2014 Recent Disasters

Read the articles below to learn more about some of 2014's recent disasters.

Events are changing rapidly and while I do my best to keep up and post some of the latest disaster news, I can not read or post everything, so if you come across something that you would like me to include, please send us me an email using the Contact Me link above and I will get it posted.

Major Volcano Erupts in Japan

November 28, 2014 - Mount Aso spewed out lava debris and smoke more than a mile into the air cancelling flights according to Japan's Meteorological Society. It was the first eruption of its kind in 22 years.

Read more about Mount Aso Eruption Here

Rains in Pakistan Kill Hundreds

Kashmir has not seen the kind of rain as it has seen lately in more than 50 years - and it has taken its toll. Many have died and many are trapped due to the flooding. The waters rose quickly catching many off guard. The situation has become a humanitarian emergency.

Read more about the Pakistan Flooding Here

Landslides Kill and Floods Displace Many in Nepal

Thousands of families have been displaced and at least 156 bodies have been recovered in Nepal's Central Region after rains cause landslides. Heavy rain is causing massive flooding throughout many areas in the country and in India as well.

Roads, bridges, livestock and daily consumables have all been damaged causing much difficulty in the area.

Read more about Nepal Landslides Here

Napa Valley Quake Causes Destruction

August 2014 Earthquake causes homes to be destroyed as a 6.0 magnitude event rocks the Napa Valley in California. More than 150 people were injured in the major quake, which burned some buildings and crumbled other.

According to many scientists, California is due for an even bigger earthquake, so people should be prepared.

You can read more about the Napa Valley Earthquake here

Learn more about Earthquakes Here

Typhoon Rammasun Hits the Philippines

More than 100 people killed and more than 100,000 homes destroyed as this disaster strikes the Philippines. It made landfall on the 15th of July in the Northern Capital Region. It also downed power lines and took out communications.

It continued its destructive path in China and Viet Nam for the next few days as well, killing many more and destroying 10's of thousands more homes.

You can read more about the Philippine Typhoon here

Twin Tornadoes - Never Seen Before in History

Two tornadoes within a mile of each other hammer Nebraska in what meterologists call an unprecedented event. Nature knows no boundaries. These massive tornadoes fortunately hit mostly flat farmland, but sadly did pound one small town.

Two people died in the destructive path of one of the funnels and 19 people were injured. According to cnn.com, "The rare twin tornadoes that spun through on Monday night wiped out the town's business district, obliterated its fire station and ground 40 or 50 homes into rubble", Stanton County Sheriff Mike Unger said.

You can watch a video about the Twin Tornadoes here

Six Hikers Likely Fall to Their Death on Mt. Rainier

In a statement by National Park officials, a tragedy unlike anything experienced on the mountain in a very long time has unfolded in the last 24 hours. A group of 6 hikers have fallen over 3,000 feet from their last known location on Mount Rainier. It has been said that it is nearly impossible for anyone to have survived the fall.

Because the trek they were taking was so difficult, the hikers had to meet stringent requirements before being allowed to hike that particular area, but nothing could have prepared them for the weather, falling ice and rock.

Read more about the 6 Climbers on Mt. Rainier Here

Terrorist Strike in China's Xinjiang region

Many lives have been lost and more injured as an explosion tore through an open-air market sending debris flying and smoke into the air. Two SUV's drove right into shoppers and then began to throw explosive devices into the crowds. Terrorists are to blame for the violence and it isn't the first time it has happened in the area.

In this case, most of the people were older citizens picking up food for their daily meals. The targets of late seem to be citizens who are unable to fight back. The Chinese government is hopeful to find and prosecute the terrorists.

Read more about the Xinjiang Terrorist Attack Here

Train Derailment in Lynchburg, Virginia

Four train cars came apart and 9 others are involved in a train derailment that caused crude oil to explode, catch fire and spill into the nearby James River in Lynchburg, VA. CSX was transporting the oil from Chicago, with the derailment happening around 2 pm local time. Black smoke billowed into the air from an intense fire.

These tank cars can carry nearly 32,000 gallons of crude oil each and while most oil is transported by pipeline, there are insufficient pipelines in place from many places like North Dakota, so railroads are used instead.

Read more about the Lynchburg, VA Train Derailment Here

Read more about Oil and Chemical Spills Here

Tornadoes Devastate Arkansas and Oklahoma

2014 arkansas tornado on radar

I was tracking some of the storms in Arkansas last night as I have a daughter in college in Searcy, and here is one of the radar images of the tornado as depicted on RadarScope. That app is amazing, by the way.

The tornado which struck Arkansas may be one of the largest ever in the state. It began around Mayflower, wiping out that town and worked its way through Livonia and then headed in a north-easterly direction, staying on the ground for miles and miles. It missed Little Rock and many of the towns along a stretch of highway heading parallel to the track of the tornado, but that doesn't help the folks who lost their lives or their homes.

Okahoma wasn't spared, either. In the town of Quapaw, at least one person died and many homes were destroyed as well.

Read more about the 2014 Tornadoes Here

Read more about Tornado Safety Here

Northern Michigan Dam Fails

How common is dam failure? It is common enough to have occured in every state in the United States. According to FEMA, "About 11,800 dams in the United States are classified as high-hazard potential" and about 95% of all dams are state-regulated.

