#2. Naples Will Be Just the Latest of Mount Vesuvius' Casualties
In the year 79, the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculanium were completely and utterly screwed as they were buried by the sudden, violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the 'roided up Chad of volcanoes. The carnage was fled by few and witnessed by pretty much everyone, including the famed statesman Pliny the Younger, who made it his mission to tell everyone about the incident as a warning to never mess with nature. In a way, the towns always had it coming. If they'd dug around a bit before building, they'd have found ash from an ancient eruption that still had fleeing footprints from an ancient bronze age town not too far away.
Lancevortex via Wikipedia
"Oh come on, when has a volcano ever destroyed a city with no warning except those 7 times?"
Meanwhile, the people of the neighboring city of Naples (or as it was known at the time, Neapolis), took a look at the angry, angry mountain annihilating their pals. Then, they shrugged and lived on as if nothing had happened. Despite Vesuvius waking up periodically for a demonstration of what happens when people ignore it, Naples pushes on -- even when the volcano covered the city in an inch-thick layer of hot, jagged ash in 1906, killing over 100 people and causing enough expensive carnage to actually relocate the Olympics from Rome to London two years later because Vesuvius' bullshit had eaten all Rome's Olympic money, the citizens of Naples didn't take the hint and move.
So, What Can Be Done?
When you're up against an angry mountain that has destroyed populations since the Bronze Age, the only sensible thing is to get the hell away. However, the Neapolitans see things otherwise. Despite Mount Vesuvius having reaffirmed the danger it posed to them with literally dozens of eruptions since the Pompeii incident, well up to the 20th century, Naples remains.
It's like BASE jumping with a city.
#1. Wellington Will Be Hit by Everything
Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images/National Geographic
Sitting in the South Pacific, Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and home to over 400,000 people. In addition to its claim to fame as Peter Jackson's base in his mission to film all things Tolkien, the city is also notable for the surprising amount of ways it's citizens can die by natural disaster. Like Dhaka, the most popular pastime in Wellington seems to be guessing the next major doomsday scenario coming to kill everyone.
The city has managed to grow on a site where all bets are truly off. It sits at the tip of an island, so water is a constant threat. The last major tsunami hit Wellington in 1946, coming in at a roar that could be heard from 15 miles away. The next one? Why, it's severely overdue! And when it comes, rest assured it will kick all the available asses.
New Zealand Civil Defence
"Jeff had Megatsunami in the Doomsday Pool, he gets the cash! Or he would if he was still alive."
And chances are they're not even looking at a medium sized tsunami: Authorities warn that a 115-foot massive tsunami can definitely be in the cards. This bodes particularly well for the residents who still haven't recovered from the hellish flood that took place in 1984.
Donald Buckley via Otago Daily Times
They pulled a lot of Uruk-Hai out of that mud.
Of course, water is just one of the various hazards nature enjoys throwing at Wellington. The city is also lucky enough to be located right by a gigantic fault line, with earthquakes causing damage every so often, triggering those huge tsunamis as they come. Add in a bunch of volcanoes up north, throwing ash and soot at the city every time they decide to erupt, and the picture begins to form: Peter Jackson didn't give a hoot about idyllic hobbit scenery when he decided to film in New Zealand. He just wanted to keep Mordor close at hand.
So, What Can Be Done?
Evacuation is pretty much the only thing that can be done when nature starts drunkenly shooting at you with the entirety of its arsenal. Sadly, that's not a possibility for a good chunk of the population. Projections of just a medium-sized tsunami show utter destruction of the city's airport, marina, and local stadium (stadiums being the evacuation shelters of choice during many a disaster), with floods turning the downtown into a Sea World. If you try to run, you're even more screwed -- although the city does have an evacuation plan, most of the evacuation zones are in the worst risk areas, placing roughly half the population in immediate danger when the shit truly hits the fan.
"That's the last place tsunamis will look!"
Yosomono writes for GaijinAss.com and you should like their Facebook page. Evan V. Symon is a moderator in the Cracked Workshop. He can be found on Facebook, and be sure to bookshelf and vote for his new book, The End of the Line.
Be sure to check out more news on our impending doom in 6 Man-Made Natural Disasters Just Waiting to Happen. Or check out 6 Natural Disasters That Were Caused by Human Stupidity.