Update info

Updated every Friday.

Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017

What happened this week?


1.      6.0 earthquake punctuates a sustained seismic swarm off Valparaíso, 30 km (18 mi) offshore of the major port city of Valparaiso, Chile. Santiago, Chile’s capital, lies another 100 km (60 mi) inland, where the largest quake was widely felt...Read more

2.      6.9 earthquake in Chile follows intense seismic swarm. This earthquake’s epicenter was offshore of the port city of Valparaiso, and occurred at a depth of 25 km according to both the USGS and EMS...Read more

Dominican Republic. 580 people are displaced and 47 sectors incommunicado due to the rains that affected this week the Dominican Republic, where 15 of the 32 provinces are on alert...Read more

Jamaica. Heavy, persistent rain caused by a trough in the vicinity of Jamaica over the weekend brought disaster to sections of south-east Clarendon Saturday...Read more

United States.

1.      A 3.5-magnitude earthquake shook extreme northwest Colorado on Saturday morning, alarming residents in the town of Rangely...Read more

2.      A Flash Flood Watch was issued for portions of southeastern Kentucky from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon...Read more

3.      Dozens of firefighters have spent Monday on the lookout for hot spots, after a fast moving wildfire burned through the Golden Gate Estates area over the weekend (Florida)...Read more

4.      The Sawmill Fire burning north of Sonoita is now estimated to be 18,000 acres in size and is expected to grow as strong winds grounded air tankers on Tuesday afternoon (Arizona)...Read more

Interesting Facts

Forest fires affect 3.9 thousand hectares in 2017 (Mexico). So far this year, 3,941 forest fires have been registered in 31 states of the country, which affected an area of ​​122 thousand hectares, according to the National Forest Commission (CONAFOR)...Read more

Oroville Dam: Disaster expert says spillway emergency ‘developed and propagated by DWR’. A disaster expert’s review of the Oroville Dam spillway emergency says the Department of Water Resources could have prevented everything with better design, better construction and better maintenance...Read more

Supercells: What to Know About These Dangerous Thunderstorms. The term supercell is used by meteorologists to describe a breed of long-lasting thunderstorms which rotate and are accompanied by dangerous weather conditions, including large hail, damaging winds and sometimes tornadoes...Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

$350 Million in National Disaster Fund (Jamaica). The establishment of the Fund forms part of the requirements under the Disaster Risk Management Act which seeks to strengthen the country’s overall national disaster preparedness, emergency management and response processes and mechanisms, and reflects modern, strategic, administrative and legal approaches consistent with current best practices...Read more
How to Reduce Risk from Extreme Weather Events. Events such as the Colombia mudslide, the recent Peru floods which claimed 100 lives, and last October’s Hurricane Matthew in Haiti which caused over 600 deaths and US$2.7 billion of economic losses, highlight the need to address the underlying social and economic forces that place human settlements at risk...Read more

Mobile networks and natural disasters: How to prevent a second catastrophe? This global initiative seeks to strengthen access to communication and information for those affected by emergencies, helping to reduce loss of life and contribute positively to humanitarian response...Read more

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21, 2017

What happened this week?

Antigua and Barbuda. On April 17 at 1:23 a.m. local time, a M=5.6 earthquake shook the eastern rim of the Caribbean near Antigua and Barbuda. Several aftershocks were also recorded, including a M=4.8 approximately one hour after the mainshock. Fortunately, this region is sparsely populated, and according to the USGS, no greater than light shaking was felt. Having said that, over 100,000 people were exposed to shaking and 42 people reported feeling the quake on the USGS website...Read more

Canada. State of local emergency issued in B.C. community of Kaslo after landslide. The Regional District of Central Kootenay ordered the evacuation late Monday of 47 homes in Kaslo, a community of about 1,000 people about 450 kilometres east of Vancouver...Read more

Colombia. A deadly landslide has rocked Colombia for the second time this month, claiming at least 11 lives just weeks after more than 300 were killed in a similar disaster. Twenty remain missing after the landslide hit several neighbourhoods in Manizales, near the Nevado del Ruiz volcano...Read more

Peru. A 6.0 magnitude earthquake has struck an Amazonian region of northern Peru. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, though the quake could be felt strongly as far away as Colombia and Ecuador...Read more

United States.