Was the Northern Michigan Dam one of the high-hazard dams? It is very possible. There are at least 80,300 dams listed in the National Inventory of Dams. With nearly 15% dams at risk, the dam failure in Michigan at least has the potential to be in the high-risk category. It will certainly be interesting to find out what the investigation determines down the road.

Read more about the Northern Michigan Dam Failure Here

Read more about Dam Failure Here

Chilean Tsunami Alert After 8.2 Earthquake

Thousands evacuated the coastal areas as an earthquake struck off the northern shores of the country. Fortunately, not much damage has been reported and only a handful of deaths, though those are certainly tragic. The toll could have been much higher with such a significant earthquake. Fires were reported in in some areas and landslides have been a problem as well. Chile has fantastic preparedness measures in place and this obviously has had a great impact on the low numbers of those killed and injured.

Of concern is the escape of some 300 female prisoners in one city. This is being addressed and will hopefully be under control soon.

Read more about the Chilean Natural Disasters Here

Los Angeles Earthquake Registers 5.1

The earthquake in Los Angeles was strong enough to damage buildings and rattle even the toughest of nerves. It was centered about 20 miles southeast of LA and felt as far away as San Diego. Aftershocks continued to rumble through the area for a long time afterward, too.

According to earthquaketrack.com, there have been more than 83 earthquakes over 1.5 on the richter scale on March 29, 2014 alone. Power outages are effecting some people and others are displaced due to structural damage to their homes, whether they are apartments or residential homes.

Read more about the Los Angeles Earthquake Here

4 dead, 18 missing landslide in Washington State

Rain-soaked ground gave way, sending mud cascading down a hillside, damaging homes and killing at least 4 and injuring many others. Screams of children under the debris could be heard, but rescuers were unable to reach them due to the continuing unstable layers of rock and debris.

It is possible that some people have simply not checked in, so the missing folks may be okay. It is difficult to get an accurate count in times of disaster. The Red Cross is hoping for everyone to contact them to ensure everyone is accounted for.

The landslide conditions could continue to worsen, too.

Read more about the Washington Landslide Here

Malaysia Airlines Flight Disappears

It couldn't be more frightening. A plane takes off in Malaysia and two hours into the flight, suddendly there is no contact with air controllers. There are 227 passengers on board including 12 crew members. Now, it has been learned that an IBM executive from North Texas named Philip Wood was believed to be aboard the jet.

According to Fox News, "Vietnamese air force planes spotted two large oil slicks late Saturday in the first sign that the aircraft had crashed." Could this be the word of terrorists or mechanical failure?

Read more about the Missing Malaysian Airplane Here

Floods hit England: More to Come

It has been a wet 2014 for the UK and it does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The waters keep rising with homes flooded around the Thames. As if that is not enough of a frustration, more rain is expected to fall in the area.

Prime Minister David Cameron has stated that he wants to do everything he can to help, but many people are complaining that the government has not done enough thus far. Of course, sandbags can only do so much as the waters continue to climb. The towns of Wraysbury, Chertsey and Datchet, among many others, hope the water levels recede soon.

Read more about the Floods in England

Indiana hwy reopens after massive pileup kills 3, injures 22

A mile-long stretch of a busy northern Indiana interstate reopened Friday morning, nearly a full day after a massive pileup that killed three people and injured more than 20.

Nearly four dozen vehicles — many of them tractor-trailers — were involved in the chain-reaction wreck Thursday afternoon on Interstate 94, the main artery connecting Detroit and Chicago in Indiana.

Read more about the Indiana Highway Pileup

Learn how protect yourself when winter weather hits hard: Severe Winter Storms

Pakistan bombing is latest in wave of attacks on polio workers

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- January 21, 2014 - Six police officers providing security for a vaccination team, and a boy standing nearby, were killed when a bomb struck their vehicle Wednesday in the latest deadly attack on health workers and authorities trying to fight polio in Pakistan, officials said.

pakistan polio killings

Seven others were injured in the attack in Charsadda, 15 miles outside the provincial capital of Peshawar in northwest Pakistan, where Taliban militants have deemed polio vaccinations a front for Western espionage and resorted to bombings and assassinations to stop the vaccine from being administered.

A day earlier, assailants gunned down three members of a polio vaccination team in the southern port city of Karachi.

Read more about the Pakistan Polio Attacks

Polar Vortex - January 2014

A deadly, record-shattering polar vortex was beginning to ease late Tuesday, with temperatures expected to be closer to normal Wednesday, but its effects — thousands more canceled flights and power grids straining as people cranked up the heat — will continue to be felt for days. Wednesday will still be unseasonably cold across the central and eastern U.S., but by the afternoon, subzero temperatures will be gone pretty much everywhere but extreme northern Minnesota, forecasters said.

All 50 states dipped below 32 degrees at some point Tuesday — even Hawaii, where it was 25 at the top of the Mauna Kea volcano, which is normally right at the freezing line this time of year.

Read more about the Polar Vortex

Deadly Bombing in Beirut Suburb, a Hezbollah Stronghold

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The second deadly car bomb to strike the Beirut area in less than a week exploded on Thursday in a southern suburb of residential apartment buildings that is home to top Hezbollah offices and heavily populated with the group's supporters.

The blast created a black column of smoke visible across the city, shattered windows 11 floors up and hurled debris hundreds of feet. It accelerated the tempo of political violence, which is mostly fueled by deep splits between Lebanon's Sunnis and Shiites that have been inflamed by the civil war in neighboring Syria.

Read More about the Deadly Bombing in Beirut


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