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Showing posts from April, 2015

At least four aftershocks rattle Kathmandu today

At least four aftershocks have been felt in Kathmandu on Thursday. Three earthquakes rattled Kathmandu between 6:00 am to 9:00 am Thursday morning. Another 4.1 earthquake hit Thursday afternoon.
According to the National Seismological Centre, the first earthquake of magnitude 4.7 Richter Scale occurred at 6:22 am with epicenter in Dhading, followed by second at 8:31 am with Rasuwa epicenter of magnitude 4.7 and the third earthquake of magnitude 3.9 hit Nuwakot  at 8:41 am. The fourth earthquake of magnitude 4.1 occurred at 1:29 pm Thursday afternoon with epicenter in Dolakha.

Child pulled alive after 132 hours from earthquake rubble in Gongabu, Kathmandu

A 15-year-old boy has been pulled alive from the earthquake rubble in a Gongabu-based guest house after 132 hours. Pemba Lama, a resident of Nuwakot who was working in the same place has been rescued 132 hours after the earthquake on Saturday.
A rescue team comprising of Armed Police Force among others have been trying to rescue several others who are believed to be trapped under the earthquake rubble. At least three hotels have been destroyed in the same area.

Another massive earthquake hoax fears Nepal

Several hoax messages have been circulated via the Social Medias raising fear among the people of Nepal. Magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal has already claimed lives of more than 5,000 people.
Immediately after the earthquake, a message spread about the volcanic eruption in various parts of Nepal including Nuwakot, Nawalparasi and Nijgadh. After that, Nepal Seismological Center received question asking if the moon was inverted.

Nepal earthquake April 25, 2015 kills 5,630: Home Ministry

The death toll from the April 25 earthquake and aftershocks in Nepal has reached 5,630 by Thursday afternoon, the National Emergency Operation Centre under the Home Ministry said.
Highest number of fatalities has been reported from Sindhupalchowk where 1,587 bodies have been recovered; while Kathmandu recorded 1,039 deaths, Nuwakot 707, Dhading 527, Gorkha 405, Kavre 275, Bhaktapur 252 and Lalitpur 168.

Mega earthquake in Gorkha, Nepal kills over 5,000

Mega earthquake with epicenter in Gorkha, Nepal has claimed lives of more than 5,000 people and injured more than 10,000 people.
All 1200 houses of epicenter area Barpak, Gorkha have been fully destroyed. Worst damages have been reported around the rural epicentral pheripheral areas of Manbu, Gumba, Laapu, Kashi Gaun, Uhiya and Larpak.
According to Home Ministry, at least 5,017 died and around 10,224 people have been injured by Wednesday evening. Highest number of fatalities have been reported from Sindhupalchowk (1260) followed by Kathmandu (1038), Nuwakot (560), Gorkha (405), Dhading (373), Rasuwa (303), Kavre (273), Bhaktapur (250), Lalitpur (179), Dolakha (50), Makwanpur (35), Ramechhap (26), Solukhumbu (21), Okhaldhunga (17), Sindhuli (9), Sunsari (7), Bara (5), Chitwan (5), Lamgunj (4) and others.
All educational institutes have been closed for at least five days. More than 3 lakhs people have left the Kathmandu valley.
President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala…

'Once in a life time' earthquake hits Nepal

Magnitude 7.6 deadly earthquake hits Nepal today, the Nepal Seismological Center reported.
According to the NSC, the quake's epicenter was near Lamjung- Gorkha border area of western Nepal. At least three strong earthquake have been reported by NSC with two of them epicenter in Gorkha and one in Rasuwa.

Sandpoint Idaho earthquake today: Widely felt but no injuries, damage reported

Magnitude 4.1 earthquake shakes Sandpoint, Idaho today, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake's epicenter was located 22 km (14mi) SE of Sandpoint, Northern Idaho. It was 3.1 miles deep.
Following USGS Pager Map, it will have been well felt by the people of  Sandpoint, Ponderay, Spirit Lake, Priest River, Rathdrum, Hayden, Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Spokane Valley, Opportunity and Spokane.

