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One Year after Bombings, Patriotism and Resilience at the Marathon

tlumacki_bostonmarathon_metro323Just more than a year after two deadly explosions disrupted the 2013 Boston Marathon, the only sound that could be heard at the finish line this year was the cheering of nearly one million spectators vocalizing their support for a record 36,000 runners. Concerns about security lingered amongst marathon attendees, many of whom experienced the fear and chaos of last year’s bombings firsthand. Amid a heightened security presence, however, a sense of pride, remembrance, and resilience prevailed, with the excitement and energy of the crowd only boosted by a landmark victory in the men’s race. For many, the Boston Marathon, now in its 118th year, has become an annual tradition. But numerous spectators and runners, including more than two dozen participants and many more spectators from the Harvard community, said that the patriotic spirit and determination following last year’s tragedy made the 2014 marathon particularly memorable…


The global air traffic network may be more vulnerable to natural disasters than you realize.

The global air traffic network may be more vulnerable to natural disasters than you realize.

Govt sets plans to mitigate damage caused by disasters to PHL economy

Damage wrought by disasters to the Philippines economy amounts to about P19 billion annually on the average. This is based on the estimate of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) on the economic costs of some 200 disasters that were experienced by the Philippines from 2004 to 2010. Neda estimated that there were 193 natural and man-made disasters between 2004 and 2010. The Aquino government aims to reduce the damage and losses caused by disasters by the time the President ends his term in 2016. “Vital to the achievement of the country’s inclusive growth is the improvement of the state of the environment and natural resources. Sustaining the services that will improve the state of the country’s ecosystem will support critical growth sectors and resource-dependent communities amid risks posed by climate change and natural disasters,” the updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP) stated…


Nomination period begins for 2014 DHS resilience award

us deptThe Department of Homeland Security announced on Thursday that the nomination period has begun for the 2014 Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience, which recognizes leadership in fostering resilience during the previous year. Resilience is considered the ability to adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruption caused by emergencies. The award is named after Richard Rescorla who led a massive evacuation of Morgan Stanley’s 2,700-person workforce in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The evacuation saved the lives of all but six individuals…


March major natural disasters roundup

Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development center of excellence at Aon Benfield, has released the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report. This reviews the major natural disasters that occurred around the world during March 2014. For the second consecutive year, severe drought conditions impacted Brazil, leading to agricultural losses in excess of BRL10 billion (USD4.3 billion). Around 10 percent of Brazilian farm land is covered by insurance. In Pakistan, a major drought continued during the month, killing at least 212 people in the Sindh Province, resulting in significant loss of livestock and agriculture. The government has allocated PKR1.8 billion (USD18 million) for relief and recovery…


How A Supervolcano Would Disrupt International Flight

In April of 2010, an Icelandic volcano erupted largely without warning. It left travelers throughout Europe stranded as tons of volcanic dust and ash spewed into the atmosphere and grounded planes. By the time the airports reopened five days later, 60% of European flights had been canceled, affecting more than 100,000 travelers. While that was bad, the volcanic eruption could have been much worse. In the past, eruptions have occurred–such as in 1816, the so-called Year Without a Summer–that are so powerful that air-borne detritus resulted in year-long winters. If Europe was to have another Year Without a Summer, it could also mean a year of airports shutting down…


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