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Latest Disaster News

Wildfire grows in Montana, but ski area evacuation liftedSun, 29 Mar 2015 04:38

In this photo released by the U.S. Forest Service, the Wildland Fire burns along Nichols Creek Saturday, March 28, 2015, near Red Lodge, Montana. Authorities evacuated a ski lodge in southern Montana because of a wind-driven wildfire heading toward it. The wildfire was reported about 1:45 p.m. Saturday and had burned an estimated 200 acres of grass and timber about 4 miles west of the community of Red Lodge. The fire began on open private land, but it was driven by winds gusting 35 to 50 mph into the Custer National Forest, where the Red Lodge Mountain Resort ski area is located. (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service)RED LODGE, Mont. (AP) — An unseasonable wildfire driven by strong winds prompted a short-term evacuation of a ski lodge in southern Montana.

Guinea president declares 45-day Ebola 'emergency' in 5 regionsSun, 29 Mar 2015 04:19

Guinean President Alpha Conde speaks during a press conference on the Ebola response strategy and post-Ebola economic recovery at the presidential palace in Conakry on March 17, 2015Guinean President Alpha Conde has declared a 45-day "health emergency" in five regions of the Ebola-hit nation in a bid to stem the spread of the deadly disease. Since the Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013, more than 24,000 people in nine countries have been infected with the virus, and over 10,000 of them have died. All but a handful of those deaths have occurred in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The World Health Organization declared in January that the epidemic was finally declining in west Africa after the three countries at the epicentre recorded a steady drop in cases.

Flood in shale mine in central China leaves 6 deadSun, 29 Mar 2015 02:42

BEIJING (AP) — A flood in a shale mine in central China has left six miners dead, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Deadly Oklahoma Twister Ends Slow Start to Tornado SeasonFri, 27 Mar 2015 13:05

Deadly Oklahoma Twister Ends Slow Start to Tornado SeasonA damaging tornado touched down outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, last night (March 25). A small twister was also reported in Moore, the Oklahoma City suburb that has been repeatedly ravaged by deadly twisters this decade. The two weak tornadoes ended a long dry streak for the 2015 tornado season. For only the second time since the 1950s — when good record keeping began — the first three weeks of March were tornado-free throughout the United States, according to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Want an affordable earthquake warning system? Use animals, scientists sayTue, 24 Mar 2015 18:15

By Kieran Guilbert LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Wild animals can predict earthquakes several weeks before they strike, and motion-activated cameras that track their movements could be adopted in quake-prone countries as an affordable early warning system, scientists said on Tuesday. Scientists using a series of cameras in an Amazon region of Peru noticed changes in animal behaviour three weeks before a 7.0 magnitude quake hit the area in 2011, according to a study published in the journal Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. Scientists have long believed that animals can predict earthquakes, but have until now relied on anecdotal evidence of changes in animal behaviour, they said. Rachel Grant, lead author of the report and lecturer in Animal and Environmental Biology at Britain's Anglia Ruskin University, said the study was the first to document a fall in animal activity before an earthquake.

Mutating H7N9 bird flu may pose pandemic threat, scientists warnWed, 11 Mar 2015 18:31

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - A wave of H7N9 bird flu in China that has spread into people may have the potential to emerge as a pandemic strain in humans, scientists said on Wednesday. The H7N9 virus, one of several strains of bird flu known to be able to infect humans, has persisted, diversified and spread in chickens across China, the researchers said, fuelling a resurgence of infections in people and posing a wider threat. "The expansion of genetic diversity and geographical spread indicates that, unless effective control measures are in place, H7N9 could be expected to persist and spread beyond the region," they said in a study published in the journal Nature. The H7N9 bird flu virus emerged in humans in March 2013 and has since then infected at least 571 people in China, Taipei, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Canada, killing 212 of them, according to February data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Chance of major earthquake in California higher than thought - scientistsWed, 11 Mar 2015 04:42

A man crosses the road in downtown Los AngelesCalifornia has a 7 percent chance of experiencing an earthquake of magnitude 8 or larger over the next three decades, U.S. government scientists said on Tuesday, higher than thought before. The 7 percent probability is based on new modeling, the United States Geological Survey said in a new study. "We are fortunate that seismic activity in California has been relatively low over the past century," said Tom Jordan, Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center and a co-author of the study. "But we know that tectonic forces are continually tightening the springs of the San Andreas fault system, making big quakes inevitable." The new modeling system takes into account shaking that might occur on several different faults, rather than looking at each rupture as a separate incident, said Ned Field, the lead author of the USGS report.