Lincoln County declared as primary natural disaster area

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared Lincoln County in Nevada as a primary natural disaster area due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

“Our hearts go out to those Nevada farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, mentioned in a press release issued on April 22, 2015.

Chile's Calbuco volcano erupts for first time in 42 yrs

The Calbuco volcano in Chile has erupted for the first time in 42 years causing evacuation of thousands of people.
Chile's Onemi emergency office has declared a red alert following the eruption at Calbuco volcano.
About 4,000 people are far moved out of the area, an evacuation radius of 20 kilometers has been established and classes have been canceled in surrounding towns, Reuters reported.

Free disaster preparedness workshop for business owners

Morehead State University’s Kentucky Small Business Development Center is hosting free disaster preparedness workshop for business owners.

“Disaster Preparedness for your Business” workshop will be held Tuesday May 5, from 5 p.m. -  6:30 p.m. at the Innovation Launchpad located at 149 East Main Street, Morehead State University mentioned in its website.

Coal mine flooding in China's Shanxi province kills 19

Nineteen people are confirmed dead in coal mine flooding in Jiangjiawan Mine in Datong City, Shanxi Province of China.

A total of 247 people were working in Jiangjiawan Mine in Datong City when the disaster occurred around 6:50 p.m. on Sunday. Two hundred and twenty-three miners made it out safely, while 24 were trapped, Xinhua reported.

Bihar storm kills 35 in latest India natural disasters

Heavy storm in Bihar, India has claimed lives of at least 32 people and seriously injured around 100 people on Tuesday night.

Strong storm hit northeastern districts of Bihar close to the borders with West Bengal and Nepal with worst damage in Purnia, Madhepura, Saharsa, Madhubani, Darbhanga and Samastipur districts, Hindustan Times reported.

Another mysterious giant sinkhole appears in Siberia

A mysterious giant sink  has appeared in Siberia's Novokuznetsk Region measuring 20 meters in diameter and up to 30 meters in depth.

The mysterious sinkhole was first spotted by Rinat Sharifullin, a local man whose house is a mere 100 meters away from where it emerged, Russian News Channel RT reported.

Tornado kills 2 in latest Brazil natural disasters

A tornado in Xanxere city in Santa Catarina state of Brazil has claimed lives of two people and injured 120 others.
At least 120 have been taken to hospitals, including 15 who are seriously injured, Associated Press has mentioned quoting Luciano Peri, Santa Catarina's civil defense director, as saying.

Earthquake hits Swine flu ravaged Jajarkot, Nepal

Magnitude 5.1 earthquake hits Swine flu ravaged area of Jajarkot, Nepal Seismological Center reported.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake's epicenter was located  47 km SSE of Jumla. It was 24.7 miles deep.

Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance opens to Central America

Caribbean and Central American countries have formalized partnership for catastrophe risk insurance making Central American countries to be eligible to join a World Bank-backed insurance scheme.
The Council of Ministers of Finance of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (COSEFIN) and CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) have signed a memorandum of understanding to allow Central American countries to join the sovereign catastrophe risk insurance pool.

Powerful storm in Bangladesh kills 8

A powerfull storm in seven Upazilas of Mymensingh and Kishoreganj districts of Bangladesh has claimed lives of at least eight people and left hundreds of houses damaged.

Five people died in four Upazilas of Kishoreganj and another three were killed in Mymensingh's Fulbarhia, Muktagachha and Trishal Upazilas, bdnews24 reported.

Tanzania landslide kills 19 gold miners

A landslide in Tanzania's northwestern district of Kahama has claimed lives of at least 19 gold miners on Thursday night.

According to Justus Kamugisha, Shinyanga regional police commander, at least 19 bodies have been recovered so far and rescue operations are underway, Xinhua reported.

Massive dust storm in Belarus turns day into night

Massive dust storm hit Belarus this week — turning day into night.
About 46 communities in the Minsk region suffered various kinds of damage, the Russian website RT reported quoting the Emergency Ministry.

