Science: Hypothetical Catastrophe

New Yorkers do not worry much about the weather. When a tropical hurricane struck Long Island and New England last September, killing some 600 people, the world's biggest city emerged practically unscathed. Many New Yorkers, safe in their towering apartment buildings, canyon-like streets and skyscrapers, did not even know a hurricane was passing. Last week, however, Meteorologist Charles Franklin Brooks, of Harvard's Blue Hill Observatory, pointed out that if a future hurricane happened to hit Manhattan just wrong, not all the brick and asphalt in the city could prevent a terrible disaster.

Speaking at an American Association for the Advancement of...

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