211 posts tagged with disaster.
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Jan. 28, 1986

We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Jan 28, 2006 - 82 comments

The Wilhelm Gustloff

On January 30, 1945, the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise ship packed full with refugees fleeing the Russian advance into Poland was sunk by a Russian submariane. Nearly 10,000 people died and it remains the world's worst single maritime disaster. Radio National's Late Night Live recently devoted a programme to this little-known tragedy. Well worth listening to (mp3).
posted by Huw on Jan 13, 2006 - 13 comments

1913 Massacre

Take a trip with me to 1913.
To Calumet, Michigan, in the Copper Country.
I'll take you to a place called Italian Hall,
Where the miners are having their big Christmas Ball.
This time of year, Woody Guthrie's haunting ballad "1913 Massacre" brings to mind one of the most tragic incidents in American labor history. At the midpoint of the bitter and violent miners' strike of 1913-14, miners and their families gathered for a Christmas party given by their union. An unidentified "stupid person" gave the shout of "fire", causing a panicked rush to escape. Unable to get out the door, more than 70 people, mostly children, were smothered to death. A forthcoming documentary (main link) explores the legacy of the event, using Guthrie's song as its starting point.
posted by Miko on Dec 21, 2005 - 19 comments

Ho Ho Ho?

"It's like putting Christmas lights up on your FEMA trailer."
posted by empath on Dec 1, 2005 - 41 comments

A cubic yard of water weighs nearly a ton.

The Day the Sea Came. The stories of six people caught up in last December's tsunami.
Maisara did not look back. She could hear an odd, ever-louder roar. But she never actually saw what she was running from. Only Anis, looking over her mother's left shoulder, beheld the oncoming water. "Mama, what is that?" the little girl kept yelling.
I know, it's the Times, it's long, it's old news, but it's absolutely riveting. Great reporting by Barry Bearak, and for this you need a reporter, not a novelist, because you can't make this stuff up. Part 1 (printer-friendly), Part 2 (printer), Part 3 (printer), Part 4 (printer).
posted by languagehat on Nov 27, 2005 - 25 comments

Guatemala flooding

DisasterFilter: 1250 dead, hundreds of thousands homeless. Though it pales in comparison to the death toll in Pakistan, and though it’s not as close (or visible) as the damage done by Rita and Katrina, the devastation due to Hurricane Stan has been, well, devastating in rural Guatemala, especially around Lake Atitlan.
posted by MrMoonPie on Oct 12, 2005 - 10 comments

The clay characters themselves are not kept after filming because they disintegrate

Classic Aardman (of Wallace and Gromit fame) animation stuff up in flames
posted by magullo on Oct 11, 2005 - 21 comments

Pakistan/Kashmir quake

Over 19,000 dead in earthquake in South Asia
posted by Snyder on Oct 9, 2005 - 66 comments

Left Behind: Bush's Holy War on Nature.

Left Behind: Bush's Holy War on Nature. Chip Ward enumerates the bizarro-world logic and Orwellian language of current American environmental policy. Even as Katrina's aftermath is focusing attention on links between global warming and more severe hurricanes, and studies of arctic sea-ice suggest that we may be 'past the point of no return' of climate change, the Department of "Justice" seems intent on blaming the flood of New Orleans on environmental groups. This War on Terra may not end in our lifetimes (despite the number of lives it will end...)
posted by dinsdale on Sep 18, 2005 - 33 comments

Obermann Swings!

The City of Louisiana. Keith Olbermann has crystallized my thoughts exactly(embedded wmv, qt vid here) regarding the ineptness (or is it the complete indifference?) that has played out for us in the past week.
posted by thedoctorpants on Sep 7, 2005 - 66 comments

No, really, it's the Mayor's fault.

Dept. of Homeland Security: Emergencies and Disasters
Preparing America In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America's families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.
Clearly, we are in good hands.
posted by Ethereal Bligh on Sep 3, 2005 - 83 comments

The Matrix shatters in New Orleans

The Matrix shatters before the eyes of the nation (sorry, WMP link) -- and on Fox News! For those old enough to remember, it's so significant that Geraldo Rivera says of conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, "it's like Willowbrook in there." (Rivera became famous in 1972 by exposing the horrendous conditions in a home for the mentally retarded called Willowbrook; finally, after decades of degrading himself, he remembers what his job is.) And Slate's Jack Shafer on "the rebellion of the talking heads" -- the refusal of reporters on the ground in New Orleans to regurgitate the official spin. [via TalkLeft]
posted by digaman on Sep 3, 2005 - 100 comments

Privatizing FEMA for New Orleans?

Innovative Emergency Management So this private company got the contract to develop the plan last year. The original release: the Baton Rouge-based emergency management and homeland security consultant, will lead the development of a catastrophic hurricane disaster plan for Southeast Louisiana and the City of New Orleans under a more than half a million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Now all press releases regarding it have been pulled from their website post-Katrina.
posted by amberglow on Sep 3, 2005 - 21 comments

Planning for the worst?

