Worst case EMP scenario? Half in U.S. dead - Threat surges as sun spots zero in on Earth

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Fri, 05/17/2013 - 14:41.

But with an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, generated from the sun’s flares – some of which can be up to 10 times the size of the Earth – the unprotected grid, including transformers, electrical components and automated control systems that everyone takes for granted in their everyday lives, could either be severely damaged or fried, taking months if not years to replace.

NASA estimates that a direct hit to Earth from one of these enormous flares would have a catastrophic impact on the nation’s critical infrastructures over a very wide geographical area.

In the first year alone, NASA estimates, such a disaster could cost just the U.S. upwards of $2 trillion. It also would take from four to 10 years to recover – if that even would be possible – and affect the lives of some 160 million people, threatening starvation and death.

Some EMP experts say that such a catastrophic event could  wipe out America’s urban centers, due to their total dependency on critical infrastructures for electricity, communications, food and water delivery, oil and gas, transportation, automated banking and financial institutions and even emergency services.

The experts say grocery stores, for example, would have their shelves cleared in a matter of hours due to the panic that would sweep the population. Normally, grocery stores carry a maximum of three days of products before being restocked. However, restocking would come to a halt due to the inability of trucks to function, with fueling stations unable to pump the fuel needed to run the vehicles.

Automated control devices that regulate the flow of oil and natural gas through the hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines that crisscross the nation would be tripped, causing geographically widespread secondary fires and explosions.

Such an event would not just occur out in a remote field. Fires and explosions also could occur under streets and even into people’s houses.

The inability of fire and medical emergency services to respond would result in further disastrous consequences for the population.

Because automated systems ensure fresh water delivery, all filtering and sewage systems in the urban setting would face the high prospect shutting down, leading to disease such as cholera and dysentery. In addition, there would be little likelihood of medical attention because the hospitals and first responders’ emergency equipment which rely on electronics and communications equipment may no longer function.

Hospitals would have backup generators. However, if the generators have electrical starters, they might not function at all. Others may run on gasoline or diesel and only function for as long as there is fuel, which would need to be trucked in by vehicles with automated starters.

NASA estimates that as many as 350 of the large, customized transformers, which maintain a power supply across the nation and are only produced abroad, would be destroyed.

Because they are expensive – some costing as much as $20 million a copy – utilities don’t keep spares on hand. They could take years to replace, especially if a number of technologically dependent countries’ transformers are affected by a direct solar flare impact.





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