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January 30 2014

Massive Landslide Decimates a 300-Year-Old Barn in Italy
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An enormous boulder plunged from a height 2,624 feet and plowed through a 300-year-old barn in a small town in northern Italy on Jan. 21, destroying and leveling it. A piece of a mountain detached from a cliff, turning into several boulders that measured between 3,000 and 4,000 cubic meters.

The house attached to the barn in the town of Ronchi di Termeno (Tramin) of was also hit by another boulder, but wasn't majorly damaged. Luckily, no one was injured or killed by the landslide, but the tenants of the house, the Trebo family, were forced to evacuate, according to local news reports

More about Photos, Italy, Natural Disaster, Us World, and World

December 27 2013

Emergency Alert System May Go Commercial
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Federal emergency managers are considering replacing their current custom-built system for notifying the public about emergencies with a commercial alternative, contracting documents show.

The custom-built system, known as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System - Open Platform for Emergency Networks, or IPAWS-OPEN, has not met a slate of minimum standards, such as operating with 99.9% uptime and allowing the president and other officials to alert the public about emergencies within 10 minutes, according to contracting documents posted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday. Read more...

More about Us Government, Fema, State Of Emergency, Emergency, and Natural Disaster

December 06 2013

Slippery Clay at Fault in 2011 Japan Earthquake
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Slippery clay that looks like scaly black dragon skin is the crucial clue needed to explain the 2011 Japan earthquake's surprising impact, according to three studies published Thursday in the journal Science.

Scientists now have four lines of evidence (including a February 2013 study also published in Science) that help explain why Japan's earthquake-generating fault acted so weirdly during the 2011 temblor.

"It seems that frictional resistance at this location is getting close to zero, and we never really thought it could go so low," said Patrick Fulton, a geophysicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz and lead author of one of the studies. "This is definitely providing new ideas and challenging our understanding of earthquakes and fault ruptures." Read more...

More about Earthquake, Japan, Science, Japan Earthquake, and Natural Disaster

November 18 2013

What Caused the Deadly Midwestern Tornado Outbreak?
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A slew of tornadoes slammed the state of Illinois and surrounding areas Sunday, killing at least six people and damaging or destroying thousands of homes, according to news reports. There were 81 tornado reports submitted to the National Weather Service Sunday, most of them in the Land of Lincoln, though more than one report could be for the same tornado.

The devastation was significant enough that Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven counties state disaster areas, including Tazewell County, where a twister left parts of the town of Washington in ruins.

One of the tornadoes in this area was preliminarily declared an EF-4, the second strongest type of tornado, said Illinois state climatologist Jim Angel. These twisters pack winds between 166 to 200 mph and are strong enough to destroy sturdy houses and hurl cars Read more...

More about Weather, Tornado, Natural Disaster, Us World, and Us

November 12 2013

How Online Mapmakers Are Helping the Red Cross in the Philippines
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It will be months before we know the true damage brought about by super typhoon Haiyan. The largest death tolls now associated with the storm are only estimates. Aid workers from across the world are now flying to the island nation, or they just recently arrived there. They — and Filipinos — will support survivors and start to rebuild.

But they will be helped by an incredible piece of technology, a worldwide, crowd-sourced humanitarian collaboration made possible by the Internet

What is it? It’s a highly detailed map of the areas affected by super typhoon Haiyan, and it mostly didn’t exist three days ago, when the storm made landfall. Read more...

More about Weather, Red Cross, American Red Cross, Natural Disaster, and Us World

November 09 2013

The Philippines' Typhoon Haiyan: Reliable Sources to Follow
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Projected as one of the strongest typhoons on record, Typhoon Haiyan tore through the central islands of the Philippines on Friday, causing destruction and an estimated death toll of more than 1,000 people, according to multiple reports.

With sustained winds of up to 195 miles per hour, Typhoon Haiyan hit hardest in Tacloban, an eastern coastal city in the Philippine province of Leyte. The government reported an official death toll of 138 on Saturday evening. Multiple reports said seaside homes were ravaged, and that power, water and communications are down.

More about Death, Natural Disaster, Us World, World, and Philippines

November 08 2013

After Super Typhoon Haiyan, Filipinos Log Online for Aid
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Super Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, is possibly the world’s biggest storm ever, and it landed in the Philippines this morning. TV broadcasts are full of advice and warnings, but the Internet is yet again where many people are turning for help.

Google, as it often does in times of disaster, has already prepared a crowdsourced crisis response map for Filipinos wanting to track Yolanda and the devastation it has already caused. The map shows the landslide and flood-prone areas in the country. It also includes information on evacuation centers, hospitals and command posts near the affected areas. Read more...

More about Google, Internet, Weather, Disaster Relief, and Natural Disaster

September 17 2013

An Interactive Map of the Colorado Floods
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The past week has seen devastating flooding to Colorado's Front Range, forcing thousands to flee their homes and killing seven.

The Atlantic's In Focus gallery is showcasing some of the images that illustrate the scale of this disaster. To better understanding the flood's geography, we have this map, from the mapping company Esri, which shows which regions are flooded and where those in need can find shelters. A tip: At the top, you'll need to hide the intro in order for the drop-down menu to work, and once you've done that, you'll be able to select among the four areas the map focuses on (Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins). Read more...

More about Weather, Flooding, Interactive Map, Natural Disaster, and Us World

July 03 2013

A Digital How-To for Disaster Preparedness
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You never know exactly when disaster will strike, and even in this age, no app or gadget can fully replace good old-fashioned preparation.

Keeping reliable technology on hand, however, can potentially save lives. We'll walk you through five important steps to cover your bases.

1. The Basics

FEMA has a very thorough disaster supply list online. You can download its official FEMA app, which lists preparedness information for all types of disasters — including emergency kit checklists, maps and a section to plan meeting locations. The app is available for free on iOS and Android. Read more...

More about Apps, Iphone, Features, Emergency, and Natural Disaster
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