Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Angry Earth

China Earthquake: The AP reported that the death toll from Monday's earthquake in China climbed above 10,000:
The 7.9-magnitude quake devastated a region of small cities and towns set amid steep hills north of Sichuan's provincial capital of Chengdu. Striking in midafternoon, it emptied office buildings across the country in Beijing and could be felt as far away as Vietnam.
Snippets from state media and photos posted on the Internet underscored the immense scale of the devastation. In the town of Juyuan, south of the epicenter, a three-story high school collapsed, burying as many as 900 students and killing at least 50, the official Xinhua news agency said. Photos showed people using cranes, mechanical hoists and their hands to remove slabs of concrete and steel.

Florida Wildfires: CNN reports that Gov. Charlie Crist has declared a state of emergency in Florida:
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency Monday as wildfires fed by drought conditions threatened homes and businesses and forced the closing of part of Interstate 95 in Brevard County.

Seven to 10 structures, including some homes, have been destroyed by the largest of the fires, said Yvonne Martinez of the Palm Bay Fire Department.
"The fire situation has been very unpredictable," she said. "The winds have basically caused what fires we had yesterday to jump a half a mile at a time."

Burma Cyclone: HuffPost contributor Hanna Ingber Win reported that local corruption was hampering recovery efforts in Burma:
In the midst of a massive humanitarian crisis in Burma in which 1.5 million people are at risk of dying from disease, local government officials in Rangoon have been selling aid and bribing residents in order to turn a profit, according to sources in Rangoon. It has been eight days since Cyclone Nargis wiped out entire villages along the Irrawaddy delta and left Rangoon in shambles, but the ruling junta has prevented relief efforts from barely making a dent in the recovery process.

Government officials have stolen donations of rice, cooking oil and diesel and sold them on the black market, a businessman in Rangoon said on Sunday. In several townships around the major city, the government announced that it would provide a certain amount of rice and cooking oil to each household, but local township officers were found refusing families their quotas and instead selling the goods on the black market.

US Tornadoes: The AP reported that 22 people were killed in tornadoes that swept across the central U.S.:
More than a third of the 22 people killed by a tornado that smashed parts of Oklahoma and Missouri over the weekend died in cars, troubling experts who say vehicles are one of the worst places to be during a twister.

"It's like taking a handful of Matchbox cars and rolling them across the kitchen floor," said Sgt. Dan Bracker of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, surveying the damage in and around Seneca, near the Oklahoma line, the hardest hit area. "This is devastating."
Among those killed were three people in Oklahoma who were rushing to reach a relative's house in their car; a woman whose car was blown off a road near Seneca; and four family members _ Rick Rountree, his wife, his 13-year-old son, and his mother-in-law _ who were in a van on the way to a friend's wedding when a twister packing winds of 170 mph struck the Seneca area on Saturday night.


1 comment:

john said...

18,000 buried under debris in China