World Disasters

Jon Ross on Dec 29th 2014

 

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2014

LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2014

'JANGMI' STORM IN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES KILLS 3

Tropical storm Jangmi (known locally as Seniang) in Mindanao, Philippines has claimed lives of at least three people and left one missing.

Tropical storm Jangmi hit Surigao del Sur province on northern Mindanao in the early hours of Monday morning GMT.



RECENT FLOODING IN SRI LANKA KILLS 24, LEAVES 8 MISSING

Recent flooding in Sri Lanka has claimed lives of 24 people and left 8 others missing, Dailymirror has written quoting the National Disaster Management Centre.

The floods have also destroyed 4,593 houses and damaged further 14,649 houses. According to the Daily News, eight bodies have been recovered in the Rilpola Haliela landslide affected area in Badulla and another seven persons are still missing.

LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2014

FLASH FLOOD IN KELANTAN, MALAYSIA KILLS 5; TOLL 10

The worst flooding in Malaysia in more than a decade has claimed lives of at least 10 people including five in the worst-hit state of Kelantan.

The flood situation in Kelantan is still critical with 111,376 victims at the relief centres this afternoon, Bernama, The National News Agency of Malaysia reported.

LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014
MODERATE EARTHQUAKE HITS ALGIERS, ALGERIA

M 4.6 moderate earthquake shakes Northern Algeria today, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported.

According to the EMSC, the quake's epicenter was located 4 km S of Bouinan and 27 km S of Algiers, Algeria.

LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2014
INDIA LAUNCHES SMS-BASED WEATHER ALERT SYSTEM

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Christmas day launched a SMS-based weather alert system for general public for disseminating of natural disaster information.

IMD will send weather alert SMS to individuals who register themselves at the weather forecaster's official website - www.imd.gov.in. According to NDTV, the system will provide alerts on cyclones, tsunami and other weather-related natural calamities.


NORTH INDIA COLD WAVE CLAIMS 12 MORE LIVES, TOLL 92

North India cold wave claimed 12 more lives in the 24 hours leading to Wednesday evening, taking the death toll due to the extreme winter to 92 since December 1, The Times of India reported.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 1.63 crore for 75 districts in UP, around Rs 3.45 lakh for each district for providing relief from the cold wave. 


MALAYSIA FLOODS DISPLACE 90,000; BIGGEST FLOOD EVACUEES IN NATION'S HISTORY

The floods ravaging five states in Malaysia have displaced 90,250 people. It is the biggest number of flood evacuees in the nation's history, National news agency of Malaysia, Bernama, reported.

The highest number of flood evacuees are in Kelantan (32,343), followed by Terengganu (28,991), Pahang (24,316), Perak (4,335) and Perlis (265).

FLOODS IN INDONESIA'S ACEH DISPLACES 120,000; EMERGENCY DECLARED

Floods in Indonesia's Aceh province in the northern tip of Sumatra Island have displaced more than 120,966 people.

The waters submerged by up to 400 cm high in the districts of North Aceh and East Aceh, Xinhua has written quoting Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of national disaster agency.


LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2014

NATURAL DISASTERS 2015 WILL HURT 50% MORE PEOPLE!

By 2015, on average over 375 million people per year are likely to be affected by natural disasters. This is over 50% more than have been affected in an average year during the last decade, a 2009 Oxfam report had mentioned forecasting the natural disasters 2015 statistics.


BETTER EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TO TACKLE NATURAL DISASTERS IMPACTS: WHO

It is important for countries to develop emergency preparedness to be much safer and sustain less damage during an emergency situation caused by natural disasters, The World Health Organization’s Southeast Asia Region Office (WHO SEARO) said Tuesday.


MISSISSIPPI TORNADOES KILL 4; EMERGENCY DECLARED

Tornadoes in Mississippi, the southeastern state of United States, have claimed lives of at least four people and injured 20 others, The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency confirmed.

