Saturday, June 13, 2015

Top 15 survival tips from San Andreas (2015)

With one end of the West Valley fault lying so close to where I live, I thought that this disaster movie was an appropriate movie to watch one lazy weekend afternoon. It's all about a rescue helicopter pilot who successfully saved his wife and daughter in California after the strongest and most devastating fictional earthquake in history ravaged the length of San Andreas fault. Of course, the worst damage just had to be in San Francisco, which was levelled during the 1906 earthquake.

In the fictional earthquake scenario presented in the movie, parts of San Francisco was burning. The low-lying areas were underwater following a gigantic tsunami that went over the height of the Golden Gate Bridge. The skyscrapers dotting the city collapsed like dominoes. The peninsula became an island as the earthquake tore off the San Francisco area from the rest of California. Armageddon situation, right?

Now, to survive an earthquake such as this, I learned from the movie that one must have the following capabilities:
  1. flying helicopters
  2. flying small airplanes
  3. driving a pick-up truck
  4. parachuting from a plane
  5. driving a speedboat
  6. driving a speedboat over a cresting tsunami and riding it as it crashes to shore
  7. tapping into phone lines with a non-digital phone
  8. swimming
  9. knowing which container in a firetruck contains emergency supplies
  10. navigational skills in a city without the use of landmark buildings
Kidding aside, I liked the more REALISTIC survival lessons and emergency responses that we can do in case of an earthquake... all of which was shown in the movie:
  1. first aid
  2. drop. cover. hold.
  3. go to the highest point of a building to avoid being buried alive
  4. if there's no cover, stay close to the strongest parts of a building (like structural posts)
  5. go to higher locations when a tsunami is imminent
This end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it movie reminds me of 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow.  The hero saves the day and his family stays together in the end. However, I find San Andreas to be more scientifically plausible than 2012, for instance, because the story was driven forward by a fictional earthquake prediction model. This model allowed scientists to give warnings about the massive earthquake early enough for many people to evacuate. 2012, on the other hand based the redemption of people on arks that carried the elite few when the floods came.

Until the next movie about a disaster that threatens to wipe out the planet!