The Dark(er) Side of the Hurricane Katrina Conspiracies

Spectacular Stromboli eruption sends people fleeing for cover

Firefighters reported that widespread vegetation fires had broken out. Burning material from the explosion fell from the crater and rolled down to the sea, La Repubblica newspaper reported.

Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the explosion could be classified as a “paroxysmal event” and produced a pyroclastic flow — a fast-moving mixture of gas, rock and volcanic ash — of several hundred meters into the sea. It added that the smoke plume reached a height of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).

Elena Schiera, a 19-year-old from Palermo, Sicily, was on a sailing boat when the volcano erupted. She captured the boat’s nail-biting escape from the pyroclastic flow on her phone camera.

“We were sailing at a safe distance as per ordinance, when all of a sudden we heard a loud bang and saw a large black cloud spewing out of the Stromboli crater and pouring into the sea,” she told CNN….


The Dark(er) Side of the Hurricane Katrina Conspiracies


New Orleans is an unusual town. A curious meld of the Caribbean, the French and the American South has made the city home to jazz, blues and Voodoo, Cajun and Creole cultures, and no real desire to resolve any of it one way or another.

“I love this city.” Peering through wire-rimmed glasses, the cab driver watched me in his rearview mirror. “And I’ve lived all over the world.” He was originally from Amman, Jordan, and had traveled extensively through the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia, but it was something about the hothouse of New Orleans that drew him, made him want to stay.

It was June 9, 2005, and I was heading to a hotel off of Bourbon Street. At the hotel I bid the driver adieu, never to see him again, though my thoughts have returned to him often, without a doubt because the city’s adopted son was swallowed up by the miserable memory of everything that unfolded two and a half months later: Hurricane Katrina.

The August 2005 storm — which made landfall 14 years ago this week — and its aftermath saw almost 1,900 people dead and about $125 billion in damages not just across New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana but also Alabama and Mississippi…

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