Two people died in Marion County, Mississippi, and two more in Jones County, state Emergency Management Agency spokesman Brett Carr confirmed to the Huffington Post.


LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014

NASA NEVER ISSUED '2014 DECEMBER BLACKOUT WARNING'

A fake information saying NASA confirmed six days of “total blackout” in December has became viral.

Another hoax claims about the blackout from the 21st to the 23rd of December.


LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2014

SRI LANKA FLASH FLOOD MAROONS OVER 35,000

Torrential rains and flashfloods in Sri Lanka have marooned more than 35,000 people, disaster management officials said on Sunday.

According to the National Disaster Management Centre, around 30,000 people are from the worst hit Batticaloa district in eastern Sri Lanka. Nearly 14,000 people are having shelter in 107 welfare camps.


STORM DAMAGE PROMPTS EMERGENCY IN SAN MATEO COUNTY

A state of emergency has been declared in San Mateo County after recent rain and windstorms caused an estimated $3.4 million damage. The emergency declaration could make state and federal aid available to pay for repairs and emergency measures related to the storm, CBS Local has mentioned.

After submitting an estimate of damage to the Governor’s office, county should legally request to the Governor to proclaim a state of emergency and make state disaster relief funds available to the County.


LAST UPDATED: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2014

2014 GLOBAL DISASTER LOSSES COST INSURERS $34B

The insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters totalled USD 34 billion in 2014, the preliminary estimation by Swiss Re’s sigma research unit has shown.

According to the Swiss Re’s sigma estimation, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2014 were USD 113 billion, down from USD 135 billion in 2013. Out of the total economic losses, insurers covered USD 34 billion in 2014, down 24% from USD 45 billion in 2013.


EU COUNTRIES' HOSPITALS AND EDUCATIONAL ELEMENTS HAVE INSUFFICIENT DISASTER PREPAREDNESS LEVEL, SURVEY SHOWS

A research article published in PLOS Currents Disasters has shown the emergency preparedness level of hospitals and educational elements of European Union countries to be at the lowest level in 2012.

Study was done to evaluate health system preparedness for disasters in the 27 European Union member countries.


LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2014

MOUNT GAMALAMA VOLCANO ERUPTS IN INDONESIA; 1 MISSING, 4 INJURED

Mount Gamalama volcano eruption in Indonesia has injured four people and left one missing.

Mount Gamalama on Ternate island in North Maluku province shot thick gray smoke up to 2,000 meters into the sky just before midnight Thursday, The New Zealand Herald has written quoting Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the spokesman for Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency.


LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014

5.9 MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE ROCKS NAMCHE, NEPAL

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake happened at about 9:17 p.m. (Nepali time), and was centered about 21 km NW of Namche Bazar, the route to Mount Everest. Tremor was felt throughout Nepal including parts of India and Bhutan. Ashish Khanal and Bivek Bhattarai from Nepal contributed for this article.




January 2009 Disasters

  • Jan. 9, Costa Rica: at least 20 are killed and thousands more are left homeless after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake strikes the verdant mountains of northern Costa Rica, setting off landslides.
  • Jan. 12, Indonesia: more than 200 people are missing and feared dead when a 250-passenger ferry sinks off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi during a storm. A fishing boat finds and rescues 18 passengers and the captain floating in life rafts.
  • Jan. 24, France and Spain: at least 15 people die and more than one million homes are left without power when winds of more than 100 mph swept across France and Spain during the most severe storm to hit the region since 1999.
  • Jan. 26, Turkey: an avalanche slams into a group of 17 Turkish hikers on Mount Zigana, dragging them more than 1,640 ft and killing 10 of them.
  • Jan. 27-28, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas: at least 23 people die due to severe storms that covered roads and power lines with snow and ice. Schools close and more than a million homes are left without electricity.