1.      Significant Mile-Wide Tornado, Rated EF3, Damages Several Homes Near Dimmitt, Texas. A long-lived supercell thunderstorm in the Texas panhandle Friday evening spawned multiple tornadoes, including one that was a mile wide and caused EF3 damage just outside the town of Dimmitt...Read more

2.      A brush fire that has been burning just north of Interstate 75 in Big Cypress National Preserve for two weeks has grown to almost 17,000 acres and was 38 percent contained Thursday evening, officials said...Read more

3.      Wildfires continued to break out in Florida on Thursday as the U.S. Drought Monitor showed the drought has intensified and spread across much of the central and southern parts of the state. More than 100 wildfires burning up to 20,000 acres continue to blaze across Florida...Read more

Interesting Facts

New Discoveries About San Andreas Fault Afterslip Shed Light on Earthquake Risk. Scientists have discovered that the San Andreas Fault in California continued to slip for up to 12 years after the magnitude 6 Parkfield earthquake that hit the state in 2004. Experts say the discovery indicates other parts of the fault that are predicted to rupture in the near future could be at greater risk of afterslip than previously thought...Read more

Retreating Yukon glacier caused a river to disappear. Last spring, its retreat triggered a geologic event at relatively breakneck speed. The toe of ice that was sending meltwater toward the Slims River and then north to the Bering Sea retreated so far that the water changed course, joining the Kaskawulsh River and flowing south toward the Gulf of Alaska...Read more

USGS Assessment of Brackish Water Could Help Nation Stretch Limited Freshwater Supplies. This study, the first of its kind in more than 50 years, found that the amount of brackish groundwater underlying the country is more than 800 times the amount currently used each year. With issues like drought, groundwater depletion, dwindling freshwater supplies, and demand for groundwater expected to continue to rise...Read more

When a natural disaster isn’t a disaster. Humans often do more harm than good when we try to rebuild damaged landscapes. We tried to return the forests and beaches to what they looked like before disaster struck. But in doing so, we disrupt the natural recovery of those ecosystems...Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

How can Peru prepare to withstand more devastating floods and landslides? After record rains caused $3bn worth of damage, Peru must build infrastructure to prepare for any more extreme climate events in the future...Read more
New Jersey American Water Breaks Ground on $65 Million Flood Protection Project. New Jersey American Water is breaking ground today on a significant, long-term flood protection project at its Raritan-Millstone Water Treatment Plant. This $65 million investment will help ensure protection from the increased risk of flooding during extreme weather events, and maintain a sustainable water supply for more than 1 million people in Central New Jersey...Read more
Texas introduces new earthquake-monitoring system. As part of the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program, scientists and engineers at UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology are installing seismometers, devices that measure the ground’s motion, throughout Texas in order to better understand the rise in earthquakes in recent years. The sensors will help researchers locate where earthquakes occur, measure their intensity and determine potential causes...Read more

Tuscaloosa finishes drought plan. While officials expect Lake Tuscaloosa to never run dry, the city of Tuscaloosa -- at the insistence of the state -- has completed a plan of action in case that day ever comes...Read more

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 14, 2017

What happened this week?

Argentina. Macri visited the areas affected by the floods in Tucumán. The President met with a group of families affected by the floods at the Emergency Operations Center in the town of Monteagudo and committed the provision of "all the tools" of the Government to assist the victims...Read more

El Salvador. More than 370 small to moderately strong earthquakes were recorded under San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, since Monday, April 10, 2017. At least one person has been killed and three injured. Authorities said the shaking is attributed to the movement of local geological faults...Read more

United States.

1.      A brush fire that has been burning in western Broward County grew to 6,600 acres on Saturday, according to the Florida Forest Service. No structures were threatened and the efforts to reduce the flames Friday night were successful...Read more

2.      The weather service confirmed that an EF1 tornado touched down in the Irvington area and an EF0 touched down in Chesapeake on Thursday. No injuries or fatalities were reported...Read more

3.      The National Weather Service confirmed Friday that two tornadoes touched down in the District during Thursday’s storms. Though tornadoes have hit the region in previous years, a twister touching down in the District is a rarity...Read more

Interesting Facts

A powerful new tool reveals how climate change could transform your hometown. The updated system lets you zip across the 48 contiguous states (and Washington DC), and see for yourself how the local climate in any given neighborhood is likely to change between 2010 and 2100...Read more

California Governor Declares End to Drought Emergency. One of the worst droughts in California history has officially ended, Governor Jerry Brown declared on Friday, but not before it strained the state's farm economy and threatened water supplies for millions of residents...Read more

Floods hit at least seven countries in South America. Floods caused by heavy rains affect several countries in Latin America: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador, where hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes, while at least three people are reported...Read more

New state museum exhibit explains why natural disasters occur. Nature Unleashed, a new exhibit at the Indiana State Museum, aims to help Hoosiers understand why tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions occur, and show how they can prepare in advance to have the best chance of survival no matter what the planet throws their way...Read more

Scientists study why Sand Mountain is tornado magnet. Researchers said that of 49 tornadoes that touched down in the Sand Mountain area in the last 10 years, 32 of them formed on top of the mountain. This spring researchers will deploy scores of weather balloons in Northeast Alabama in advance of approaching storm fronts to collect data...Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

China to relocate millions of people away from disaster zones. The government says it has already assisted in resettling 1.2 million “ecological migrants” and aims to move 1.4 million more people “away from geological threats” by 2020, according to its five-year social and economic development plan...Read more

