Puerto Rico puts Hurricane Maria — and the bulk of the recovery — behind it
Hurricane Maria did a job on El San Juan Hotel, the storied property in Puerto Rico where Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli once crooned. Water seeped into the lobby and guest rooms, and high winds ripped off awnings and tossed around a stainless-steel sculpture like an inflatable beach ball.
The 60-year-old grande dame could have reopened quickly, but instead the staff took its time to meticulously restore the hotel’s historic features. They removed and dried the hand-carved cherry mahogany panels on the walls and columns. They repainted the gold ceiling. And they individually cleaned the 7,000 pieces of crystal on the 4,500-pound chandelier that bedazzled the lobby. The repairs cost north of $60 million…
Australian firefighters receive funding boost ahead of bushfire season
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 26 million Australian dollars (19 million U.S. dollars) in additional funding for the nation’s firefighters.
Morrison made the announcement on Wednesday as authorities across the country brace for a sweltering summer, which could bring with it deadly bushfires.
He said the funding would “boost aerial firefighting capabilities across Australia, support a new national fire rating program and extend funding for a community alert system.”
“Our funding will help support Australians confronting the challenges of natural hazards and reduce the impact they have on our communities and the economy,” Morrison said in a media release…
Building Disaster Resilient Countries/Cities Through Open Spatial Data and Exposure Analysis.
Multiple partners have come together under the Meteor project, which aims to understand risk and disaster exposure in order to create resilient cities. Through open data, a model will be created that can later serve more than 46 countries in the most affected countries…