Tag Archives | Natural Disaster

New York To Use Jails As Homes For Those Displaced By Hurricane Sandy

If your home had no heat or electricity with winter approaching, would you consider being herded into jail? Russia Today reports:

With nowhere else to go, New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy may have no choice but to sleep in jails. The Arthur Kill Correction Facility on Staten Island may serve as a temporary home for up to 900 displaced victims of the storm. The medium-security prison was closed last December and with some fixing up, it could once again be fully functional.

As many as 40,000 New Yorkers are in need of shelter from extreme weather and rapidly decreasing temperatures, the city estimates, as the winter months approach. About 434,140 homes are currently still without power in the region that was in Hurricane Sandy’s path – mostly in New York and New Jersey. ­About 100,000 homes and businesses will remain without power for the next several months, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday in a news conference.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Seedbank Vaults In Case Of Mass Extinction

Nordic Genetic Resource Center Seed Vials, Svalbard Global SeedVia Wired, Dornith Doherty’s photographs offer a glimpse inside several of humanity’s vital seed-saving facilities, where samples of our planet’s flora are stored and protected in case of future mass extinction (be it due to climate change, nuclear war, astroid impact, or disease epidemic). Perhaps most stark is the Svalbard “Doomsday” Seed Vault, located on an island near the North Pole. One of these tiny outposts could someday be the savior of life on Earth:

Dornith Doherty’s documentary images of seed-saving facilities capture the logistics — and existential anxiety — behind the elaborate steps now in place to preserve the world’s crop diversity.

Once a traditional, year-to year practice by smallholding farmers to develop sturdy varietals, this simple act of putting seed aside has more and more become the concern of international affairs and corporate policy.

“Seed saving and its role in preserving biodiversity is of utmost importance. We are in an era called the Holocene extinction, which is notable for its decline in biodiversity,” says Doherty.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

5.8 Earthquake Shakes México

Mx-mapHow is Mexico celebrating Cinco de Mayo? It’s rockin’ the country, or rather, the land is doing the rocking. The capital, Mexico City, felt the tremor of the quake, but there have been no reports of injury or damage. AlterNet reports:

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook Mexico on Thursday, causing buildings to sway in the capital some 300 kilometers (187 miles) away from the epicenter, an AFP correspondent and US seismologists said.

The quake struck at 1324 GMT near the town of Ometepec in the state of Guerrero, at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles), the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The tremor rattled Mexico City, where earthquake alarms rang out in some quarters and office workers briefly spilled onto the streets.

Helicopters patrolled the capital — whose metropolitan area has a population of about 21 million people — while civil protection authorities reported no immediate damages.

[Continues at AlterNet]… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Earthquake Hits Burma

275px-Burma-CIA_WFB_MapJust in case things weren’t shaken up enough, Burma gets a taste of Mother Nature. CBC News reports:

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has hit northeastern Burma, also known as Myanmar.

The quake struck at 8:25 p.m. local time Thursday near the Southeast Asian country’s borders with Thailand and Laos, about 110 kilometres from the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai.

Two earthquakes were initially reported with a 7.0 magnitude, but the U.S. Geological Survey soon amended its report to confirm one shallow quake, centred 10 kilometres below the surface of the earth.

“Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist,” said a report posted on the monitoring agency’s website shortly after the quakes. “The predominant vulnerable building types are wood and unreinforced brick masonry construction.”

The monitor said 600,000 people would have experienced shaking anywhere from strong to violent and moderate to very heavy damage is expected in homes.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Japan Estimated To Take Five Years To Rebuild

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

The rebuilding of a city has a price and the World Banks has come up with an estimate. New Zealand Herald reports:

Japan may need five years to rebuild from the earthquake and tsunami that has caused up to US$235 billion ($320 billion) of damage, says the World Bank.

The March 11 disaster will likely shave up to 0.5 of a percentage point from the country’s economic growth this year, the bank said in a report. The impact will be concentrated in the first half of the year.

“Damage to housing and infrastructure has been unprecedented,” the World Bank said. “Growth should pick up, though, in subsequent quarters as reconstruction efforts, which could last five years, accelerate.”

The bank cited damage estimates between US$123 billion and US$235 billion, and cost to private insurers of between US$14 billion and US$33 billion. It said the government will spend US$12 billion on reconstruction in the current national budget and “much more” in the next one.

Read the rest

Continue Reading