• Air pollution in Arabian Sea linked to cyclone intensity

    Pollution is making Arabian Sea cyclones more intense, according to a just-published study; traditionally, prevailing wind shear patterns prohibit cyclones in the Arabian Sea from becoming major storms; the new study suggests that weakening winds have enabled the formation of stronger cyclones in recent years

  • Army engineers need $1 billion to repair damaged levees

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is urgently requesting $1 billion to repair flood control systems along the Mississippi and Missouri river basins following damage from record floods this spring; the historic flooding forced the corps to blow up portions of the levee to relieve pressure, flooding thousands of acres of farmland to protect cities along the rivers

  • FEMA chief: agency to recover $1 billion for disaster relief fund

    Testifying before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee last week, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Craig Fugate said the agency expects to recover about $1 billion from its disaster relief projects this fiscal year

  • Bangkok's losing battle against floods

    The Thailand government has been taking desperate measure to try and prevent a massive flow of water from inundating the Thai capital — parts of which are already under water. The swelling Chao Phraya river, which meanders through the heart of the sprawling city, has already flooded several neighborhoods, while swelling water from the Gulf of Thailand poses another threat. One reason for Bangkok’s growing flood problem is the fact that over the last two decades, many draining canals have been paved over to make room for roads, leaving rising water with no way to escape.

  • Israel's aid to Turkey "humanitarian, not political"

    Israel was among the first countries to rush plane-loads of disaster and search and rescue equipment to Turkey after last Sunday’s devastated earthquake which has killed more than 550 and displaced thousands. Both sides insist that the disaster relief was a humanitarian gesture which will have no effect on the deteriorating relations between these two former allies.

  • Four tremors hit Bay Area

    Thursday saw the fourth tremor in as many days to hit California’s Bay Area. The 3.6 quake hit the Berkeley area at 5:30am. Unsettling as the quakes were, geologists have even more disturbing news for Bay Area residents: they say the quakes were much too small to relieve the seismic pressures that have been building along the Hayward Fault since the last Big One hit the area in 1868. Studies show that the Big Ones hit the area at regular intervals of about 160 years — meaning another Big One is coming.

  • Also noted

    Fukushima nuke pollution in sea ‘was world’s worst’ | Study: Japan nuclear radiation higher than estimated |FDA readies food transportation safety regulation | Report: China suspect in satellite interference by U.S.| Nuclear Power Safety Experts to Convene in Washington, D.C.| Texas Adds New Cameras To Border Security | Ottawa is hosting a major conference on non-lethal weapons technology

  • States over reliant on FEMA aid for small disasters

    This year’s unprecedented number of major natural disasters including Hurricane Irene, the record number of tornadoes, and the floods along the entire Mississippi and Missouri rivers strained the Federal Emergency Management’s (FEMA) coffers, but the number of relatively minor disasters that were declared as “major disasters” pushed FEMA resources beyond their limit; some critics say this trend needs to stop

  • Turkish PM criticizes builders for unsafe practices

    Sunday’s 7.2 tremor in Turkey killed at least 460 people, injured 1,350, destroyed more than 2,000 buildings, and displaced thousands; Turkish prime minister harshly criticizes Turkish builders, saying negligence amounts to murder

  • USAID, Swiss Re Partnership Targets Hunger, Natural Disasters

    USAID and Swiss Re a few days ago announced a 3-year partnership to help vulnerable communities fight hunger, build resilience to climate change, and reduce the costs of natural disasters in the Americas, Africa, and Asia

  • Also noted

    Integrated Emergency Response essential to Effective Disaster Management | How Steve Jobs helped emergency management | Assessment of Thailand Flooding Impact Updated | NY team assesses Prattsville disaster recovery | SBA approves more than $55 million disaster loans in New Jersey

  • Decontaminating Japan to cost at least $13 billion

    Last week Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced the government will spend at least 1 trillion yen, or $13 billion, to decontaminate areas affected by nuclear radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant

  • LA-area hospitals prepare for the big quake

    In earthquake-prone California, local hospitals and emergency responders are at hard at work preparing for the next big quake

  • What triggers volcanic "super-eruptions"?

    The “super-eruption” of a major volcanic system occurs about every 100,000 years and is considered one of the most catastrophic natural events on Earth, but scientists have long been unsure about what triggers these violent explosions; a new model offers an explanation

  • Creating incentives to purchase disaster insurance

    Natural disasters have become more common and more expensive – still, death, injury, and financial losses can be reduced through incentives to purchase insurance and install protective measures