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Philippines’ 10 deadliest storms

A resident braves strong rain as she walks along an empty street hours before Typhoon Hagupit passes near the city of Legazpi. Photo courtesy: AFP

A resident braves strong rain as she walks along an empty street hours before Typhoon Hagupit passes near the city of Legazpi. Photo courtesy: AFP

Manila (AFP) — Typhoon Hagupit was on Sunday churning across the Philippines, the latest in a never-ending series of often-deadly storms that plague the Southeast Asian archipelago. With more than 7,100 islands, the country is hit by an average of 20 typhoons or tropical storms each year. The storms are created above the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean near the equator, and the Philippines’ islands are often the first major landmass they hit as they move northwest. The following are the 10 deadliest typhoons on record in the Philippines*….

 

Typhoon Ruby tears down homes in disaster-weary PHL

A resident rides a tricycle on the way to an evacuation center as strong winds and rains from Typhoon Hagupit hit Legazpi, Albay province, eastern Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. Aaron Favila/The Associated Press

A resident rides a tricycle on the way to an evacuation center as strong winds and rains from Typhoon Hagupit hit Legazpi, Albay province, eastern Philippines on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. Aaron Favila/The Associated Press

Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) tore apart homes and sent waves crashing through coastal communities across the eastern Philippines on Sunday, creating more misery for millions following a barrage of deadly disasters. The typhoon roared in from the Pacific Ocean and crashed into remote fishing communities of Samar island on Saturday night with wind gusts of 210 kilometers (130 miles) an hour, local weather agency PAGASA said…

 

St. Lucia launches major project to reduce disaster vulnerability

The St. Lucia Ministry of Sustainable Development launched “the largest project ever negotiated” by the government with the World Bank to reduce the Caribbean island’s vulnerability to natural disasters and to the impacts of climate change. The Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project aims to strengthen critical local infrastructure and improve the national capacity to repair damaged infrastructure, the government said Wednesday in a statement…

 

FEMA flunks out

National Guard trucks haul residents through floodwaters to the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina hit in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Officials called for a mandatory evacuation of the city, but many residents remained in the city. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

National Guard trucks haul residents through floodwaters to the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina hit in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Officials called for a mandatory evacuation of the city, but many residents remained in the city. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

In the days and weeks after Hurricane Katrina blew a path of destruction through New Orleans in 2005, Americans took notice of the bungling of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its dysfunctional performance. Many began to question why the agency exists. A new report by the Cato Institute argues persuasively that the New Orleanians who suffered the wind and rain would have been better off without FEMA. The agency’s failure cost taxpayers billions of dollars, suffocating state and local governments and private aid organizations, which are far better suited to help disaster victims, and the failure put everyone at unnecessary risk. It’s a familiar observation of reporters covering the aftermath of a storm that “the bureaucrats arrive late with press releases, the Salvation Army first with hot coffee, sandwiches and blankets.”…

 

Volcanoes Can Feed Phytoplankton Blooms

Satellite images of the region showing phytoplankton distribution after and before the eruption relative to the ash cloud distribution. (University of Victoria)

Satellite images of the region showing phytoplankton distribution after and before the eruption relative to the ash cloud distribution. (University of Victoria)

Mount Kasotachi, a little volcanic island that makes up part of Alaska’s Aleutian chain, sent an ash plume 45,000 feet up into the atmosphere in August of 2008. Being very remote and uninhabited, except for researchers stationed there, this explosive event received little attention from the general public. But fortunately researchers in North America noticed the effect via satellite…

 

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