February 2009 Disasters

  • Feb. 9, Australia: over 160 people die when arsonists start fires that result in about 400 wildfires—some of the worst wildfires in Australia’s history.
  • Feb. 10, Oklahoma, U.S.: a cluster of tornadoes rip through Oklahoma, killing eight people and injuring over a dozen more.
  • Feb. 12, New York, U.S.: all 45 passengers and 4 crew members die when a Continental flight from Newark to Buffalo crashes five minutes outside Buffalo airport, damaging homes, and killing one person on the ground.

March 2009 Disasters

  • March 10, Alabama, U.S.: Michael Kenneth McClendon, 28, kills at least 10 people during a shooting spree in Geneva County, Alabama. Several of McClendon’s victims were members of his own family.
  • March 11, Germany: fifteen people are shot and killed at Albertville Technical High School in southwestern Germany by a 17-year-old boy who graduated from the school a year earlier.
  • March 27, North Dakota and Minnesota, U.S.: Flooding of the Red River causes the evacuation of about 150 homes in the Fargo, North Dakota area. The neighboring town of Moorhead, MN is also evacuated and President Obama declares a state of emergency in Minnesota.

April 2009 Disasters

  • April 3, New York, U.S.: Jiverly Wong kills 13 people in an immigration center in Binghamton, NY before turning the gun on himself. Most of his victims were imigrants taking an English class.
  • April 6, Italy: an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 strikes central Italy, killing more than 200 people and injuring another 1,000. The town of L’Aquila is the epicenter of the earthquake, but as many as 26 towns in the area are affected.

June 2009 Disasters

  • June 1, Brazil: in the worst aviation disaster since 2001, Air France Airbus A330 disappears somewhere off the northeast coast of Brazil with 228 passengers on board, en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. No mayday signals were sent before crashing.
  • June 16, Indonesia: an explosion at a coal mine in the West Sumatra province kills six people and traps at least 24 more in the 300-foot mine.
  • June 22, Washington D.C.: nine people die and over 70 more are injured when a subway train crashes at rush hour.
  • June 30, Italy: a freight train that was traveling from La Spezia to Pisa derails and crashes into a small Italian town, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 more. One of the train cars was filled with liquefied natural gas, which exploded during the crash.
  • June 30, Indian Ocean: a Yemenia Jet, on its way to Comoros, crashes into the Indian Ocean in an attempt to land. There are 153 people on board, with only one survivor, a 14-year-old girl. Severe weather and turbulence are believed to be the cause of the crash.

July 2009 Disasters

  • July 6, China: rioting in Urumqi, China between two ethnic groups—Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese—and the police force kills at least 156 people. Riot police lock down the Uighur portion of the city to try and stop the protests.
  • July 15, Iran: a Caspian Airlines plane crashes en route from Tehran to Yerevan, Armenia, killing all 168 passengers on impact.
  • July 24, Iran: at least 16 people died when an Aria Air flight skidded off the runway and caught fire in Mashhad, Iran.

August 2009 Disasters

  • August 7, Philippines: at least 22 tourists on Mount Pinatubo were trapped and killed when heavy rain caused flooding and landslides.
  • August 8, New York: a helicopter and plane collided over the Hudson River, killing all nine people on the private plane.
  • August 10, Taiwan: Typhoon Morakot caused a mudslide that buried schools, homes, and at least 600 people in southern Taiwan.

September 2009 Disasters

  • September 2, Indonesia: about 60 people die when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hits the island of Java, which is the most populous area of the country.
  • September 9, Turkey: more than 30 people are killed when fast-moving floods caused by heavy rain sweep through Istanbul.
  • September 28, Philippines: almost 90 people die in and around Manila in flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana, which drops about 17 inches of rain in 12 hours. The floods are Manila’s worst in about 50 years.
  • September 29, Samoa and American Samoa: an underwater 8.0-magnitude earthquake causes a tsunami that kills more than 115 people.
  • September 30, Indonesia: a 7.6-magnitude earthquake hits the island of Sumatra, leaving more than 1,000 people dead and thousands trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings in the city of Padang.

