What is going on in the world? I ask in all seriousness. It is all beginning to feel a little apocolypto to me. Read on – I have done some reading across the board:
8th February 2011 "Wildfires that ripped through the outskirts of the Western Australia capital Perth over the weekend have destroyed at least 41 homes and damaged another 19."
"Just day earlier a category five cyclone, the largest tropical storm to hit Australia since Europeans first settled there, flattened scores of properties in Queensland causing an estimated $3.5bn of damage.
The freak cyclone came just weeks after severe flooding hit two-thirds of the state, killing at least 35 people."
September 23rd 2009 "A huge outback dust storm - 500 km (310 mi) wide by 1,000 km (620 mi) long - swept across eastern Australia and blanketed Sydney on Wednesday, September 23rd 2009 … the worst dust storm Sydney has seen in 70 years" http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/09/dust_storm_in_australia.html
26 December 2004 I had family in Phuket as well as two close friends who survived by being so very brave (and running quickly!) The following is a cache of a really good first hand account :
Personal Notes from Mark Oberle:
Christchurch: "Crews work through night to free people after 6.3 magnitude quake, New Zealand's worst natural disaster in 80 years" The Guardian.
"The mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, told local radio that up to 200 people could be trapped but later lowered the number to nearer 100. It was the country's worst natural disaster since a 1931 quake in the North Island city of Napier killed 256." The Guardian.
Japan: "The most powerful earthquake to hit Japan since records began has struck the country's north-east and triggered a devastating tsunami.
Japanese TV showed cars, ships and buildings swept away by a vast wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude quake. A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant but officials said there were no radiation leaks.
At least 60 people have been killed by the quake, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo. The death toll is expected to rise significantly.
Some reports quote Japanese police as saying 200 to 300 bodies have been found in the port city of Sendai. The tremor, measured at 8.9 by the US Geological Survey, hit at 1446 local time (0546 GMT) at a depth of about 24km. A tsunami warning was extended across the Pacific to North and South America."
"the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit Japan to strike the east coast towns of Hualien at 09:32 GMT, Taitung at 09:36 GMT, and Jilong at 10:04 GMT" http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/03/11/taiwan-issues-tsunami-warning/
March 2011 "Like Indonesia, Japan lies on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines surrounding the Pacific Basin. A 6.9-magnitude earthquake in Kobe, western Japan, killed more than 6,000 people in 1995, while the 7.9- magnitude Great Kanto Quake of 1923 destroyed 576,262 structures and killed an estimated 140,000." http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-11/tokyo-buildings-shaken-by-7-9-earthquake-highest-tsunami-warning-issued.html
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03 Tsunami http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/