Flash floods in Mandera, Kenya sweeps away bus; 3 killed

At least three people have been confirmed dead after flash floods in Mandera swept away a Nairobi-bound bus.

According to The Kenya Red Cross, 42 people were rescued after the bus which was carrying 60  passengers swept away, The Star reported.

Recent floods in Kazakhstan affect 1,760 houses

Recent floods in Karaganda Oblast in Kazakhstan have affected 1,760 houses in 35 villages, Tengrinews reported quoting the Oblast's Department of Emergency Situations.

Sharp rise in temperature caused melting of snow and triggered flooding in Semey and Ayagoz districts in Kazakhstan.

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits Greece

Magnitude 6.1 strong earthquake hits Greece today, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake's epicenter was located 47 km SW of Karpathos. It was 13 miles deep.

The earthquake's epicenter is at a safer distance from the coast, minimizing the chances of serious damages.

Peru's Ubinas volcano triggers mudslides, blocks access to town

Ubinas volcano has spewed gases and ashes some 2,500 metres into the air triggering off a series of mudslides, Ukraine Today reported quoting Peru's Geological Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

According to Euro News, the resultant mudslides down the volcano’s slopes have blocked off access to the town of Ubinas.

How smartphone helps in earthquake early warning system

Smartphones and other personal electronic devices could, in regions where they are in widespread use, function as earthquake early warning systems, a recent research done by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey mentioned.

The research published in the inaugural volume of the new AAAS journal Science Advances, found that the sensors in smartphones and similar devices could be used to build earthquake warning systems.

NTA works on earthquake preparedness in Nepal

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has taken step to work on earthquake preparedness in Nepal focusing on emergency measures from early warning systems to post-disaster communications.

Such earthquake preparedness  measure helps to keep phone lines open in the event of an earthquake, eKantipur reported.

NTA Director Anand Raj Khanal mentioned about the earthquake preparedness measure addressing the inaugural session of a two-day workshop on Mobile Industry Disaster Preparedness on Wednesday. A National Emergency Communication Plan focusing on these issues has also been drafted, he added.

In term of relative vulnerability, Nepal has been ranked as the 11th most at risk country in the world to earthquakes and 30th most at risk to floods and landslides (UNDP, BCPR, 2004), an article published by Nepal Red Cross Society mentioned.

According to the United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (IMU / UN OCHA), 11 out of 75 districts of Nepal lies in the mos…

FEMA upgrades mobile app to receive weather alerts across the country

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched a new feature to its free mobile app that will enable users to receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation.

This allows mobile users to receive severe weather alerts occurring anywhere they select in the country, even if the phone is not located in the natural disaster area, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mentioned in a press release issued on April 14, 2015.

How Twitter helps in real time flood map for better natural disaster response

Twitter can be a great help in better natural disaster response, said researchers who created real-time flood maps using data from tweets.
Real time tweets about major floods can be turned into a mapping tool which could be used by emergency services and natural disaster response teams to save lives and provide aid, Dutch researchers came up with the idea after analyzing the thousands of tweets.

Some 900 flood-related tweets per minute were sent after the Indonesian capital Jakarta was hit by floods this February, Reuters reported quoting the Netherlands-based Deltares research institute at a European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna. Most important, maximum number of tweets had information about location and water depth which can be helpful for real-time flood maps for immediate natural disaster response operations.

This method can produce a natural disaster map within around a minute of messages being postedand can be helpful to target for post-disaster assistance.

Validating the…

Tornado in Eugene, Oregon damages cars

A tornado that briefly touched down at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon has damaged four vehicles.
The cars were parked at Lane County Community College when the possible tornado struck, The Weather Channel reported.

Fear of volcanic eruption looms over Japan's Mount Zaosan

The Japan Meteorological Agency fears of Mount Zaosanvolcanic eruption following several volcanic activities observed recently.