October 2009 Disasters

  • October 26, Afghanistan: 14 Americans–11 American troops and three civilians–are killed in two separate helicopter crashes in Afghanistan. The casualities contribute to one of the deadliest days of the 8-year war.

November 2009 Disasters

  • November 9, El Salvador: a small, low-pressure storm originating in the western part of the country brings an enormous amount of rainfall that causes flooding and mudslides. About 140 people are killed and some 1,500 homes are destroyed. The unnamed storm coincided with Hurricane Ida. Initial reports blamed the devastation on Ida, but officials later said Ida was not responsible.
  • November 27, Russia: 26 people are killed when a bomb explodes on a luxury train that runs from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Chechen rebels claim responsibility for the attack.

December 2009 Disasters

  • December 7, Pakistan: a suicide bomber strikes at busy market in Lahore, killing about 50 people.
  • December 8, Iraq: a series of car bombs, said to be part of a coordinated attack, destroy government buildings in Baghdad. At least 121 people are dead and 400 wounded.
  • December 30, Afghanistan: a suicide bomber kills at least 8 Americans civilians, 7 of them CIA agents, at a base in Afghanistan. It’s the deadliest attack on the agency since 9/11. The attacker is reportedly a double agent from Jordan who was acting on behalf of al-Qaeda.

WORLD DISASTERS 2008:

January 2008 Disasters

  • Jan. 1–4, Kenya: more than 300 people are killed and thousands of houses, farms, and businesses are burned nationwide in violent riots between Luo and Kikuyu tribes after incumbent president Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu, defeats opposition candidate Raila Odinga, a Luo, in the presidential election.
  • Jan. 7–8, Ark., Ill., Mo., Wis.: a series of tornadoes caused by record-breaking temperatures kill at least six people, including two children, destroy houses, and flood roads.
  • Jan. 28, eastern and southern China: severe snowstorms leave at least 24 people dead and affect 78 million people overall, including 827,000 emergency evacuees. About half of the 31 provinces are without power, which strands at least 600,000 train passengers, and at least 19 major airports close. The economic cost of the storm is projected to be $3.2 billion.

February 2008 Disasters

  • Feb. 3, Dem. Rep. of the Congo: at least 45 people are killed and about 450 more are injured after two strong earthquakes, one at 6.0 magnitude and the other at 5.0, strike the Congo.
  • Feb. 5–6, Tenn., Ark., Ala., Ky., Mo.: at least 55 people are killed and hundreds more are injured after violent tornadoes rip through the southern United States. According to emergency officials, the victims include 31 people in Tennessee, 13 in Arkansas, 7 in Kentucky, and 3 in Alabama.
  • Feb. 7, Georgia, U.S.: an explosion at an Imperial Sugar Refinery near Savannah, Georgia kills 14 people and injures many more.
  • Feb. 21, Venezuela: a Venezuelan passenger plane crashes into an Andean Mountain within the Sierra La Culata National Park killing all 46 people aboard.

March 2008 Disasters

  • March 14–15, Georgia: two people are killed and at least 30 people are injured when violent tornadoes strike Atlanta and northwestern counties of Georgia including Polk County and Floyd County. The storms cause damage to the CNN Center, the Georgia Dome, and the Convention Center in Atlanta, and leave thousands of homes without power statewide.
  • March 17–19, Ark., Ill., Ky., Mo., Ohio: thirteen people die, hundreds of people are evacuated from their homes, and hundreds of roads are closed during major floods that stretch from Texas to Pennsylvania.

April 2008 Disasters

    • Ongoing since January, Brazil: More than 80 people have died and at least 75,399 are infected in Rio de Janeiro since January during a dengue fever outbreak. In March, the Brazilian military opened three field hospitals to help control the epidemic. In April, after a month of heavy rains, trained members of the army and navy start a 30-day tour in the Rio State to idenitify mosquito breeding grounds and educate residents on dengue fever prevention.
    • April 29, Virginia: Three tornadoes strike Norfolk, Suffolk, and Colonial Heights, injuring over 200 people and destroying at least 140 homes.

