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As Bushfires Rage, Australia Faces Another Challenge: Protecting National Mental Health

Earthquake Destroys Famous Natural Landmark In Puerto Rico

landmark

A picturesque Puerto Rican landmark, Punta Ventana, has collapsed following a magnitude 5.79 earthquake. Punta Ventana prior to its collapse. (Image: Joelr31/Wikimedia)

A picturesque Puerto Rican landmark, Punta Ventana, has collapsed following a magnitude 5.79 earthquake.

The earthquake struck today at 6:32 a.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. CBS News says there are no reports of injuries, but many buildings and roads have been damaged, and power outages have been reported across the island.

Tragically, the earthquake has destroyed Punta Ventana, as the Miami Herald reports. Also known as Window Point, the precarious-looking rock arch appeared like a giant eye. All that remains of the iconic landmark is a sheer cliff—and a lone tree at the edge…

 

Why so many earthquakes are rocking Puerto Rico

In the predawn hours of January 7, residents across the island of Puerto Rico were jolted awake as a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked the region. While earthquakes in Puerto Rico are not unexpected, this temblor is just the largest in a series of quakes that has rattled the island for more than a week—and odds are that the shaking is not over yet.

Only a day before, a magnitude 5.8 quake also struck off Puerto Rico’s southwestern coast, and since December 28, more than 400 earthquakes of magnitude 2 or greater have rolled through the area. Dozens were likely felt on land because many of these quakes were relatively shallow, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The events have wreaked havoc in a community still recovering from devastation in the wake of hurricanes Maria and Irma. The latest pair of large temblors collapsed homes, knocked out power in some regions, triggered…

 

As Bushfires Rage, Australia Faces Another Challenge: Protecting National Mental Health

As wildfires continue blazing a deadly path through Australia, leaving destroyed homes and landscapes in their wake, people and countries around the world are coming together to offer financial and firefighting assistance. But with months of burning likely still to go, and 18 million acres of destruction already recorded, along with 24 lives lost, it’s clear that reconstruction will be a long process—both in terms of physical rebuilding, and psychological recovery.

“Their national psyche will change,” says California-based psychotherapist Diane Ross-Glazer, who has counseled disaster survivors and lived through wildfires herself. “You’re not only grieving what you lost; you’re grieving for your country.”

Trauma of any kind can result in lingering distress not only for direct sufferers, but also for those who witness or read about a disaster or tragedy. Natural disasters and climate-change-induced extreme weather fall into this category, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

The grief, stress and fear that come along with wildfires can result in mood swings, depression, flashbacks and relational strain, according to the APA. Young children, who do not fully understand or know how to cope with the situation, may be particularly at risk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention….

 

 

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