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Govt: Only 30% of nation ready for major disaster

japanOnly about 30 percent of areas in Japan that are expected to be hit by tsunami in the event of large-scale natural disasters are protected by dikes, the government has said. The proportion of areas vulnerable to tsunami that have automated floodgate switches also stands at about 30 percent, said the government report on central and local government measures to counter such disasters. The government concluded in the report that Japan may not be fully ready to deal with massive disasters such as a possible major earthquake in the Nankai Trough off the Pacific coast…


Penn State Student Builds Disaster Relief Vehicle to Help New Orleans Rebuild

A computer rendering of Apparatus X. (Photo/Aaron Wertman)

A computer rendering of Apparatus X. (Photo/Aaron Wertman)

It began with a simple idea. For Aaron Wertman, an architect isn’t just someone who designs and builds structures. Rather, an architect is a type of activist, somebody who pursues engagement education through hands-on activity. Wertman, a 24-year-old working towards his masters of architecture degree at Penn State University, has long had a keen interest in displaced populations and responses to natural disasters. Now, he is intending to put his beliefs and interests to good use. For his thesis project, Wertman is transforming a tow-behind mobile home into a sustainable disaster relief vehicle dubbed Apparatus X…


Mexico rattled by 7.2-magnitude earthquake

mexicoA powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake has struck Mexico’s capital and Pacific coast, shaking buildings, shattering windows and sending residents fleeing into the streets. There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.The US Geological Survey (USGS) says the earthquake’s epicentre was 36 kilometres north-west of Tecpan, near the Pacific resort of Acapulco in Guerrero state…


Recent Study Links Occurrence of Natural Disasters to Increase of Medical Heartbreak

Yes, your heart really can break, and tragic events play a role. A recent study shows a correlation between natural disasters and “broken heart syndrome.” Day-to-day heartache doesn’t hold a candle to scientifically proven heartbreak—a real thing called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Turns out, your cardiac muscle can temporarily enlarge and weaken, and what’s more, the number of diagnoses is growing, leading a team of researchers to examine the cause. They found a surprising correlation that has the power to impact each and every one of us, even if you think you’ve got heart health on lock…


Jump-starting natural resilience reverses stress susceptibility

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain’s reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there’s a twist. Instead of suppressing it, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health boosted runaway neuronal activity even further, eventually triggering a compensatory self-stabilizing response. Once electrical balance was restored, previously susceptible animals were no longer prone to becoming withdrawn, anxious, and listless following socially stressful experiences…

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