Articles on Natural disasters

Displaying 161 - 180 of 194 articles

It’s good that mount Sinabung isn’t a supervolcano. Binsar Bakkara/AP

How Earth’s devastating supervolcanoes erupt

Devastating supervolcanoes can erupt simply due to changes that happen in their giant magma chambers as they slowly cool, according to a new study. This finding marks the first time researchers have been…
Path of destruction: Haiyan makes landfall. AP Photo/Nelson Salting

Eyewitness: Typhoon Haiyan strikes the Philippines

The rain is ricocheting off the roads here in Manila. Early on Friday, our car’s tyres dragged in the deep puddles. Basketball courts - remnants of bygone American rule, and a staple of every district…
Firefighters have plenty of ideas about disaster management - so why don’t we listen? AAP/Dan Himbrechts

What firefighters say about climate change

You do not find many climate change sceptics on the end of [fire] hoses anymore… They are dealing with increasing numbers of fires, increasing rainfall events, increasing storm events. – A senior Victorian…
This rapacious little critter could actually help humans one day. Larah McElroy

Worker antics could lead us to search and rescue robots

When disaster strikes, search and rescue robots could save lives by finding and retrieving people buried under rubble. But designing robots that can descend rapidly through unstable and uneven rubble has…
Blackouts remind us what life was like before cheap, readily available electricity - but it’s time to think about the true price of our power. Candle in the dark image from www.shutterstock.com/Ronen

Save now, pay later: the hidden costs of lower electricity bills

No lights, no power, no internet - and no easy solutions. Fumbling around in a middle of a blackout, hoping to find a torch or some spare batteries, I was struck by just how utterly dependent most of us…
Natural disasters don’t just leave those affected rebuilding their lives but also struggling to find meaning behind the tragedy. Facebook CFA Victoria/AAP

Floods and fires: the struggle to rebuild, the search for meaning

This summer another bout of floods, fires, and cyclones has struck, culminating most recently in out-of-control fires across Victoria in which at least one home was lost. When we see the loss of property…

Natural disasters test kids’ altruism

Younger children become more selfish than older children following a natural disaster. American and Canadian researchers…
If we are plucking people from their roofs, we’re not communicating about disasters properly. AAP/AGL Action Rescue Helicopter

Planning for floods and fires now the recipe for disaster has changed

The floods in Queensland and Northern New South Wales and the extensive January bushfires which caused destruction across Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales confirm that we need to rethink how we plan…
Bushfire affected property at Sommers Bay in Tasmania, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Residents of the worst-hit town Dunalley in the Tasmanian bushfires returned on Friday to see the full extent of the devastation. AAP/David Beniuk

Natural disasters have unexpected impacts on mental health

Radical circumstances (bushfires and natural disasters) flush out the mental illness in society. Whenever there’s a disaster, there’s a rush on hospital admissions for psychiatric problems. But on the…

How to predict a perfect storm

A study from Stanford University suggests that “perfect storm” disasters can be anticipated using an engineering risk analysis…
There’s still much to learn about predicting the effect of hurricanes. NOAA

Blow by blow: why hurricane forecasts are improving

The profound impact caused by the storm that began as Hurricane Sandy has turned the spotlight on many issues, including forecasts. In short: how well was Sandy forecast, and where do our forecasts need…
Scientists need to feel confident to speak out about the dangers of coming extreme weather. Ramin Talai/EPA

Is Australia prepared for a storm like Sandy?

Last week the global landscape of mitigating and managing disasters changed forever. We heard the news of six Italian scientists charged for manslaughter and jailed for six years each for failing to predict…
The earthquake at l'Aquila was a tragedy, but blaming experts and governments doesn’t help. EPA/Grillo

Blame game the enemy of good policy when disaster strikes

The decision of an Italian Court to convict six scientists and one government official of manslaughter for the failure to predict the magnitude of a devastating earthquake in L’Aquila in central Italy…
Robert McClelland has a roadmap for a FEMA-like disaster management authority. AAP Image/Raoul Wegat

Australia can do better on managing disasters

Who comes to the rescue when there is a disaster? Who pays the bills? It is well accepted doctrine that in Australia the primary responsibility for protecting life and property lies with the states and…
Who’s responsible for this? Better disaster law could answer that question. AAP

Climate change, catastrophic risk and disaster law

On 28 March the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its full report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX). The IPCC’s essential…

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