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Posts Tagged ‘catastrophe’

China acknowledges Three Gorges dam ‘problems’

May 19, 2011 1 comment

bbc

The Three Gorges Dam discharges water to lower the level in a reservoir in Yichang (July 2010) The Three Gorges is the world’s largest dam

China has admitted that the Three Gorges Dam has created a range of major problems that need solving quickly.

Top leaders say the project has led to environmental problems and issues involving relocating 1.3m people.

The Three Gorges is the world’s largest dam and could have cost up to $40bn. This appears to be the first time that central government leaders have admitted to problems with the project.

The admission came in a statement from top government body, the State Council.

The statement initially praised the scheme’s achievements, saying it had helped alleviate flooding, improve navigation and generate electricity.

But it went on: “There are urgent problems that need to be addressed, such as stabilising and improving living conditions for relocated people, protecting the environment, and preventing geological disasters.”

‘Catastrophe’

China’s revolutionary leader Mao Zedong dreamed of building the Three Gorges Dam. Construction started in 1994.

 More than a million people have been affected by Read more…

Earthquake deaths increasing worldwide – UN report

May 10, 2011 Comments off

tvnz

Earthquake deaths increasing worldwide - UN report (Source: ONE News)Charlotte Bellis took this photo in the Christchurch CBD shortly after the quake struck. – Source: ONE News


Fatalities from earthquakes are increasing worldwide but the chance of dying in a weather-related disaster is diminishing the United Nations said today.

The UN report also claimed economic losses from catastrophes are rising in all regions often due to a lack of investment

Damage to infrastructure – schools, health centres, roads, bridges – is soaring in many low- and middle-income countries despite improvements in many early warning systems, it said in the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Rich countries are also increasingly exposed, with damage on the rise following floods in Australia and earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand already this year, it said.

“Progress is mixed,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in the report.

“The recent events in Japan point to new and catastrophic risks that need to be anticipated,” he warned, referring to the earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan last March that triggered the worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

Disasters have already caused more than $300 billion in losses so far this year, roughly the same as in all of 2010, a UN Read more…

Magnetic Monster: Geomagnetic Field Reveals Increasing Danger of ‘Continent Killing’ Quakes

March 22, 2011 Comments off

Salem-News.com

The earth’s history is one of violence.

Doomsday

(CHICAGO) – Russian geophysicist Pogrebnikov concurs with his colleagues at Harvard and Stanford: the earth may be in for a hell of a time.

Imagine events just short of doomsday and you’ll have a small glimpse of the global catastrophes that may lie just ahead.

Some scientists have seen this future—and the future is damn scary.

The former geologist Jim Berkland also “sees the future” on a regular basis, at least as far as earthquakes are concerned. He watches the geomagnetic field by watching aberrations in animals: odd actions, bizarre events, eerie mass deaths.

And the world’s animals are self-destructing in swarms, hordes, flocks.

The magnetite embedded in many animal’s brains make them sensitive to changes in the magnetic field. When that field is disrupted, some animals go mad. They get lost. Whales beach themselves. Birds desperately soar in confused flight and crash into each other, the ground and buildings.

Sometimes they just fall from the sky and die.

Berkland, a former USGS scientist has an 80 percent success rate predicting significant Read more…

California water future called ‘bleak’

February 28, 2011 Comments off

terradaily.com

 

by Staff Writers
Sacramento (UPI) Feb 24, 2011
Scientists say the water situation in California is “bleak” and the state needs to act to bolster its entire aquatic ecosystem.

“Our assessment of the current water situation [in California] is bleak,” says Ellen Hanak, a Public Policy Institute of California economist. “California has essentially run out of cheap, new water sources.”

The institute has released its findings in a publication written by a team of scientists, engineers, economists and legal experts from three University of California campuses and Stanford University, AAA ScienceMag.org reported Thursday.

Their report says water quality is deteriorating, pollution from agricultural runoff is increasing, and efforts to manage water and species recovery are Read more…

Extent of Corruption in Countries Around the World Tied to Earthquake Fatalities

January 18, 2011 Comments off

God is talking and you’re not listening…

A new assessment of global earthquake fatalities over the past three decades indicates that 83 percent of all deaths caused by the collapse of buildings during earthquakes occurred in countries considered to be unusually corrupt.

Authored by Professor Nicholas Ambraseys of the Imperial College of London and Professor Roger Bilham of the University Colorado at Boulder, the study also found that in some relatively wealthy countries where knowledge and sound business practices would be expected to prevail, the collapse of many buildings is nevertheless attributable to corrupt building practices.

A commentary piece on the subject is being published in the Jan. 13 issue of Nature.

Corrupt building practices — which are generally covert and hard to quantify — can include the use of substandard materials, poor assembly methods, the inappropriate placement of buildings and non-adherence to building codes, said the authors.

Ambraseys and Bilham used data gathered by Transparency International, a global organization based in Berlin that operates through more than 70 national chapters around the world. Transparency International annually generates a Read more…

Brisbane on edge ahead of catastrophic flood peak

January 11, 2011 Comments off

Authorities are urging people to stay calm as Brisbane and Ipswich prepare for unprecedented flooding over the next two days.

Heavy rain, releases from the giant Wivenhoe Dam and high tides will combine to cause major flood peaks in both cities in the next couple of days, with river levels rising above the historic 1974 floods.

And a four-year-old boy’s death in Ipswich has taken the Queensland floods death toll to 10.

“We are facing one of our toughest ever tests, we will only pass this test if we are calm,” Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said.

“Now is not a time for panic, it is a time for us to stick together.”

Authorities say about 6,500 properties could be flooded as the Bremer and Brisbane rivers hit hits record levels over the next two days.

As panicked residents strip supermarket shelves bare, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson says people should stay calm.

“Stay calm but act wisely and if you’re in doubt, evacuate to friends or evacuate, don’t take any unnecessary risks,” he said.

The Brisbane River is predicted to rise to 3 metres tonight, 4.5 metres tomorrow and is likely to peak higher than the 1974 floods that reached 5.45 metres.

Large parts of Brisbane are already affected by flooding. A number of shops Read more…