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            Tag Archives: Natural Disasters

            Japan Stocks Up On Toilet Paper (Just In Case)

            Japan Toilet Paper

            The Japanese government has to make sure civilians stockpile a critical emergency item: toilet paper. Translation: Prepare for the shit. Before it hits the fan.

            The government and paper companies kicked off a “Let’s stockpile toilet paper!” campaign to mark Disaster Prevention Day. Apparently a lack of TP during a national emergency is a legitimate concern in Japan. The campaign warns of a possible toilet paper crisis because nearly half of the TP supply comes from one of Japan’s most earthquake-prone areas and it’s one of the first items to fly off the shelves during an emergency.

            Officials said people immediately think of food and water as emergency supplies, but easily forget toilet paper, and get desperate when it’s too late.

            “After running out of toilet paper, people start using tissue, and that could clog up precious workable toilets,” said Toshiyuki Hashimoto, an industry ministry official in charge of paper products.

            “Along with food, toilet paper was among the first items that disappeared from store shelves during the disaster, even outside disaster-hit areas,” he continued.

            So to avoid panic later, start stockpiling toilet paper now! You don’t want to be without a hefty roll of TP when an earthquake causes you to crap your pants. As the campaign posters say, “Be prepared and no regrets!”

            “Toilet paper is an indispensable part of daily life,” Satoshi Kurosaki, chairman of the Japan Household Paper Industry Association, said. “And yet 41 percent of the supply comes from the extremely high-risk zone. So we should be prepared.”

            “A family of four should be able to survive for a month on a six-roll pack, priced at 460 yen ($4.40) and with a five-year expiration date,” Kurosaki said.

            Wait, toilet paper has an expiration date…? And a family of 4 can survive on a pack of 6 rolls for a month…? What are they eating over there???

            Unfortunately for some Japanese civilians, having an adequate TP stockpile to wipe their ass is the least of their earthquake problems. Four men employed to clean up the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant are . The Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was damaged in a March 2011 earthquake, resulted in reactor meltdowns and a contamination of the area. The men tasked with removing contaminated debris and patrolling the area say they have not been properly compensated for the dangers in their work and are worried about long term health problems. And that’s something a month’s supply of toilet paper can’t just wipe away.

            Current Event Cat of the Day: Flooding in the Balkans

            Current EVent Cat - Balkans Floods

            Hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were forced to evacuate their 体彩手机在线怎么下载s on Sunday, after floodwaters in the Balkans.

            Bosnia and Serbia have been pounded by three months worth of rain in recent days, producing the worst floods the Balkans have seen since they began measuring rainfall over 120 years ago.

            At least 35 people have died as a result of the flooding, hundreds of thousands have had to be evacuated, and about a quarter of Bosnia-Hercegovina’s four million people are without clean water.

            The floodwaters hit Bosnia the worst, managing to wipe out entire villages. Helicopter airlifts rushed to pluck families from rooftops but more than 100,000 houses and other buildings were destroyed and the road infrastructure was also badly damaged. To sum up, it’s pretty bad.

            Foreign minister Zlatko Lagumdzija said the destruction was “terrifying” and compared it to Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

            “The consequences of the floods are terrifying,” Lagumdzija said.

            “The physical destruction is not less than the destruction caused by the war.”

            “During the war many people lost everything. Today, again they have nothing.”

            And to make matters worse, floodwaters are threatening major power plants and have unearthed land mines leftover from the region’s war in the 1990s. Nearly 120,000 unexploded landmines remain in more than 9,400 carefully marked minefields, but the flood-induced landslides may have knocked a few loose.

            “We are faced with the biggest problem and disaster after the war,” Ahdin Orahovac, director of Bosnia’s Mine Action Centre, said.

            “All of our mine warning signs have been moved. We have to warn our local population that they shouldn’t hurry back to their 体彩手机在线怎么下载s because there are many locations where landmines are now in new places.”

            But with every cloud spewing out torrential rains, there’s a silver lining: cute pictures of animals being rescued!

            Serbia Dog Flood

            serbia-bosnia-weather-flood-1 Bosnia Puppies

            Wait a minute… where are all the cat rescue pictures???

            Not One, But Two Afghan Landslides… And Other News

            Afghan Landslides

            Afghanistan can’t seem to catch a break. First the Soviets, then the Taliban, then some other stuff… and now a monster landslide.