Tulane University Emergency Information This informational website -- almost a blog -- has replaced Tulane's regular home page, and I found it strangely compelling as it described the encroaching emergency day by day. It set me to thinking about institutional " crisis management plans" and programs in disaster management. Can you plan for a disaster with rational management science, or is it an illusion?
posted by realcountrymusic on Sep 1, 2005 - 16 comments

yup--Halliburton's there

The business of rebuilding --A range of companies that are expected to play a role in repairing damage, clearing debris and restoring power to the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast ... Some are saying that Katrina could actually boost the Gulf Coast's economic growth for the next few years, while others are forecasting higher energy prices, commodity shortages--and even steeper coffee prices. Worse, the storm may blast inflation throughout the economy.
posted by amberglow on Sep 1, 2005 - 17 comments

Still going...

Everyone is (probably) familiar with Something Awful. However, you may not be familiar with their hosting company - located in a New Orleans office building on Poydras in the CBD... but have you noticed that SA hasn't gone blank yet? It's because Zipa, and directNIC upstairs have the whole data center disaster contingency thing on lockdown. Blog and pictures from the directNIC guys are regularly updated. Color me impressed.
posted by kuperman on Aug 31, 2005 - 69 comments

Hurricane Data Smashed Offline by Katrina

National Data Buoy Center (Google cache), "the premiere source of meteorological and oceanographic measurements for the marine environment" in the U.S., is located at the NASA Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi gulf coast, is a primary source of hurricane observational data, and is currently offline. At present, the U.S. spends only $50 million annually on ocean observations of vital socio-economic impact. The latest national commission for ocean policy recommended $4 billion annually, including the construction of a distributed, disaster-proof, national ocean observing system, as a component of a global system. The previous ocean commission report in 1969 resulted in the formation of NOAA and the passage of the Coastal Zone Management Act. Will Congress act? The E.U. has.
posted by 3.2.3 on Aug 31, 2005 - 6 comments

Live Local Coverage Of Hurricane Katrina

Live Local Coverage Of Hurricane Katrina New Orleans television stations WWL and WDSU are providing nonstop live coverage of Hurricane Katrina. The Mississippi Department Of Transportation has live cams along the major highways which show the massive evacuation of the coastal areas of Louisiana and Mississippi including the metropolitan areas of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With gusts of 207 MPH this could set a new record for the largest hurricane to ever hit the United States.
posted by robliberal on Aug 28, 2005 - 624 comments

Katrina targets New Orleans.

Katrina targets New Orleans. Mandatory evacuations have been declared, and contraflow evacuation routes are in effect near New Orleans, as Hurricane Katrina, a very wet, drenching hurricane, approaches the city from the Gulf of Mexico, where it is gaining in size and strength, with an estimated 45% chance of making landfall as a category 4 or 5 hurricane. The computer models suggest that New Orleans will sustain a direct hit from Katrina, which could be "The Big One" warned about by experts, capable of flooding the city, polluting it with industrial waste, and even flooding the pump stations, leaving it incapable of pumping out the water. The hurricane is predicted to make landfall early Monday near Port Fourchon, which handles approximately 13% of U.S. oil imports, and 27% of U.S. domestic production.
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 27, 2005 - 272 comments

Galveston Hurricanes

Thanks to no warning time, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. History (ranked #4 in weather.com's Storm's of the Century). Now we can see them coming from their inception. Florida has been getting the recent hurricane headlines, but Texas also has a history. This season has seen an unprecedented number of hurricanes (for so early in the year) and the latest (Emily - already a Category 3) may be taking aim at Texas according to computer models. The Galveston Chamber of Commerce welcomes you! Track all tropical storm and hurricanes (and bone up on hurricane preparedness) at the NHC site. Hurricane basics at National Geographic: Forces of Nature - Hurricanes (FLASH)
posted by spock on Jul 14, 2005 - 7 comments

I.C.E.