Five million euros for flood protection in the Mekong Delta cities. The Swiss Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs (SECO) will finace 5 million euros to help prevent floods in three Mekong Delta cities including An Giang, Kien Giang and Ca Mau in the 2017-2019 period...Read more

Mongolia to lead on disaster strategy target. Mongolia has pledged to lead by example and inspire countries across Asia to meet the most pressing target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a global blueprint for tackling natural and human-induced hazards...Read more
New brochure alerts landowners to landslide hazards and what to do. Geology experts in Washington and Oregon have produced an easy-to-read brochure that can help people understand landslide risks, the underlying geology of slides and precautions that could avoid a disaster...Read more

Reducing risk after the flood. Over 90 percent of federal dollars for flood risk reduction is appropriated to flood-damaged areas in the aftermath of a disaster through off-budget, supplemental legislation. Very little money for risk reduction is available before floods occur...Read more

UN, humanitarian partners to launch $40M appeal for flood-hit Peru. The funds will be used to assist more than 400,000 people battling high waters and landslides from rains that began in early March...Read more

Friday, April 7, 2017

April 7, 2017

What happened this week?

Canada. Three municipalities in southwestern Manitoba declared local states of emergency due to overland flooding in their regions. The rural municipalities of Two Borders declared the state of emergency late Thursday, while the municipalities of Dufferin and La Broquerie followed suit on Friday...Read more

Colombia. Reports of the exact number of those killed in the rugged, remote area vary. The Colombian military said at least 254 are dead and around 400 more injured. The Red Cross reports 234 deaths and said that 158 people were missing. A police officer was among the victims, federal officials said...Read more

  1. After seven hours, 100 elements of Civil Protection, the Fire Department and the Secretary of Public Security of the delegation of Xochimilco, managed to extinguish the fire reported that affected 10 hectares...Read more
  2. A fire on the Tepopote hill in Zapopan this afternoon mobilizes the fire corporations of that municipality, Guadalajara and forest brigade. The Environment and Territorial Development Secretariat (Semadet) specifies that the forest fire is outside the Protected Natural Area of ​​La Primavera Forest...Read more

United States.
  1. A tornado flipped a mobile home Sunday in Louisiana, killing a mother and her 3-year-old daughter as a storm system with hurricane-force winds crawled across the Deep South, damaging homes and businesses. Parts of Arkansas and Mississippi were also under a threat of tornadoes, but the bullseye was on much of Louisiana...Read more
  2. Fire crews battled a brush fire that burned roughly 26 acres in Mojave Narrows Park Thursday as authorities arrested an arson suspect in the area. Fire quickly spread due to light grass and heavy winds...Read more
  3. NWS estimates 20 tornadoes touched down in Georgia Monday. Crews have been working nearly round the clock cleaning the mess left by the tornado that churned through Carrollton, tearing the roof off a fire station in a long path of destruction...Read more

Interesting Facts

Flood-drought cycle can deteriorate drinking water. The findings, published in the journal Biogeochemistry, indicate that "whiplash weather," in which weather veers from drought to flood, for example, will lead to changes in farm production, with particular concern about how it will affect fertilizer use...Read more

Mocoa, the endless tragedy of Colombia. Mocoa is one of those cities of Colombia that gathers all the evils that prevent this country from getting rid of the label of chronic inequality. The Saturday landslide that killed 250 people is just one more chapter of the black history of this region of Putumayo plagued by poverty, the violence of more than half a century of conflict and the cruelty of nature...Read more

Water shortages expected in New Mexico. In all but one corner of New Mexico, water managers are projecting shortages in drinking and irrigation supplies given expected demand and variability in rainfall over the next few decades...Read more

What's new in Disaster Risk Reduction?

Disaster resilience: top issue for tourist trade. In a nation where tourism represents close to one-tenth of the economy, the issue of Mexico’s hotel trade’s resilience to natural hazards is top of the list. It’s fitting that Cancun is hosting the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction next month, given that all 175 of the Caribbean resort’s hotels are built to withstand a category 3 hurricane...Read more

Local, strategic and economic: a recipe for risk reduction. Local governments, strategic thinking and the economic bottom line are driving forces of efforts to curb the impacts of natural and human-induced hazards. Delegates at the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction put the focus on a 2020 target for having national and local risk strategies in place, set by the international community two years ago...Read more

Palestinian task force seeks to improve disaster management. Palestine will start preparing a risk analysis study and a national disaster risk management strategy in early 2018. In the second half of the year, a risk map will be established for Palestine for the coming years...Read more

Turkey tackles earthquake risk. The lamp in the classroom begins to sway. The desks start to shake. If you’ve never faced an earthquake, Turkey’s AFAD national disaster management authority can give you a taste. “This is based on real experiences,” said Mr. Zekeriya Ozturk, information officer for AFAD’s simulator truck, at the European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction...Read more