            After a landslide swallowed hundreds of 体彩手机在线怎么下载s in the Argo district of Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan, rescuers struggled to help dig out the buried residents, using shovels and bare hands to recover the missing. Then tragedy struck again. A second landslide hit, consuming the hundreds of rescuers from nearby villages. The governor’s office said at least 2,000 people died in the slides. As for those missing, they are presumed dead. “That will be their cemetery,” said Mohammed Karim Kahlili, one of Afghanistan’s two vice presidents. “It is not possible to bring out any bodies.” President Hamid Karzai declared a national day of mourning, saying there was “no hope” for most of those buried and declaring the landslide a “human tragedy.” CNN

            brett-hulseyRepublicans decided to stop hogging all the bad ideas for once and let Democrat Rep. Brett Hulsey have his day in the spotlight. The Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate announced Thursday that he will hand out Ku Klux Klan hoods – or what he calls “Republican Party hats” – at the state GOP convention on the weekend. The long-shot candidate (and even longer shot now) showed off his 体彩手机在线怎么下载made white hoods that he stitched together using $1 curtain material and his daughter’s sewing machine inside the press room at the state Capitol. Hulsey’s crazy antics were quickly denounced by both sides of the spectrum as “completely unacceptable and totally inappropriate.” But Husley says he was simply trying to call attention to what he says are “racist” policies by Republicans, such as ending record-keeping on racial profiling by police, cutting back on income eligibility limits for Medicaid, and voting changes. He has a point, but this is also the guy who he threatened to have someone dress up in a chicken suit and show up at one of the Democratic frontrunner’s events because, according to him, she’s afraid of facing him in a debate… so he’s a little out there. MSNBC

            Gene Robinson DivorceFirst they wanted gay marriage, now they want gay divorce! The world’s first openly gay bishop announced that he and his partner of over 25 years are getting divorced. Gene Robinson’s openly gay life ignited a controversy back in 2003 when he was elected as a bishop, prompting conservative Episcopalians in the US to break away and causing intense debate in the worldwide Anglican church. Now, after four years of legalized marriage and 21 years of fake marriage, the couple has called it quits. But they at least comforted by the fact that they can get divorced just like any old straight couple. “It is at least a small comfort to me, as a gay rights and marriage equality advocate, to know that like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples.” Robinson said. And now Gene’s struggle with the church was all for nothing… except he’s still openly gay, just divorced… which might be worse? USA Today

            Current Event Cat of the Day: Chilean Earthquake & Prison Break

            Current Event Cat - CHilean EarthQuake

            An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.2 struck the coast of Chile Tuesday – and what better excuse to break out of prison!

            According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the was centered 62 miles north of Iquique at a depth of 6.2 miles. The quake, along with the dozens of aftershocks – including a 6.2 tremor – generated a tsunami with six-foot waves, prompting tsunami warnings for not only Chile, but also Peru and Ecuador.

            Although only six people have reportedly died so far (not bad for 8.2-magnitude earthquake!), tens of thousands have been evacuated, power lines have been cut, fires have broken out, and landslides have been triggered.

            And while the earthquake is bad news for most, it’s good news for the roughly 300 prisoners who escaped from the port city of Iquique. Following the powerful shift in the earth’s crust, the prisoners from a women’s jail saw the perfect opportunity to get out of jail free. As the prison was being evacuated following the tsunami warnings, the inmates instigated a massive jailbreak and set fire to the prison site.

            Chilean President Michelle Bachelet wasn’t so keen on the prisoners’ plan. Bachelet declared a state of emergency in the region and sent a military plane with 100 anti-riot police to join 300 soldiers deployed to prevent looting and round up escaped prisoners. So far, have been recaptured since the quake but authorities are still frantically searching for the other missing prisoners and silently praying that the whole incident was just an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank.

            God Save the Queen! Mass Floods Swamp England… And Other News

            Floods swamp england

            While North America is dealing with blizzards and ice storms, England is suffering from its own weather problems.

            Heavy rainstorms and hurricane force winds have flooded parts of England and Wales, making living there even more dreary than usual. The Thames river has burst its bank, flooding 1,135 体彩手机在线怎么下载s so far and leaving another 5.2 million 体彩手机在线怎么下载s at risk of flooding. Even Windsor Castle has been threated by the floods. But don’t worry, the Queen is safe; she lives in a castle – the rainwater just acts as an extra moat. But for the commoners of England, the clean-up costs could reach lb1bn by the time the floods are finished. While Prime Minister David Cameron initially declared that money is “no object” when it comes to the aftermath of the flood, his Transport Secretary is a bit more frugal, saying there is no “blank cheque” for flooding relief.

