many of the mountains of the Cascade Range active.

Almost every city in the world has the potential to suffer a major natural disaster. Sure New Orleans some other cities are in extremely stupid locations and I think it would be smart to encourage such cities to consider abandoning the more risky areas and encouraging new city growth toward safer areas.

I knew Portland and Seattle weren't on the San Andreas Fault, but I knew they were subject to the fault that runs along the western part of the "Ring of Fire."

Major disasters can happen anywhere, but some cities either experience them with some regularity or are in a location of known risk. A Richter Scale 9 or 10 that hit several major cities on the West Coast at the same time would make Katrina look like a day at the beach. And I'm just talking about the quake. Add in a major tsunami and...I don't even want to think about it!

Well, projections tracking tectonic plate movement predict that one day, Southern CA will one day border Alaska, so it's got to happen sometime, it's just a question of when.

Not next week, I think.

I just hope the "big one" that the subduction zone off the coast of Oregon is supposed to have every 400 years or so doesn't happen in my lifetime. Even a smaller quake could fuck Western Oregon and Washington beyond all belief. Just to get aid in would require rebuilding all the little bridges that every major highway in these states include. Plus virtually none of our building are even remotely earthquake 'proof.'

Oh, do you live there? I did till recently. Now I'm in relatively safe Northern Ohio.

Yup, I was born in Salem, grew up in Bend and went to college in Eugene and continue to live in Eugene... for now anyways.

Of course, the entire country of the Netherlands has lived under similar conditions for centuries, but then they aren't exactly on a hurricane flight path.

Not the ENTIRE country. All the way to the border with Germany?

I can't give you exact percentages, but I had a friend from there who told me that much of it is below sea level - don't you remember the little boy who put his finger in the dike?

I can just hear the joke forming --

I think he put his finger in a Van Duyck(?).

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