The destructive power of water
It’s a fact that water is our saviour, but water can also be our foe. The lengths that mother nature will go to to remind us of the dominant power of water are endless. Water can save lives, but it can also take lives. For years people have been left broken and destitute by the aftermath of water damage and still it rages on. These natural weapons of destruction come in many forms, each with their own deadly characteristics:
Although they perform an important job of moving warm tropical air to colder climates, a hurricane’s winds can move at speeds of 75 to 200 mph and can span out over 600 miles wide. Hurricanes form during Autumn, after the summer months have warmed the oceans, and these monsters can rage on for over a week. As they travel over the ocean they pick-up huge volumes of water and cause the sea level to rise several metres. This results in huge waves crashing onto the shore and heavy rains pelting down from the hurricane clouds over land.
All hurricanes are given names to allow people to remember them easily and give out warnings more competently. According to the Eden Channel: “Reports show that over a hurricane’s lifetime, it can release as much energy as a million Hiroshima nuclear bombs.”
The most violent of tornadoes can uproot trees, catapult cars and destroy large buildings. With speeds reaching 300 miles an hour, these rotating columns of air can take out anything in its mile wide path for up to lengths of 50 miles.
This incompatible mix of warm and cool air has been known to:
- Strip a chicken of its feathers.
- Carry a woman 200 yards in her bathtub.
- Transport 5 horses tied to a fence to a neighbouring field (still with the ties and fence intact).
- Blow an iron jug inside out.
An oddity seems to be the number of tornadoes reported in the UK. Although, these are rarely destructive the UK experiences the world’s highest frequency of tornadoes, averaging 33 tornadoes a year.
Tsunami or tidal wave
There may well be beauty in our oceans and potable water in our seas, but the terrifying moment a tsunami hits the shores eradicates all those images of joy and serenity. Who can forget the Boxing Day tsunami in Southeast Asia, which took the lives of nearly quarter of a million people?
Tsunamis are the result of either underwater earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions or even giant meteor impact. The generated tidal waves have the capacity to reach up to 100ft high and travel at speeds of 500 to 805 kilometers an hour, the same as a jet plane. As time goes on the waves get bigger and stronger causing more and more destruction wiping out whole villages and crushing everything in its path.
Raining cats and dogs
We should think ourselves lucky here in the UK that we don’t experience many of the above and although we constantly moan about the weather, we suffer none of the extremes that water can inflict. Yes it rains, yes we have floods, but from that we have an abundance of clean, potable water to supply every household and business in the country. With that in mind, next time you’re fed up with the grey gloomy skies remember it could be a lot worse. So smile as you say those words “it’s raining cats and dogs”.