May 2008 Disasters

    • May 1–2, Arkansas: seven people are killed and 13 more are injured in Arkansas when storms hit 16 counties.
    • May 3, Myanmar: Cyclone Nargis hits the Irrawaddy Delta and the city of Yangon, killing about 78,000 people. Most of the deaths and destruction were caused by a 12-foot-high tidal wave that formed during the storm. Cyclone Nargis is the worst natural disaster since the tsunami in 2004.
    • May 11, Okla., Mo., Ga.: more than 20 people die and hundreds more are injured when tornadoes hit Missouri, Oklahoma, and Georgia. Racine, a town about 170 miles south of Kansas City, Missouri saw the most damage, leaving about 9,000 people without electricity for over three days.
    • May 12, China: over 67,000 people die and hundreds of thousands more are injured when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake strikes Sichuan, Gansu, and Yunnan Provinces in western China. Nearly 900 students are trapped when Juyuan Middle School in the Sichuan Province collapses from the quake. On May 19, 158 rescue workers are killed in landslides caused by rain and floods. On May 27, 150,000 people are evacuated from the Sichuan Province in anticipation of major floods.

June 2008 Disasters

    • June 9–18, Ind., Iowa, Ill., Mo. and Wis.: severe flooding from storms cause already-swollen rivers and lakes to flood, killing 10 people, breaking three dams, and causing thousands to evacuate their homes. In addition, at least 90 roads are closed. According to the National Weather Service, the Cedar River is 17 feet above flood stage, the worst flooding Cedar Rapids has ever seen.
    • June 11, Iowa: a tornado kills 4 Boy Scouts and injures 48 others when it tears through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa. The tornado also touched down in Kansas, killing two people.
    • June 17, southern China: the worst flooding in 50 years kills over 60 people, destroys 5.4 million acres of crops, causes landslides, and leaves 13 people missing in nine southern Chinese provinces.
    • June 21, the Philippines: a ferry, the Princess of the Stars, is struck by Typhoon Fengshen, killing most of the 865 passengers and crew. There are 59 known survivors. Almost 500 other people die during the storm.

July 2008 Disasters

    • July 24, Japan: at least 90 people are injured and thousands of homes lose power when a 6.8 magnitude earthquake strikes 67 miles below the earth’s surface in the region of Iwate.
    • July 27, southeastern Europe: five days of heavy rain cause major flooding in the Ukraine and Romania, killing 18 people and causing at least $300 million in damages.

August 2008 Disasters

    • Aug. 1, Pakistan: a large mass of ice breaks on K2, the world’s second-highest mountain, causing an avalanche that kills 11 climbers and injures several others.
    • Aug. 4, Himachal Pradesh, India: almost 150 people die when rumors of a landslide cause pilgrims to stampede during a festival celebrating the Hindu mother goddess at Naina Devi temple in India.
    • Aug. 5, northern California: nine firefighters die when a helicopter crashes and burns in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The cause of the crash is unknown.
    • Aug. 10, Toronto, Canada: explosions at the Sunrise Propane Industrial Gasses facility force thousands of people in Toronto to evacuate their homes. Some residents suffer injuries and one firefighter dies.
    • Aug. 20, Madrid, Spain: at least 153 people die when a 160-person passenger plane skids off the runway and bursts into flames during takeoff at Barajas airport in Madrid.
    • Aug. 23, southern U.S.: at least 12 people die and thousands of homes and businesses are flooded when the slow-moving tropical storm Fay makes landfall four times in Florida and Georgia.
    • Aug. 25, Chamonix, France: eight climbers die after an avalanche near Mount Blanc bury them under 165 feet of ice.
    • Aug. 28–Sept. 1, India: flooding from the Kosi River in the northern state of Bihar causes the deaths of at least 75 people and the displacement of over 2 million more. At least half a million people are left stranded, while half a million others are living in unsanitary relief camps.
    • Aug. 28–30, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti: at least 137 people die and many more are injured when Hurricane Gustav makes landfall in the Caribbean. Thousands are left homeless and without food and water.

