disaster zones

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Man Rescued 9 Miles Off Japan Coast

On his roof, of course

(Newser) - Disasters often yield miracles, and a 60-year-old Japanese man is a case in point: Rescuers plucked Hiromitsu Shinkawa off of his roof last night, from nine miles out at sea where the tsunami swept him. Shinkawa was from the city of Minamisoma, which was virtually leveled in the destruction, reports... More »

Haiti Shows Why We Need CNN

Anderson Cooper's 'boots-in-the-rubble' coverage can't be beat

(Newser) - The appalling suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, and Anderson Cooper's effectiveness at "boots-in-the-rubble" coverage of it, have reminded us of the importance of news stalwart CNN, writes James Rainey. CNN has taken an enormous beating for sticking with straight news over political commentary, as cable... More »

Quake Survivors Find Love Among the Ruins

Hundreds remarry in quake-devastated Chinese city

(Newser) - A year after the quake that devastated China's Sichuan province, many survivors have new loves if not new homes, the Guardian reports. In Beichuan—where only 4,000 of the town's 22,000 people survived—some 600 widows and widowers have remarried, and the government hopes more will soon follow... More »

Berlusconi's Latest Gaffe: Quake Homeless 'Camping'

Berlusconi slammed for gaffe as quake toll hits 260

(Newser) - Silvio Berlusconi is drawing fire for reportedly saying the thousands made homeless by Monday's earthquake should see the experience as a "camping weekend," the Guardian reports. The gaffe-prone Italian prime minister, touring an emergency encampment, said the displaced survivors "lacked nothing," although hundreds still didn't... More »

Pakistan Quake Kills 135, Toll Rising

6.4 quake collapses thousands of huts; death toll expected to soar

(Newser) - A 6.4 quake rocked southwest Pakistan early this morning, killing more than 135 people, AFP reports. Pakistan has sent troops to the region to provide assistance and expects the death toll to rise steeply. Most of the deaths were in remote villages in the Afghanistan border region, where mud... More »

China Landslide Kills 34, Traps Hundreds

Rescuers search for survivors after mud sweeps through Shanxi valley

(Newser) - Rescuers are frantically searching through rubble for survivors of a landslide in northern China that killed at least 34 people, the AP reports. Hundreds are feared missing after a reservoir of mining waste collapsed in the northern province of Shanxi, sending a wall of thick sludge sweeping through a valley... More »

US Military Showing Softer Side

Greater emphasis on humanitarian operations seen by some as 'out of whack'

(Newser) - Despite recent focus on shooting wars, the Defense Department has tweaked the core mission of US armed forces to promote “soft power,” such as humanitarian aid, the Boston Globe reports. Some civilian onlookers say the foreign policy is “out of whack,” and “too dominated by... More »

Emergency Declared in Calif. Fires

Blazes threaten more than 6,800 homes; better weather expected

(Newser) - President Bush declared a region stretching from Nevada to the Pacific Ocean a federal disaster area, the Los Angeles Times reports, as more than 1,000 fires raged across northern California. Some 17,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, which threaten 6,800 homes. “We don’t have any... More »

Burma Aid Delays Less Deadly Than Feared

Villagers tough it out through cyclone's aftermath

(Newser) - Delays in getting help to cyclone survivors in Burma's Irrawaddy Delta have not caused the catastrophe initially feared, according to aid workers. Hardy villagers have managed to survive on fish and coconuts, helped by aid from private Burmese citizens and monks, reports the New York Times. Expected massive outbreaks of... More »

Draining Quake Lake Floods China Town

Soldiers blast holes in dam; 'Now we can never go back,' says survivor

(Newser) - A town devastated by the Sichuan earthquake was flooded today as soldiers worked to drain a dangerous quake lake, reports Reuters. Water whooshed into Beichuan after explosives and missiles were used to blast holes in the dam created by the earthquake. Some 250,000 people downstream had already been evacuated. More »

5.3 Aftershock Shakes Sichuan

Survivors rattled again as quake lakes threaten to burst

(Newser) - Another strong aftershock has rattled China's quake-devastated Sichuan province amid increased concerns about lake floodwaters, reports AP. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries from the 5.3 tremblor, which came as authorities began evacuating people downstream from a lake formed by last month's quake. The water level... More »

Blocked US Ships Will Abandon Myanmar Aid

Junta refuses aid 15 times

(Newser) - US warships laden with aid for Burmese cyclone survivors will sail out of the region tomorrow still carrying their loads, Reuters reports. Burma's military junta has refused 15 requests to allow American forces to deliver aid supplies to the disaster zone, according to the admiral in charge of the operation. More »

Burma Rips 'Chocolate Bar' Aid; US Ships Threaten to Sail

Junta rails on stingy pace of int'l donations

(Newser) - Burma's military junta ripped international cyclone relief efforts today, slamming demands for access to the disaster zone and proclaiming "The people from Irrawaddy can survive without chocolate bars donated by foreign countries," Reuters reports. The slam comes a day after a US admiral threatened to yank warships from... More »

Burma Agrees to Accept All Aid

Junta drops opposition to aid workers entering country

(Newser) - Burma has agreed to let international disaster relief workers into the country to help with the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, Bloomberg reports. The junta's about-face came after  UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who flew in yesterday, met the nation's  reclusive military leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe. The UN hopes to ramp... More »

Huge Aftershock Rattles China

President tours region as death toll mounts

(Newser) - A powerful aftershock struck today near the epicenter of this week's earthquake, wreaking more havoc as China struggled to bury its dead and care for thousands of homeless and hungry survivors, Reuters reports. Rescuers continued their search amid the rubble, but hope dimmed as the official death toll rose to... More »

Troops Race Clock to Save Chinese Buried Alive

Rescuers struggle in mud and rain as death toll soars over 20,000

(Newser) - China has rushed 50,000 more troops to Sichuan province to help dig for earthquake survivors before time runs out, Reuters reports. Tens of thousands of people are still buried under rubble from Monday's devastating 7.9 quake. Rescuers reaching the hardest-hit areas say the destruction is worse than feared,... More »

Grief Turns to Fury For Quake Survivors

Anger flares among parents whose children lie in rubble

(Newser) - As rescue efforts continue in western China, the mood among survivors of the earthquake has transformed from grief to fury: at the military, at builders, and above all at the government. In Dujiangyan, where several hundreds pupils died when a school collapsed, the Guardian reports that residents tried to push... More »

Quake Buries Nearly 19,000 in 1 Town

Buried schoolkids given up for dead

(Newser) - Nearly 19,000 people are reported buried in rubble in just one Chinese town, the state media said today, as  the death toll from yesterday's 7.9 earthquake in Sichuan province climbed to 12,000. Overwhelmed rescuers worked frantically to rescue as many as possible, impeded by rain and mudslides,... More »

Floods Swamp Eastern Australia

Thousands stranded after storms batter coast

(Newser) - Thousands on the east coast of Australia have been isolated by flooding from heavy rains, the BBC reports. Thunderstorms and overflowing rivers have battered the northeast parts of New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, and the southern parts of Queensland; both have been declared natural disaster zones.... More »

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