Have you got ICE in your mobile? "Following the disaster in London . . . East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign with the support of Falklands war hero Simon Weston. The idea is that you store the word "ICE" in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency". LINK.
posted by azul on Jul 11, 2005 - 30 comments

Failing Gracefully

People don't panic in disasters Here's what Lee Clarke has to say about Panic: Myth or Reality. And he has some things to say about terrorism as well.
posted by warbaby on Jul 7, 2005 - 31 comments

Giant Steps

A fire supreme. An all-too brief series of photographs demonstrates the disastrous after-effects of a coal train with an overheated wheel bearing stopping on a wooden bridge to investigate the cause of the smoke...
posted by jonson on Jun 11, 2005 - 37 comments

Tsunami toll among women 3 times higher than men

The boxing day tsunami in Asia is said to have killed 3 times (3/4 of the way down the page) more women than men.
"Many of the losses are being tied to gender roles and styles--such as women's long hair, confining saris, extreme sense of modesty and selfless commitment to husbands and children--that hindered their ability to escape."
There have been reports of abuse (cache) and forced marriages in Refugee Camps as a consequence. Oxfam briefing note (.pdf) and summary.
via (previous tsunami threads)
posted by peacay on Apr 4, 2005 - 14 comments

A decimated, burnt pony

Net Disaster lets you destroy your favorite websites.
posted by nathan_teske on Mar 26, 2005 - 16 comments

Air Florida Flight 90

"Larry, we're going down, Larry," "I know it." This day twenty-two years ago, Air Florida Flight 90 took off from DC National Airport, in heavy snow, with insufficiently de-iced wings. A minute after takeoff, the plane crashed into the packed 14th Street Bridge, crushing several cars before falling into the Potomac River and sinking into the icy water. [More inside.]
posted by brownpau on Jan 13, 2005 - 30 comments

WHat's in a name?

'Tsunami' born out of disaster A young mother gives birth to one child while losing track of another.
posted by Cranberry on Jan 1, 2005 - 26 comments

The eye in the sky

Before, during and after. DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite imaged the coast of Sri Lanka at precisely the time the tidal wave hit the beaches. It was pure coincidence.
posted by OpinioNate on Dec 30, 2004 - 56 comments

South Asian Tsunamis

A massive earthquake - the largest since 1964 - centred off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra has caused tidal waves that are devastating coastal areas around the Indian Ocean including Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia.

Eyewitness report from the south coast of Sri Lanka. The death tolls are still rising, there is the risk of further tsunamis and it is being estimated that 100,000s of people will be left homeless.
posted by i_cola on Dec 26, 2004 - 193 comments

when faraway places f*ck up NYC

Boom! Forget terror attacks, the real reason for an orange alert in NYC has to do with ... rocks. I'll bet you've never heard of Cumbre Vieja. In fact, if the first hit on a google search for something is a PDF, you know it's obscure. (It's a volcano in the Canaries). If it erupts, it'll spell the end for Washington, New York and Boston (and parts of Europe will get a bit wet.) Hoo!

Now, short of hoping it will go away, there's nothing you can do, because it will take 35 million years to dismantle the dangerous bits of rock. Instead, the boffins are talking about evacuating the east coast. Yet more obscure places you wish you could forget menacing the future of the US, hey?
posted by bonaldi on Aug 9, 2004 - 33 comments

Retired general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster'

Retired general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster' A former Air Force chief of staff and one-time "Veteran for Bush" said Saturday that America's foreign relations for the first three years of President Bush's term have been "a national disaster" but that the president's Democratic rival was "up to the task" of rebuilding.
posted by Postroad on Aug 1, 2004 - 26 comments

Earthquake Rattles Midwest

4.5 magnitude earthquake hits Chicagoland.
posted by whoshotwho on Jun 28, 2004 - 40 comments

Terrible affair that General Slocum explosion...

One hundred years ago today, 1,358 members of the Kleindeutschland, the German neighborhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, boarded a chartered ferry named the General Slocum for a picnic excursion to Long Island. A fire broke out in the ship's hold while it cruised up the East River, the captain ran the vessel aground on the rocky shores of North Brother Island amid the swift currents of Hell Gate, and when it was all over 1,021 people (mainly women and children) had perished by drowning or from the fire, and it remained the worst single-day New York City disaster until 9/11.
posted by Vidiot on Jun 15, 2004 - 16 comments

Devastation

Pre- and post- explosion satellite images of the Ryongchon train station in North Korea.
posted by PenDevil on Apr 30, 2004 - 37 comments

Dramatic Climate Change

Dramatic Climate Change. The director who brought us aliens blowing up the White House has now turned his sights on climate change. In a very dramatic way. Will this highly sensationalized and unrealistic presentation of global warming have any impact on public attitudes? Are we looking at a possible a tipping point, or is director Roland Emmerich jumping the shark?
posted by alms on Mar 15, 2004 - 33 comments

Columbia's Final Minutes

Columbia's Final Minutes A fascinating (if horrifying) account of the shuttle's destruction.
posted by jpoulos on Jan 27, 2004 - 12 comments

Help Iranian quake survivors

Iran quake death toll hits 50,000. 150,000 survivors are homeless, hungry, and freezing. They really need your immediate help.
  • $110 can provide a tent for a family of five
  • $60 can provide drinking water to 30 people
  • $45 can provide space heaters to three families
  • $25 can provide blankets to a family of five

  • Mercy Corps has raised $188,397 so far, but this is far from enough.
    posted by hoder on Dec 30, 2003 - 39 comments