An alert for a possible eruption of Mount Zaosan was issued on April 13. The climbers are urged not to enter a 1.2-kilometer area from the crater area due to the possibility of large rocks being ejected in an eruption, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

Hailstorm in Ahmedabad, India kills over 200 birds

More than 200 birds have been found dead in the hailstorm in Ahmedabad, Gujarat  State of India.
Parrots, kites and crows were among the 217 birds which died or were found critically injured at Vasna barrage, in Paldi and other parts of new west zone, The Times of India reported.

Kenya flash floods kill 7

Flash floods in Kenya's Homa Bay have claimed lives of at least seven people including a seven month old baby.

Victims were swept by heavy flash floods as they attempted to cross the bridges in Gongo and Kotieno, HomaBay police commander John Omusanga confirmed the Xinhua News Agency.

Severe thunder squall near Mizoram-Myanmar border damages 362 houses

Severe thunderstorm, accompanied by massive hailstorm and squall, have damaged atleast 362 houses in Ratu village near Mizoram-Myanmar border.

At least 12 houses have been completely damaged by the squall, the Business Standard has written quoting Officials of the Aizawl district deputy commissioner's office as saying.

Damaging tornado in Illinois today kills 1 – Fairdale hit hardest

A powerful damaging tornado in Illinois today has claimed life of a person and injured seven others.

At least one person died in Fairdale with tornado damage reported on either side of Interstate 39 near Rochelle, Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported.

According to the USA Today, recent weather forced the cancellation of more than 800 flights at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and delayed hundreds more.

Disaster risk management programme reduces 8% deaths in Vietnam

Around one third of Viet Nam’s most vulnerable communes have developed disaster risk reduction plans reducing 8% annual death rate,  UN Development Programme said.

In a meeting organised to review the progress of the national community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) programme in Vietnam, Mr Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director, mentioned that almost 2000 of the most vulnerable communes in Vietnam have developed risk reduction and response plans.

Viet Nam, at high risk to the impacts of global climate change, leads to weather related disasters causing on average over 400 deaths and economic losses equivalent to more than one per cent of national GDP.

Disaster risk reduction and management is given central importance to Vietnam as a national CBDRM programme has aimed to reach 6000 of communes by 2020 in eleven years.

This Community-based disaster risk management  programme has reduced the loss of life at the rate of nearly 8% per year on average.

The 2015 Global Ass…

Ubinas volcano in Peru spews ashes over nearby villages

The Ubinas volcano in Peru erupted on Wednesday morning causing a layer of ash to fall over nearby villages.
According to Peru21, the eruption at  Ubinas volcano occurred at 4:24 a.m. Wednesday and spewed a column of ash over 2.5 km above the crater of the volcano causing ash fall on the villages of Escacha and Ubinas Valley. [El evento eruptivo sucedió a las 4:24 am. del miércoles y provocó la emisión de una columna de ceniza de más de 2.5 kilómetros de altura sobre el cráter del volcán Ubinas, que después de unos minutos empezó a caer sobre los poblados de Escacha y el valle de Ubinas]

Typhoon Maysak (Chedeng) kills 12 in Philippines and FSM

Super Typhoon Maysak (Chedeng) has claimed lives of 12 people affecting Yap and Chuuk State in the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as the Philippines.

Maysak is responsible for widespread destruction and five deaths in the Federated States of Micronesia. Seven people died and 26 injured during the celebration of Easter Week in Philippines, ABC News reported. However, officials have not decided whether the deaths were related to the approaching storm.

Severe storm in Bangladesh kills 41 – Bogra worst affected

Update April 7, 2015

The death toll from severe storm and heavy rain in Bangladesh have risen to 41.

What is a natural disaster?

A natural disaster is a sudden natural event triggered by environmental factor which can cause loss of life or property damage.
Earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires etc are some of the common natural disasters worldwide that have claimed several lives causing huge economic losses.
Frequency of natural disasters have increased in rapid amount in last several decades. Some types of natural disasters are more common in some places of the world than others. In some cases, we can have warning of a natural disaster but other times it may happen without notice.        

