Natural Disasters

Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core: The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines on November 7th, currently stands at 5,500 people.  Haiyan was the fourth strongest tropical cyclone ever…

After helicoptering in and praising Occupy Sandy this past Thursday (watch below), On Friday New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg threatened to have police shut down the only relief effort actually providing on-the-scene assistance to storm-affected New Yorkers. Via Occupy Wall Street:

The mayor’s office is calling upon local police forces to “clear all outdoor sites” effective immediately. Staten Island police representing the mayor’s office have threatened eviction action against the crucial Staten Island hub in the heavily hit Midland Beach area.

Aiman Youssef, a 42-year-old Syrian-American Staten Islander whose house was destroyed in the hurricane, has been running a 24/7 community pop up hub outside his property at 489 Midland Avenue. Community members are serving hot food and offering non-perishables, medical supplies, and clothing to the thousands of residents who are still without heat, power, or safe housing. This popular hub is well-run, well-staffed, and has a constant hum of discussion, support, and advice as well as volunteer dispatch through another pop-up group.

It’s no surprise that preppers and their suppliers are having an “I told you so” moment in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s assault on the media capital of the world. The New…

Relevant in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a conversation between BOMB Magazine and Rebecca Solnit about this hazardous, even deadly, phenomenon: The term “elite panic” was coined by [sociologists] Caron Chess and…

Scientology Touch HealersPatrick Winn writes on GlobalPost:

BANGKOK, Thailand — After Cyclone Nargis left a trail of corpses along Burma’s coast in May 2008, foreign aid workers clamored to enter the military-controlled backwater.

Despite the world’s pleading, Burma’s paranoid generals forbade most foreign relief workers from entering the disaster zone. A frustrated U.K. threatened unauthorized air drops. The U.S. Navy was forced to float vessels loaded with life-saving supplies offshore.

But among the few who managed to access Burma’s worst-hit areas included adherents of the California-based Church of Scientology.

According to the church, miracles ensued after Scientologists touched down. Their team sought out traumatized Burmese for Scientology’s touch-healing techniques, professed to revive the spirit…

Blake Ellis reports for CNN:

A devastating earthquake strikes Japan. A massive tsunami kills thousands. Fears of a nuclear meltdown run rampant. Bloodshed and violence escalate in Libya.

And U.S. companies selling doomsday bunkers are seeing sales skyrocket anywhere from 20% to 1,000%…

Japan Earthquake 03/11/2011Interesting article from Leo Lewis in the Times from 2007, about how Japan nearly avoided a “nuclear power-quake disaster” back then. It always seems when these great disasters happen there was the one lone expert who no one took seriously. Leo Lewis writes”

Japan’s turbulent history of war and natural catastrophe has already given the world a terrifying vocabulary of death: tsunami, kamikaze, Hiroshima.

But the country now stands on the brink of unleashing its most chilling phrase yet: genpatsu-shinsai — the combination of an earthquake and nuclear meltdown capable of destroying millions of lives and bringing a nation to its knees.

The phrase, derived from the Japanese words for “nuclear power” and “quake disaster”, is the creation of Katsuhiko Ishibashi, Japan’s leading seismologist and one of the Government’s top advisers on nuclear-quake safety. He said that the world may never know how close it came to its first genpatsu-shinsai this week. Luck, as much an anything else, helped to avert it.