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Latest Natural disaster Stories

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2008-12-17 12:20:00

According to a "death map" published on Tuesday, heat is more likely to kill an American than an earthquake, and thunderstorms are more deadly than hurricanes.The study compiled which natural disasters kill Americans county-by-county in an effort to help emergency preparedness officials plan better.The team at the University of South Carolina found that heat and drought caused 19.6 percent of total deaths from natural hazards, with summer thunderstorms causing 18.8 percent and winter weather...

2008-10-04 18:00:11

SCIENTISTS at the University of Liverpool have tested an 'invisibility cloak' that could protect against tsunamis. City mathematicians, working with European physicists, have found that coastal defences could be made 'invisible' when water is guided through a special structure called metamaterial. Dr Sebastien Guenneau, from the University's Department of Mathematical Science, said: "Defending land against flooding and tidal waves is a big issue for scientists and engineers all over the...

2008-05-09 16:37:54

The Myanmar cyclone. The earthquake off the coast of Japan. The Chilean volcano. Has Earth gone bonkers? Not at all. This level of natural activity is normal for Earth, scientists say. "Mother Nature is just reminding us that she is in charge," Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told LiveScience. That also means the recent Midwestern quake (centered in Illinois) and temblors near Reno, though unnerving and frightening to...

2007-12-24 08:47:19

Three years after the devastating tsunami that destroyed coastal communities around the Indian Ocean, the exact death toll remains uncertain. But survivors' tales of similarly massive waves sweeping in from the ocean are passed down by elders in certain communities and may be enough to save lives in the event of another disaster like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, a researcher says. The tsunami that struck the coasts of Thailand, India and Indonesia on December 26, 2004 caused very...

2006-07-18 04:33:03

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian responses ranged from despair to acceptance after a tsunami on Monday killed at least 256 people on Java, the latest in a line of disasters to hit the sprawling, developing nation in recent years. The biggest was the December 2004 tsunami that struck Indonesia's Aceh province the hardest, leaving 170,000 people dead or missing. But since then, few months have gone by without landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or floods that have taken or...

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2006-03-27 06:55:00

By Emma Batha BONN -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton urged the world on Monday to invest in early warning systems to prevent the massive death and destruction seen in recent earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. "Hazards are not disasters by definition. Hazards only become disasters when lives and livelihoods are swept away," Clinton said in a statement before the start of the International Early Warning Conference in Bonn on Monday. "Making communities safer -- by better...

2006-01-30 09:30:00

By Richard Waddington GENEVA -- More frequent floods and drought, blamed by some scientists on global warming, brought a near 20 percent rise in natural disasters in 2005, researchers said on Monday. But the death toll fell to 91,963 from 244,577 in 2004 when the figures were swollen by the impact of the Asian tsunami, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and Belgium's Louvain research center said in a report. Over 80 percent of the fatalities in 2005 came...

2005-11-16 20:21:29

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The insurance regulators of California, New York, Florida and Illinois said on Wednesday they have a framework plan for a national program to provide insurance for catastrophic events, excluding acts of terrorism. The regulators had met on Tuesday and Wednesday in Burlingame, California to discuss the plan for the program and at a news conference said they would aim to craft a bipartisan coalition of local, state and federal officials to support it. "Our...

2005-10-21 08:17:35

SHANGHAI, China -- Governments need to stop assuming that death and destruction from natural disasters are inevitable and work more closely with scientists on ways to minimize the damage, a leading scientific group said Thursday. Governments focus too much on response rather than prevention, while the number of known disasters has risen from about 100 per decade before 1940 to nearly 2,800 in the 1990s, the International Council for Science said in a report. "It's time to change the...

2005-10-19 12:28:46

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent OSLO (Reuters) - Governments too often ignore risks of natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes and could save lives and billions of dollars with better planning, an international study said on Thursday. Over the past century, the number of recorded natural disasters surged to 2,800 per decade from 100, according to the study for the International Council for Science, a non-government organization of experts from around the world....