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Tsunami survivors search through debris at Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province in northwest Indonesia, December 31, 2004 Photograph: Bullit Marquez/AP

Tsunami survivors search through debris at Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province in northwest Indonesia, December 31, 2004 Photograph: Bullit Marquez/AP

10 years on: what is your memory of the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004?

The tsunami that followed the Indian Ocean earthquake on 26 December 2004 was one of the worst natural disasters on record, killing almost 250,000 people across 14 countries. Indonesia was the hardest hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. The magnitude of devastation also triggered an unprecedented humanitarian response from the rest of the world who were watching the events unfolding on their television screens…

 

Using Animals To Build An Early Warning System For Natural Disasters

animalsBiologist Martin Wikelski put sensors on goats living on Italy’s Mount Etna and watched what happened. He found that if you watched their movements, you could predict when there would be volcanic eruptions. So now he wants to do satellite research on how animals roam and escape on a world scale. What happened on Etna was that the goats suddenly made a run for it, fleeing down the flanks of the volcano. Some six hours later, on the night of Jan. 5, 2012, lava shot out of Etna as a hefty eruption began…

 

Latest supercomputers run truer simulations of extreme weather

A high-resolution simulation of the global climate provides a much better representation of extreme weather events than previous lower-resolution models (Image: Department of Energy/Berkeley Lab)

A high-resolution simulation of the global climate provides a much better representation of extreme weather events than previous lower-resolution models (Image: Department of Energy/Berkeley Lab)

High-resolution simulations of the global climate can now perform much closer to actual observations, and they perform far better at reproducing extreme weather events, a new Berkeley Lab study has found. Lead author Michael Wehner heralds this news as evidence of a golden age in climate modeling, as not only did the simulation closer match reality but it also took a fraction as long to complete as it would have in recent history – just three months compared to several years…

 

2015: The year of storms?

stormsExtreme weather events are a major consequence of climate change, and are becoming more frequent, powerful and erratic. What is needed is not just relief when disaster strikes, but adaptation to the massive effects these phenomena produce, including disease, political unrest and economic stress – issues explored elsewhere in this report. It’s obvious that adapting to – or ideally, preventing severe weather events – results in a better outcome for everyone…

 

POST YOLANDA LESSON | Disaster response should be sensitive to women’s needs

MANILA – Women in areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda received scattered gender-specific support in the immediate aftermath of the calamity, but humanitarian agencies were quick to step up interventions to address the post-disaster needs of women. Save the Children, for example, dedicated at least P10 million in storm-proof birthing kits or BEACON (Birthing Essentials and Care of Newborns) boxes for safe and clean deliveries. World Vision, another international non-governmental organization, set up Women and Young Child Spaces in evacuation centers where mothers were given breastfeeding peer support and kits. A year after the tragedy, InterAksyon.com gathers experts’ recommendations to make disaster response and rehabilitation sensitive to the needs of women and girls…

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