kajivar: (Disasterporn // Lightning)
[personal profile] kajivar2009-06-04 03:51 pm
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2009 Tropical Cyclone Season

This past Monday marked the beginning of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. Technically, the season started three days early when Tropical Depression One formed on May 28. The season is officially over on November 30, but in 2005, the season lasted much longer due to continued storm activity, lasting until January 2006. Noted hurricane experts Philip J. Klotzbach, William M. Gray, and their associates at Colorado State University have predicted near-average activit for this year (11 named storms, 5 hurricanes, 2 of Category 3 or higher). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecast is 9 to 14 named storms, 4 to 7 hurricanes, and 1 to 3 of Category 3 or higher.

The names for the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season are: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.

The 2009 Pacific hurricane season officially started on May 15 in the eastern Pacific (June 1 for the central Pacific) and will also end on November 30, 2009. Hurricanes in the Pacific are storms that form north of the equator and east of the International Date Line. The names for this year are: Andres, Blanca, Carlos, Dolores, Enrique, Felicia, Guillermo, Hilda, Ignacio, Jimena, Kevin, Linda, Marty, Nora, Olaf, Patricia, Rick, Sandra, Terry, Vivian, Waldo, Xina, York, and Zelda.

The 2009 Pacific typhoon season has no official start and end dates -- it runs year-round, though most tropical cyclones tend to form in the northwestern Pacific Ocean between May and November. Typhoons are storms that form north of the equator and west of the International Date Line. There is no yearly list of names for Pacific typhoons; rather, they are chosen from a list of names submitted from the countries in the area.

The 2009 North Indian Ocean cyclone season (the Indian Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere, east of the Horn of Africa and west of the Malay Peninsula) does not have official start or end dates, either, but most cyclones tend to form between April and December, with peaks in May and November. On average, 4 to 6 storms form in this basin every season. Cyclone Storm Bijli and Severe Cyclonic Storm Aila have already formed, and the remaining names on the list are Phyan, Ward, Laila, Bandu, and Phet.

The 2008–09 Australian region cyclone season, which covers Australia, Papua New Guinea, western parts of the Solomon Islands, East Timor and southern parts of Indonesia, is already over. It started on November 1, 2008, and lasted until April 30, 2009. There were a total of 23 cyclones this season, with 10 of them reaching enough strength to be named. They were Anika (Cat 2), Billy (Cat 4), Charlotte (Cat 1), Dominic (Cat 2), Ellie (Cat 1), Freddy (Cat 2), Hamish (Cat 5), Ilsa (Cat 4), Jasper (Cat 2), and Kirrily (Cat 1). The large storms caused a combined damage of approximately 103 million USD, but only four deaths.

2008–09 South Pacific cyclone season fell in the same date range. This season was unusual in the respect that no Tropical Cyclones developed into Severe Tropical Cyclones. There were 12 Tropical Depressions, and only five intensified into Cyclones, which were named Hettie (Cat 1), Innis (Cat 1), Joni (Cat 2), Ken (Cat 1), and Lin (Cat 2).

The 2008-09 South West Indian Ocean cyclone season began on November 15, 2008, and officially ended April 30, 2009. Only two storms reached hurricane strength this year, Fanele and Gael, both of which were Category 3 or higher, and only 3 storms made landfall in the entire season (TS Eric, Fanele, and TS Jade).
kajivar: (Disasterporn // Volcano at Night)
[personal profile] kajivar2009-05-12 11:56 pm
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This Day in History: The 2008 Sichuan earthquake

Today marks the one year anniversary of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake (also known as the Wenchuan earthquake).

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake was a deadly earthquake that measured at 8.0 magnitude occurred at 14:28:01.42 CST on May 12, 2008, in the Sichuan province of China. It killed at least 69,000, less than three months before China hosted the world in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

It was also known as the Wenchuan earthquake, after the location of the earthquake's epicenter, Wenchuan County in Sichuan province. The epicenter was 80 kilometers west-northwest of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, with a depth of 19 kilometers. The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries and as far away as both Beijing and Shanghai — 1,500 kilometers and 1,700 kilometers away — where office buildings swayed with the tremor.

Official figures (as of July 21, 2008 12:00 CST) state that 69,227 are confirmed dead, including 68,636 in Sichuan province, and 374,176 injured, with 18,222 listed as missing. The earthquake left about 4.8 million people homeless, though the number could be as high as 11 million. Approximately 15 million people lived in the affected area. It was the deadliest earthquake to hit China since the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed at least 240,000 people, and the strongest since the 1950 Chayu earthquake in the country, which registered at 8.5 on Richter magnitude scale. It is the 19th deadliest earthquake of all time.