We have developed several natural disasters early warning system which provides warnings of natural disasters before they impact people and property. However, in spite of all the capabilities for advance warnings, we are still quite poor at preparing for these natural disasters.
Poor countries are those to have more serious impacts of the natural disaster. It is important for co…

Port-au-Price flood kills 6 in recent Haiti natural disaster

Flooding triggered by heavy rainfall in Haitian capital Port-au-Price has claimed lives of at least six people and damaged more than 8,000 homes.

Recent floods in Port-au-Price have displaced 45 families. More than 8,379 homes are flooded and 46 homes are totally destroyed, Radio Metropole Haiti mentioned quoting the Directorate of Civil Protection and the Interior Ministry.

Code orange weather warning issued in 12 Bulgaria districts

A code orange weather warning has been issued in twelve Bulgaria districts because of the heavy downpours observed in the past 24 hours.

Weather warning is in active in Silistra, Dobrich, Shumen, Varna, Burgas, Yambol, Haskovo, Kardzhali, Smolyan, Plovdiv, Pazardzhik and Blagoevgrad district of Bulgaria, Sofia News Agency reported.

Turrialba volcano eruption 2015 spews ash – Tourists evacuated

Two volcanic eruptions at Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica spewed ash columns forcing several tourists to evacuate from the area.
Turrialba volcano spewed the column of ash to 500 meters into the sky, the National University’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory (OVSICORI) mentioned.
Several tourists have been evacuated in areas surrounding Turrialba volcano, The Tico Times reported quoting  Police Chief Juan José Andrade as saying.

Sandstorm in Riyadh grounds flights, closes schools

The freak sandstorm in Riyadh has caused chaos on the city’s streets and the cancellation of all flights at King Khaled International Airport (KKIA).
The high-velocity winds and poor visibility grounded the flights at airport. All incoming flights were diverted to neighboring countries including Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, Arab News reported.

Light earthquake felt in Santa Clarita, California

Magnitude 3.1 earthquake has been reported in Santa Clarita around 07:54 local time with epicenter located 7 km far.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), tremor was well felt in Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Granada Hills, Stevenson Ranch, Newhall, Northridge, Valencia and North Hills area.

Tornado in Pomona, CA damages 17 houses

Tornado in Pomona has damaged at least 17 houses including two shops and a church.
"Tornado was about 7 to 10 miles long and a quarter to a half mile wide," News-Leader has written quoting Pomona Fire Department Assistant Chief Randall Dennis as saying.

Blood moon lunar eclipse 2015 – Century's shortest total lunar eclipse occurring today

'Blood Moon' lunar eclipse on April 4, 2015 will be visible in most of North America, South America, Asia and parts of Australia.
A total lunar eclipse happens when the Earth, sun and moon are perfectly aligned in space and the moon passes through the Earth's darkest shadow, CBC News has written.

Heavy storm hits Kathmandu, Nepal

Heavy storm around 4:30 pm Saturday evening has affected the lives of people of Kathmandu and halted traffics at various places in the capital city of Nepal.
Nepal Meteorological Forecasting division had predicted 40% chances of precipitation on Saturday. Strong storm along with thunderstorm and rainfall hit the capital city in the evening.

Soil erosion in Malaysia evacuates 12 families

Soil erosion in Malaysia's Jalan Plumbum has forced 12 families to evacuate from their homes. The retaining wall near the houses collapsed after the surrounding soil eroded.

"The area of the soil erosion had been declared as a disaster area level one," New Straits Times Online has written quoting Petaling district officer Datuk Mohd Misri Idris as saying.

Yellowstone eruption 2015: USGS recent report shows 56 earthquakes

The latest update of the Yellowstone volcano by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has shown total 56 registered earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region in March 2015.

The largest event was a small earthquake of magnitude 2.2 on March 23, at 00:25 AM MST, located about 16 miles north northwest of Lake Village, WY.

Kashmir flood causes chaos killing at least 17

Heavy floods and landslides have hit Jammu & Kashmir, killing at least 17 people and causing severe damage to several areas.

Authorities have shifted 269 families from landslide prone areas to the safer places in Bandipora in North Kashmir.