is a genealogy site, compiling information on the historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents of Canada and the U.S. that our ancestors endured, as well as, information about their life and death. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Dec 9, 2008 -
"When I finished The Shock Doctrine
, I sent it to Alfonso Cuarón because I adore his films and felt that the future he created for Children of Men
was very close to the present I was seeing in disaster zones. I was hoping he would send me a quote for the book jacket and instead he pulled together this amazing team of artists -- including Jonás Cuarón who directed and edited -- to make The Shock Doctrine short film
[embedded YouTube]. It was one of those blessed projects where everything felt fated." - Naomi Klein (previously
posted by mkultra
on Sep 8, 2007 -
In the summer of 1995 there was a week-long heat wave in Chicago
. Over 700 people died. Most of them were the elderly, poor, and African-Americans. Link above is a Slate article by Eric Klinberg who wrote the definitive Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago
(2003) in which he concludes that "a city, in its decision to operate like a corporation, experienced the breakdown of massive social services" and the resulting "widening cracks in the social foundations of America's cities".
posted by stbalbach
on Sep 9, 2005 -
More than 30 feet of water stood over land inhabited by nearly one million people. Almost 300,000 African Americans were forced to live in refugee camps for months. Many people, both black and white, left the land and never returned. "When Mother Nature rages, the physical results are never subtle. Because we cannot contain the weather, we can only react by tabulating the damage in dollar amounts, estimating the number of people left homeless, and laying the plans for rebuilding. But . . . some calamities transform much more than the landscape."
No, not Katrina. The Great Mississippi flood of 1927. Author John M. Barry in his definitive work on the subject, "shows how a heretofore anti-socialist America was forced by unprecedented circumstance to embrace an enormous, Washington-based big-government solution to the greatest natural catastrophe in our history, preparing the way (psychologically and otherwise) for the New Deal."
The author is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research of Tulane and Xavier universities (whose web site is *understandably* not answering right now). <Heading for the library to find this book>
posted by spock
on Aug 30, 2005 -
The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
--...Although hotels and industry have already started reconstructing on the coast, in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and India, governments have passed laws preventing families from rebuilding their oceanfront homes. Hundreds of thousands of people are being forcibly relocated inland, to military style barracks in Aceh and prefab concrete boxes in Thailand. The coast is not being rebuilt as it was--dotted with fishing villages and beaches strewn with handmade nets. Instead, governments, corporations and foreign donors are teaming up to rebuild it as they would like it to be: the beaches as playgrounds for tourists, the oceans as watery mines for corporate fishing fleets, both serviced by privatized airports and highways built on borrowed money....
Naomi Klein on "reconstruction" money after natural disasters--and who benefits. (Makes Wolfowitz seem like a less unlikely choice to head the World Bank after reading, too.)
posted by amberglow
on Apr 17, 2005 -
"On March 18  students prepared for the next day's Inter-scholastic Meet in Henderson. At the gymnasium, the PTA met. At 3:05 P.M. Lemmie R. Butler, instructor of manual training, turned on a sanding machine in an area which, unknown to him, was filled with a mixture of gas and air. The switch ignited the mixture and carried the flame into a nearly closed space beneath the building, 253 feet long and fifty-six feet wide. Immediately the building seemed to lift in the air and then smashed to the ground. Walls collapsed. The roof fell in and buried its victims in a mass of brick, steel, and concrete debris. The explosion was heard four miles away, and it hurled a two-ton concrete slab 200 feet away, where it crushed a 1936 Chevrolet. Of the 500 students and forty teachers in the building, approximately 298 died. Some rescuers, students, and teachers needed psychiatric attention, and only about 130 students escaped serious injury. -- From the Handbook of Texas Online
. (Other accounts
, personal recollections
, and photos
It was one of the worst disasters in Texas history. With Texans' love of superlatives, why is this a story no one tells?
posted by mudpuppie
on Mar 18, 2005 -
If you're like me, you probably just finished watching 10.5
, and are still giggling at the "disastrous" screenplay and campy drama. Well, the science is in: Magnitude 10.5 is impossible
, brick buildings would collapse long before the Space Needle
, fault lines don't follow train tracks, California will not slide into the sea
, bottomless pits do not swallow up unfortunate red-shirted extras
, and for crying out loud, Lex, don't use nuclear warheads either to blow the tectonic plates apart or
weld them shut.
posted by brownpau
on May 3, 2004 -
California's Tsunami Risk.
" In the open ocean, tsunami waves travel at speeds of up to 600 miles per hour... As the waves enter shallow water, they may rise rapidly. Typical peak wave heights from large tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean over the last 80 years have been between 21 and 45 feet at the shoreline... If a large earthquake displaces the sea floor near the coast, the first waves may reach the shore minutes after the ground stops shaking. There is no time for authorities to issue a warning."
40 years ago this weekend
the Alaskan Prince William Sound earthquake and its ensuing tsunami killed over 120 people -- 12 as far South as California. Nothing compared to the thousands hit in the 1998 Papua New Guinea
tsunami disaster, but still it's worth keeping an eye on California's tsunami risks
. Or the entire West Coast's activity
posted by namespan
on Mar 28, 2004 -
Iran considers moving capital away from Tehran.
Tehran lies on a major seismological fault and experts have long warned that a strong earthquake in the city would be devastating. A professor of geophysics at Tehran university, has warned that if a quake of similar magnitude hit Tehran it would kill more than 700,000 people. Government buildings would be destroyed.
posted by hoder
on Jan 5, 2004 -
"Buildings of Disaster
are miniature replicas of famous structures where some tragic or terrible events happened to take place. The images of burning or exploded buildings make a different, populist history of architecture, one based on emotional involvement rather than scholarly appreciation."
posted by MrMoonPie
on Aug 11, 2003 -
The Tricolor, a 50,000-ton cargo vessel carrying 3000 automobiles worth more than $40 million, is being raised.
Cost to raise the Tricolor
: $40 million. It sunk, then was hit three times
, once by the Nicola, then by the Vicky
(an oil tanker which spilled some, and killed marine life
), then by a salvage tug. Good summary
of the collisions in Dutch and English, with photos (similarly in French
). Official press briefings
offer good outline of all stages since the beginning. The automobile manufacturers tried to prevent pictures
being taken of the destroyed automobiles, but there they are
and even more and better
. The official Tricolor salvage site
offers a PDF file on how the salvage is being done
: in part, with a huge cutting wire.
posted by Mo Nickels
on Aug 8, 2003 -
The Death of a Dirigible - "The airship Shenandoah, nose to her high mooring mast, was floating gracefully with the variable breezes. Her twenty gas bags were about 91% full; her tanks loaded with 9,075 pounds of water and 16, 620 pounds of gasoline..."
I was fascinated by this account of the disaster that befell the Navy airship 'Shenandoah', marking the beginning of the end of the era of rigid bodied airships. [ Via a comment on /. ]
posted by GriffX
on Aug 6, 2002 -
Three Dead From Southern Maryland Tornado.
This is the kind of news story you skip because it doesn't happen in your state. It didn't even register to me until I realized that one of my daily reads - Moire
- lives in La Plata. The twister went through her front yard. Her account of the storm and its aftermath is pretty powerful. Were any other bloggers involved? (It's my first post; be gentle.)
posted by web-goddess
on Apr 29, 2002 -
How to survive extreme natural events.
promoting understanding disasters from the "roots" up, and preventing disasters from the "bottom up" as well as the "top down". Whatever you think of his politics, this project should be encouraged.
posted by asok
on Nov 21, 2001 -