Strong aftershocks, some exceeding magnitude 6, continue to hit the area even months after the main quake, causing new casualties and damage.

On 6 November 2008, the central government announced that it will spend 1 trillion yuan (about $146.5 billion) over the next three years to rebuild areas ravaged by the earthquake.

National Georgraphic has photos of the immediate aftermath of the quake, as well as one year later. Boston.com's Big Picture also has some heartwrenching aftermath pictures, and a set from six months later.


Source: Wikipedia
kajivar: (Disasterporn // Lightning)
[personal profile] kajivar2009-05-11 11:29 pm
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This Day in History: The 1953 Waco Tornado Outbreak

The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak was a tornado outbreak that affected portions of the central United States from May 9 - May 11, 1953. It is best known for the F5 tornado that struck Waco, Texas on May 11, 1953, killing 144 people.

In total, there were 33 tornadoes, including the F5 that hit Waco, 4 F4s, 4 F3s, 8 F2s, 13 F1s, and 3 F0s. Most of the damage occurred on May 11, first in San Angelo, TX, when an F4 tornado destroyed 320 homes and damaged 197. A 15 block area was devastated, and damage totaled $25.407 million in 2008 dollars. Thirteen people were killed, and 159 injured.

The Waco Tornado struck at 4:36 p.m. that same day. The tornado, over two blocks wide, hit the downtown area. Many people on the streets crowded into local businesses for shelter. However, few of the buildings were constructed sturdily enough to withstand the winds, and they collapsed almost immediately. The best-known example was the six-story R.T. Dennis furniture store, which crumbled to the ground and killed 30 people inside. Newer buildings with steel reinforcement, including the 22-story Amicable office building just across the street, weathered the storm.

Five people were killed in two cars crushed in the street, one of which was crushed by a traffic light to only 18 inches in height. The Dr Pepper bottling plant, today the Dr Pepper Museum, was severely damaged.

Bricks from the collapsed structures piled up in the street to a depth of five feet. Some survivors were trapped under rubble for 14 hours, and it took several days to remove the bodies from the rubble.

114 people were killed in the Waco area, with 597 injured and up to $41.2 million in property damage. 196 businesses and factories were destroyed, 217 sustained major damage, and 179 sustained lesser damages. 150 homes were destroyed, 250 sustained major damage, and 450 sustained lesser damages. Over 2000 cars were damaged or destroyed and the First United Methodist Church was severely damaged. Over half the dead -- 61 -- were in a single city block bounded by 4th and 5th streets and Austin and Franklin avenues.

The Waco Tornado remains tied with the 1902 Goliad Tornado as the deadliest in Texas history and the tenth-deadliest in US history. The storm was one of the primary factors spurring development of a nationwide severe weather warning system.


Source: Wikipedia
kajivar: (Disasterporn // Tornado 1)
[personal profile] kajivar2009-05-10 09:38 pm
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This Day in History: The May 2003 Tornado Outbreak Sequence

The May 2003 Tornado Outbreak Sequence in the United States was a series of tornado outbreaks that occurred from May 3 to May 11, 2003. Tornadoes began occurring over the affected area on April 30, but the most prolific continuous period was the seven day period of May 4-10. There were 401 tornado reports in 19 states and 1 Canadian province, 1,587 reports of large hail, and 740 reports of wind damage. More severe weather broke out this week alone than any other week in U.S. history. The old record for most tornado reports in one week was 171 during the week of the May 1995 Tornado Outbreak Sequence. The Super Outbreak of April 3 to April 4, 1974, still holds the record for the most tornadoes produced in a 24 hour period, and produced more significant and violent tornadoes than any other week in history.

Overall, the outbreak was responsible for at least 42 deaths across 5 states with the majority of them during the busiest day on May 4, 2003, in which 39 were killed in Tennessee, Missouri and Kansas. There were also hundreds of injuries and extensive damage was reported across several areas. There were 212 confirmed F0 tornadoes, 123 F1, 38 F2, 20 F3, and 6 F4.

