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Natural Disasters Could Cost $750 Billion Annually in 15 Years: AIR Study

Economic losses from global natural catastrophes likely will triple over the next 15 years, unless steps are taken to reduce bad development choices, according to preliminary results of a catastrophe modeling study presented at the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. The study, which was conducted by the Boston-based modeling firm AIR Worldwide, examines the trend of growing economic losses from global natural catastrophes by looking at nearly 20 years of historical events…


Time for alliance to rethink crisis handling

When Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics, a quarter century will have passed since the Great Hanshin Earthquake and the Tokyo subway sarin attack. From the aftermath of the earthquake until the present Abe administration, Japan has advanced its crisis management to a level few other nations have achieved. Today it is better prepared than ever to cope with large-scale natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunami, grave incidents such as terrorist attacks with mass-destruction weapons or against vital infrastructure, major accidents such as another nuclear meltdown, and situations related to national defense such as a missile launch or an armed attack on sovereign territory…


Sendai talks establish targets to reduce damage from natural disasters

Governments at a UN conference in Japan set targets on Wednesday to substantially reduce deaths and economic losses from disasters, in the first of three major global agreements to advance development and tackle climate change this year. After a marathon negotiating session that ended just before midnight, the talks adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year plan that will replace the existing 10-year blueprint…


Cyclone Pam survivor’s harrowing story: ‘the noise, the destruction and the wind’

Andrew Brooks at Tanna airport in Vanuatu after sheltering from cyclone Pam with villagers. Photograph: Joshua Robertson for the Guardian

Andrew Brooks at Tanna airport in Vanuatu after sheltering from cyclone Pam with villagers. Photograph: Joshua Robertson for the Guardian

An Australian tourist on a volcano trek in Vanuatu has told of the harrowing experience of being caught in the eye of cyclone Pam – and of the food shortage in its aftermath. Andrew Brooks had been staying in a grass hut in the remote south of Tanna, near the volcano Yasur, when the island took the full fury of the category five storm. Brooks, who watched the storm demolish a school building beside the one he and locals were sheltering in, was among a small number of tourists who emerged from the worst hit part of Vanuatu, which temporarily lost communication with the outside world…



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