Disasters

  • New Bay Bridge span designed to endure major quake

    Twenty years ago a 250-ton section of the Bay Bridge fell into the water as a result of a 6.9 magnitude earthquake; the new bridge design will be able to withstand the largest plausible earthquake to occur within a 1,500-year period

  • Asteroid collision: How to defend Earth, II

    Asteroid impacts are much rarer than hurricanes and earthquakes, but they have the potential to do much greater damage; moreover, what if an asteroid hits Earth in the Middle East or the Asian subcontinent? Such an event could be misinterpreted as a nuclear attack — both produce a bright flash, a blast wave, and raging winds; the result may be a nuclear war

  • Oil production to peak before 2030

    New reports says that oil will become increasingly expensive and harder to find, extract, and produce; significant new discoveries, such as the one announced recently in the Gulf of Mexico, are only expected to delay the peak by a matter of days and weeks; to maintain global oil production at today’s level will require the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia every three years

  • How high is the risk of civilization-killing asteroids?

    Planetary bombardments: scientists at a planets meeting discuss the risks of an asteroid colliding with Earth; researchers are worried about asteroid Apophis, which will come uncomfortably close to Earth on 13 April 2029; one scientist said that “It’s 10 times more likely that an unknown asteroid will slam into us from behind while you’re looking at Apophis”

  • Asteroid collision: How to defend Earth, I

    There are thousands of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) orbiting Earth; some of them are of a civilization-ending size, others are smaller — they will take out “only” a country or a city were they to collide with Earth; scientists say we should focus our minds on this danger

  • School closings owing to swine flu could cost between $10 and $47 billion

    The U.S. government urges schools to remain open, but there had already been at least 187 school dismissals across the country affecting at least 79,678 students; cost of closing all U.S. schools could reach billions of dollars

  • Is California's Big One coming?

    In 1992 and in 2004, remote earthquakes caused changes to the San Andreas fault; in both cases, there were distinct changes in the movement of fluids and an increase in the frequency of micro-earthquakes deep within the fault below Parkfield; what will be the effect on the fault of the recent Sumatra earthquake?

  • Majority of Americans would refuse emergency use H1N1 vaccine or additive

    Some 46 percent of people surveyed said they were concerned about
    getting swine flu, but nearly 86 percent said they thought it was unlikely or very unlikely that they themselves would become ill

  • Protection One unveils uConnect

    Large security provider shows a new, all-in-one online security management solution for businesses of all sizes

  • U.S. government takes leap into the Internet cloud

    Vivek Kundra, the White House CIO, said wider adoption of cloud computing solutions would allow federal agencies to “fulfill their missions at lower cost, faster, and ultimately, in a more sustainable manner”

  • GAO: FEMA not ready for nuclear, radiological attack

    GAO: “FEMA has not developed a national disaster recovery strategy or related plans to guide involvement of federal agencies in these recovery activities, as directed by federal law and executive guidance”

  • Swine flu continues to spread long after fever stops

    Swine flu appears to be contagious longer than ordinary seasonal flu, several experts said; more than 1 million Americans have been infected and nearly 600 have died from it

  • Corps asked to scrap floodgate plans in Belle Chasse, Louisiana

    There is a debate in Louisiana about the best way to protect homes in the Jesuit Bend area: the Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a floodgate — but this would leave some 1,400 homes unprotected; residents prefer an 8-mile levee

  • Statement by Secretary Napolitano on the eighth anniversary of 9/11

    Napolitano: “September 11 as a day of remembrance, and also a day of service; by serving our communities and our country today and throughout the year, we commemorate our past while also preparing for our future”

  • Telecoms endorse EU's eCall system for accident notification

    The EU wants new cars to be equipped with a device that would automatically call for help in the event of an accident; the GSM Association endorses the idea