September 2008 Disasters

    • Sept. 1, U.S. Gulf Coast: Hurricane Gustav forces the entire city of New Orleans to evacuate, leaves more than one million homes without power, and kills at least 26 people in Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi.
    • Sept. 5, Haiti: Tropical Storm Hanna strikes Haiti, killing hundreds of people and leaving many more injured or missing in the port city of Gonaives.
    • Sept. 7–8, Haiti, Cuba, Turks and Caicos islands: at least 61 people die in Haiti, 4 more are killed in Cuba, and 80% of homes are destroyed on Turks and Caicos islands when Hurricane Ike strikes the Caribbean.
    • Sept. 12, California: a metrolink commuter train collides with a freight train northwest of Los Angeles, killing 25 passengers.
    • Sept. 13–14, southern U.S.: Hurricane Ike hits Texas and causes at least 50 deaths, thousands more to evacuate their homes, and millions to lose power in Houston alone. Ike hits the island city of Galveston Bay the hardest, knocking out water, power, and sewer lines. Despite requests to evacuate, at least 15,000 people remained in Galveston amid worsening sanitary conditions.
    • Sept. 14–16, midwestern U.S.: as Ike travels inland, the storm weakens to a tropical depression, but torrential rain causes severe flooding and power outages in parts of Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. At least 17 people die and more than two million homes and businesses lose power.
    • Sept. 30, India: over 100 people die and hundreds more are seriously injured when a wall of the Chamunda Devi temple in Jodhpur, northern India, collapses during the Navratra religious festival and causes a stampede.

October 2008 Disasters

    • Oct. 6, Kyrgyzstan: at least 70 people die, hundreds more are injured, and hundreds of homes are destroyed when a 6.6 magnitude earthquake strikes the Osh region, leveling the entire town of Nura.
    • Oct. 8, Nepal: a Yeti Airlines passenger plane, flying from Kathmandu to Lukla in eastern Nepal, bursts into flames on the runway while landing in heavy cloud, killing 18 of the 19 people on board—only the Nepalese pilot survived.
    • Oct. 29, Pakistan: a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 170 people and destroying over 15,000 homes.
    • Oct. 30, India: a series of explosions in the northeastern region of Assam kill at least 55 people and wound more than 200 more.

November 2008 Disasters

    • Nov. 7, Haiti: over 90 students die and over a hundred more are injured when a poorly constructed church-run school collapses on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.
    • Nov. 9, the Sea of Japan: in the most deadly accident on a Russian submarine since 2000, 20 people die and 21 more are injured when two compartments of a new Russian nuclear submarine flood with Freon gas during tests in the Sea of Japan.
    • Nov. 15–18, California, U.S.: fueled by hurricane-strength Santa Ana winds, three fires burn for several days, consuming 40,000 acres of land and hundreds of homes. A state of emergency is called in five counties.
    • Nov. 22–23, Brazil: at least 119 people die and over 80,000 homes are destroyed when heavy rains dump more water on the southern state of Santa Catarina than it normally gets in months, causing floods and mudslides throughout the region.

December 2008 Disasters

  • Dec. 11, New England, U.S.: at least 800,000 homes are left without electricity for several days after an ice storm hits New England. President Bush declares a state of emergency in parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, sending in FEMA to set up shelters and National Guard troops to help restore power lines.
  • Dec. 28, Canada: eleven people on snowmobiles are buried when two avalanches hit Harvey Pass, a popular backcountry snowmobile destination in British Columbia. Three snowmobilers survive, while eight others remain buried.
J

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