• Insurers are warned to prepare for hurricane season

    NOAA updated forecast calls for 12 to 16 named storms between 1 June and 30 November; says Impact Forecasting’s Steven Drews: “insurance and reinsurance buyers must remember that any storm can cause massive destruction”

  • Grasshopper robot breaks high-jump record

    Researchers develop small - very small: it is 5 centimeters tall and weighs just 7 grams — hopping robot; swarms of such hopping robots could spread out to explore disaster areas, or even the surfaces of other planets

  • Civilian nuclear facilities in Sichuan confirmed safe

    The Chinese government has identified 32 radioactive sources in the earthquake-devastated Sichuan area - hospitals, research centers, factories, but no power plants; 30 sources have already been located and removed; the two remaining sources have been cordoned off and are being excavated

  • Chinese lakes may burst

    Last Monday’s earthquake, and subsequent aftershocks, weaken large dam and raise fears of man-made lake bursting, causing massive floods in the already ravaged region

  • Detailed studies of U.S. disaster preparedness offer recommendations

    Critical care panel tackles disaster preparation, surge capacity, and health care rationing; some recommendations require largely greater budgets; other pose profound ethical and moral questions

  • China lacks earthquake early-warning system

    Earthquake alerts are still in their infancy and few nations deploy them; China is one of the many countries which is yet to do so; such systems offer but a few seconds warning of a coming quake, but these few seconds may be enough to save many from death or injury

  • Worries about damage to Chinese dam

    Damage to a large Chinese dam near the epicenter of Monday’s earthquake raises worries about more troubles to come in the devastated region

  • Scientists debate link between climate change and storm ferocity

    Cyclone Nargis, just before it smashed into Myanmar, suddenly changed gear from a Category One to a Category Four cyclone just before it made landfall; similar changes were noted in other recent tropical storms; are changes linked to global warming?

  • U.S. hospitals could not handle terror attack

    Inquiry into the disaster preparedness of hospitals in several major U.S. cities conclude that they are — and will be — incapable to handle even a modest terrorist attack in those cities; one reason for for the lack of hospitals’ capacity: the Bush administration’s cuts in Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals overwhelm emergency rooms with patients suffering from routine problems, leaving no capacity to absorb and treat disaster victims

  • Scientists search for clues to Reno earthquake

    The shaking in Reno is unusual because the intensity of the quakes has increased over the past few weeks; generally, earthquakes tend to occur and are followed by smaller aftershocks

  • National level exercise begins In May

    The National Exercise Program (NEP) of FEMA will conduct National Level Exercise 2-08 (NLE 2-08) — a combined functional and full scale exercise — from 1 through 8 May

  • Reno urged to prepare for worse as earthquakes continue

    Scientists call on Reno residents to brace themselves for more earthquakes; more than 100 aftershocks were recorded on the western edge of the city after a magnitude 4.7 quake hit Friday night

  • Earthquake in Illinois could portend an emerging threat

    Earthquakes in the Midwest section of the United States were mostly the result of the New Madrid Fault in Missouri’s bootheel; seismologists now worry that the 18 April, 5.2 Richter earthquake which shook the Midwest originated in the Wabash Valley Fault — meaning that another fault is becoming active

  • Robots in search-and-rescure competition

    A robot competition takes place in Germany this week; the robots compete with each other in how well they traverse, autonomously and without any input from handlers, through a maze resembling the aftermath of a natural disaster; robots sniff out toy dolls that either emit CO2, give off heat, make noise, or move

  • Forecast: The Big One is coming

    Geologists say that there is a 99.7 percent chance a magnitude 6.7 quake or larger will strike by 2037; California is one of the most seismically active regions in the world, where more than 300 faults crisscross the state