States affected:
Alabama -- 20 tornadoes
Arkansas -- 15 tornadoes
Colorado -- 8 tornadoes
Georgia -- 9 tornadoes
Illinois -- 46 tornadoes
Indiana -- 5 tornadoes
Iowa -- 10 tornadoes
Kansas -- 40 tornadoes
Kentucky -- 26 tornadoes
Louisiana -- 1 tornado
Maryland -- 2 tornadoes
Michigan -- 1 tornado
Mississippi -- 10 tornadoes
Missouri -- 79 tornadoes
Nebraska -- 12 tornadoes
New York -- 2 tornadoes
North Carolina -- 10 tornadoes
North Dakota -- 1 tornado
Oklahoma -- 33 tornadoes
Ontario -- 1 tornado
Pennsylvania -- 1 tornado
South Carolina -- 8 tornadoes
South Dakota -- 2 tornadoes
Tennessee -- 39 tornadoes
Texas -- 11 tornadoes
Virginia -- 7 tornadoes
Wisconsin -- 2 tornadoes

Source: Wikipedia
kajivar: (Muse // Clio Reading)
[personal profile] kajivar2009-05-02 11:17 pm
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This Day in History: Cyclone Nargis

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Cyclone Nargis was a strong tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Burma (officially known as Myanmar). The cyclone made landfall in the country on May 2, 2008, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 146,000 fatalities with thousands more people still missing. The Labutta Township alone was reported to have 80,000 dead, with about 10,000 more deaths in Bogale. There were around 55,000 people missing and many other deaths were found in other towns and areas, although the Burmese government's official death toll was grossly underreported as they had simply stopped counting the dead to minimize political fallout. It was feared and quite possible that due to lack of relief efforts, a total of a million people already had or would have died from this catastrophe. Damage was estimated at over $10 billion (USD).

Nargis is the deadliest named cyclone in the North Indian Ocean Basin, as well as the second deadliest named cyclone of all time, behind Typhoon Nina of 1975. Including unnamed storms like the 1970 Bhola cyclone, Nargis is the 8th deadliest cyclone of all time, but an uncertainty between the deaths caused by Nargis and those caused by other cyclones (like the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone), could put Nargis as 7th deadliest or higher, because the exact death toll is unknown. Nargis was the first tropical cyclone to strike the country since Cyclone Mala made landfall in 2006, which was slightly stronger, but had a significantly lower impact.


More information can be found here.
kajivar: (Books // Flames)
[personal profile] kajivar2009-04-27 12:38 am
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On this day in history...the Sultana disaster

The steamboat Sultana was a Mississippi River paddlewheeler destroyed in an explosion on 27 April 1865. This resulted in the greatest maritime disaster in United States history. An estimated 1,800 of the 2,400 passengers were killed when one of the ship's four boilers exploded and the Sultana sank not far from Memphis, Tennessee.

Read more. )

Source: Wikipedia
kajivar: (Disasterporn // Lightning)
[personal profile] kajivar2009-04-19 06:41 pm
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Life After People

Last year, the History channel presented a documentary called "Life After People." It focused on speculation of what would happen to the planet if human beings suddenly no longer existed. The documentary was so popular that History has made it into a mini-series.
LIFE AFTER PEOPLE: The Series begins in the moments after people disappear. As each day, month, and year passes, the fate of a particular environment, city or theme is disclosed. Special effects, combined with interviews from top experts in the fields of engineering, botany, biology, geology, and archeology provide an unforgettable visual journey through the ultimately hypothetical.

As modern metropolises like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC are ravaged by nature; the series exposes the surprising insights about how they function today. Basing this futuristic world on the surprising history of real locations, already abandoned by man, like a century-old shack in the arctic and an abandoned island that was once the most densely populated place on earth are featured in the series.

In every episode, viewers will witness the epic destruction of iconic structures and buildings, from the Sears Tower, Astrodome, and Chrysler Building to the Sistine Chapel - - allowing viewers to learn how they were built and why they were so significant. Big Ben will stop ticking within days; the International Space Station will plummet to earth within a few short years, while historic objects, like the Declaration of Independence and the mummified remains of King Tutankhamen will remain for decades.

The series will also explore the creatures that might take our place. With humans gone, animals will inherit the places where we once lived. Elephants that escape from the LA zoo will thrive in a region once dominated by their ancestors, the woolly mammoth. Alligators will move into sub-tropical cities like Houston, feeding off household pets. Tens of thousands of hogs, domesticated for food, will flourish. In a world without people, new stories of predators, survival and evolution will emerge.

Humans won't be around forever, and now we can see in detail, for the very first time, the world that will be left behind in Life After People: The Series.
Episode 1, The Bodies Left Behind, debuts on Tuesday, April 21st, 10:00 PM.
What if every human being on earth disappeared? This isn't the story of how we might vanish--it is the story of what happens to the world we leave behind. In this episode, we'll see what happens to some of the bodies left behind. Most embalmed and buried, some mummified, others cryogenically frozen. Will any of them truly achieve immortality? Or will they be outlived by other memorials to mankind, like the Statue of Liberty or the Sistine Chapel. This is just part of a journey that will take us to the future of cities of Boston and Houston--as well as haunting sites already devoid of man.