Jon Wilkman on the failure of the St. Francis Dam and the making of modern Los Angeles.
Failing infrastructure is a hot topic these days; this catastrophic failure from 1928 has largely been forgotten. Read More
J. David Rogers on the deadliest civil engineering disaster of the twentieth century.
Lessons learned from the St. Francis Dam failure—and its impact on the civil engineering profession at-large. Read More
The Great Lisbon Earthquake, Fire
Mark Molesky, author of “This Gulf of Fire,” on the three-act disaster that destroyed Lisbon in 1755.
On All Saints’ Day in 1755, the capital of Portugal was devastated by a combination earthquake-tsunami-firestorm. “People thought it was Judgment Day and that the world was coming to an end,” says Molesky. Read More
Salvador Alvarenga would not have survived for fourteen months in an open, twenty-five-foot boat if not for the voluminous amounts of trash in the Pacific Ocean.
Adrift for 438 days, Salvador Alvarenga’s resilience, ingenuity, and determination allowed him to stay alive, with a huge assist from ordinary household garbage. Read More