    20,000 feared dead in Iran quake

    20,000 feared dead in Iran quake. Google News Cluster.
    posted by arnab on Dec 26, 2003 - 63 comments

    8.0 Earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan

    8.0 Earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan. Holy crap. The Kobe quake in 1994 was a 6.9 - am I right to think that an 8.0 is about ten times worse than that one? Any mefites in Japan who can give us more information?
    posted by majcher on Sep 25, 2003 - 61 comments

    The Columbia Accident Investigation Board

    "These are good people"...but changes must be made. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board final report was released on Tuesday. Putting technical answers aside for the moment, the report targets the organizational and behavioral issues that led to a breakdown in communication, safety and responsibility. While acknowledging the good will at NASA, the report holds no illusions that changing this culture will be very difficult and very necessary in order to return to flight. What types of management/behavioral obstacles have you encountered in home, work, school or social organizations? How did you try to effect change and what obstacles did you encounter in an effort to make it more effective, safe, productive or enjoyable?
    posted by tgrundke on Aug 28, 2003 - 11 comments

    %

    The Pale Horse Percentage. The demise of civilization has been predicted since it began, but the odds of keeping Planet Earth alive and well are getting worse amid a breakneck pace of scientific advances, according to Martin Rees, Britain's honorary astronomer royal. Rees calculates that the odds of an apocalyptic disaster striking Earth have risen to about 50 percent from 20 percent a hundred years ago.
    posted by The Jesse Helms on Jun 9, 2003 - 21 comments

    Would duct tape help?

    When will Rainier erupt? Last night, I dreamt that Mt. Rainier erupted. Now, I don't believe in prescient dreams, but if this were to happen, and it has, we in Seattle might not need to leave Seattle, but those closer to the mountain are probably going to want to get out of the way quickly. I wonder if an earthquake could trigger an eruption, sort of a double-whammy natural disaster that would instantly transform Seattle into the least desirable place to live in the country?
    posted by tomharpel on Apr 5, 2003 - 26 comments

    Each according to his ability... not his guilt...

    The lawyers for the victims of the Rhode Island nightclub disaster are planning to sue a radio station that broadcast commercials for the concert. Wistow said that while he still needs to nail down the precise nature of Clear Channel's responsibility, he's all but certain to name the company [in the suit].
    posted by Pretty_Generic on Mar 10, 2003 - 34 comments

    A Burning Question

    Fire Disaster, What Have We Learned? The recent Great White nightclub tragedy has made it imperative to study previous deadly fires in public buidlings, such as the Iroquois Theater, the Cocoanut Grove, the Beverly Hills Supper Club, the Natchez Rhythm Club, the Happy Land Social Club, and the 1944 Hartford circus fire. The sad thing is that many of these deaths could have been preventable.
    posted by jonp72 on Mar 5, 2003 - 13 comments

    ready.gov

    Tom Ridge wants you to be ready. Kind of like Airtoons for the Homeland. I particularly like how Texas is the location of the radiation threat.
    posted by MattS on Feb 18, 2003 - 26 comments

    Disaster Kit

    US government suggest that all homes should have a disaster kit, in case of terrorist attack.
    posted by Beholder on Feb 11, 2003 - 59 comments

    Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster

    Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster - Scientists poring over 'infrasonic' sound waves Federal scientists are looking for evidence that a bolt of electricity in the upper atmosphere might have doomed the space shuttle Columbia as it streaked over California, The Chronicle has learned.
    posted by y2karl on Feb 7, 2003 - 29 comments

    Shuttle Achille's Hell ?

    Shuttle "Achille's Hell" According to this article, Shuttle has one. Curiously it's in the area in which that piece of insulation hit during launch.Were the astronauts warned ? Did they do some space walk to see what was wrong ? I would stop my car to go out and see if I heard a loud "thump" coming from somewhere.
    posted by elpapacito on Feb 3, 2003 - 38 comments

    Trophy Boys

    It's kind of weird how people in East Texas seem to have to "pose" with the debris, like it's a dead deer or a fishing trophy...
    posted by sparky on Feb 3, 2003 - 53 comments

    5...4...3...2...1...Goodbye, Columbia

    5...4...3...2...1...Goodbye, Columbia "There is something noteworthy a rocket can do that the shuttle cannot. A rocket can be permitted to fail." Gregg Easterbrook's 1980 Washington Monthly cover story looks into the Columbia's beginnings, the hazards he saw in the shuttle, and its weaknesses compared to rockets.
    Once you get into space, you check to see if any tiles are damaged. If enough are, you have a choice between Plan A and Plan B. Plan A is hope they can get a rescue shuttle up in time. Plan B is burn up coming back.
    [via Slate]
    posted by kirkaracha on Feb 2, 2003 - 32 comments

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