Friday, June 22, 2012

Avalanches:The Natural Disaster

While avalanches are sudden, the warning signs are almost always frequent earlier than they let loose. Yet in 90 percent of avalanche incidents, the snowfall slides are triggered by the victim or somebody in the victim's party. Avalanches kill more than 150 populace international each year. Most are snowmobilers, skiers, and snowboarders.

Catastrophic avalanches occur when massive slabs of snow break loose from a mountainside and shatter like busted glass as they race down. Avalanches are most common during and in the 24 hours right after a storm that dumps 12 or more of fresh snowfall. Storminess, temperature, wind, slope steepness and orientation terrain, vegetation, and general snowpack conditions are all factors that pressure whether and how a slope avalanches.

If caught in an avalanche, strive to get off the slab. Not easy, in most instances. Skiers and snowboarders can head straight downhill to gather speed then veer left or right out of the slide path. Snowmobilers can punch the throttle to power out of harm's way. No escape? Reach for a tree hard. The human body is three times denser than avalanche debris and will sink quickly. As the slide slows, clear air space to breathe. Once the avalanche stops, it settles like material. Bodily movement is virtually not possible. Wait and hope for a free. Statistics show that 93 percent of avalanche victims survive if dug out.

No comments:

Post a Comment