            , French President Francois Hollande’s solo visit to the States is going smoothly – as long as France promises to stay away from Iran. Before the state dinner to celebrate the arrival of the French President, Obama vowed to come down on companies that evade sanctions against Iran “like a ton of bricks” then gave Hollande a sharp warning glare. Obama’s ton of bricks comment was in regards to a delegation of French executives who went to Tehran last week hoping to score some business deals while the interim nuclear agreement with Iran in still in play. After the moment of tension passed, the two leaders devoted their time to discussing the ongoing crisis in Syria… which should take a while. New York Times

            Tornadoes Sweep Through the Midwest

            Tornadoes in Illinois

            Move over Philippines, there’s a new natural disaster in town, and it hits a little closer to 体彩手机在线怎么下载. Powerful tornadoes swept through the U.S Midwest, demolishing 体彩手机在线怎么下载s, cutting off power, and killing six in Illinois.

            Tornado season hit the Midwest unexpectedly this year. November is typically the off-season for tornadoes, but this was no off-season series of twisters. As many as 80 tornadoes ripped through Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky on Sunday, killing six in Illinois, injuring hundreds of others, and leaving many trapped in basements.

            Weather doesn’t get more extreme than this in Illinois very often,” said Matt Friedlein, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

            I was first alerted to the storm when Little Reagan suddenly refused to sit by the open window (his fav spot!) and ran under the bed to hide. Awww. Cats have such an instinct for storms/ I should really start reading weather forecasts because the storm was already well under way at that point.

            Luckily, Chicago was spared from the fast-moving storm and none of the 60 tornadoes in the area managed to get us. But the strong winds and flash floods caused tens of thousands to be evacuated from Soldier Field ahead of the Chicago Bears game.

            Elsewhere in the state, people weren’t so lucky. Six people died in Illinois and as many as 200 people were injured statewide. Washington, Illinois was hit particularly hard with the storm destroying or seriously damaging as many as 400 体彩手机在线怎么下载s. So… pretty much all the 体彩手机在线怎么下载s in Washington, Illinois?

            Governor Pat Quinn declared seven counties a state disaster area and is hoping for a federal disaster designation that would help people recover.

            As for the storm, it has now moved on to northeastern U.S – albeit with less chance of tornadoes. Have fun you guys!


            Current Event Cat of the Day: Looting in the Philippines

            Current Event Cat - Looting

            Step 1: Survive Typhoon Haiyan. Step 2: Panic. Step 3: Begin Looting!

            Panicked survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines began looting Wednesday as food and clean water supplies become harder and harder to find.

            Five days after one of deadliest storms ever recorded hit the Philippines, the official death toll stands at 2,275. The number of causalities is expected to rise – as is the number of looting related deaths.

            So far 8 people were crushed to death when thousands of hungry Filipinos overran a government rice warehouse on one of the hardest hit islands. The rice mob caused a wall to collapse, crushing some people in the process, and prompting security forces to exchange gunfire with an armed gang – but at least they (well, some of them) managed to escape with thousands of sacks of grain.

            The slow pace of international aid distribution also caused some residents to smash open underground pipes and break into 体彩手机在线怎么下载s and stores to strip the shelves of supplies.

            “People are walking around like zombies just looking for food and water” one resident said, speaking of Tacloban, one of the worst hit cities.

            “My 体彩手机在线怎么下载town will never be the same again. About 90% of the city is destroyed – nothing left.”

            As the Philippines descends into chaos, authorities are trying to control the looting – but millions of displaced Filipinos has presented quite the logistical challenge. As international aid comes trickling in to the areas devastated by the typhoon, the government is trying its best to keep its sh*t together.

            “This is the largest logistic operation in the history of the Philippines, we have never done anything like this before,” Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras said.

            “The Filipino resiliency will be proven by this crisis. Maybe somebody from the outside cannot understand the true nature of this country体彩手机在线怎么下载 and the realities that can be found on the ground.”

            Now, if only they could get that looting under control – although I suppose basic survival is as good of reason as any to steal food and water…


            Current Event Cat of the Day: Typhoon Aid to the Philippines

            Current Event Cat - Typhoon Aid Philippines

            Super Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the Philippines over the weekend, leaving behind mass destruction and mass casualties.

            The typhoon death toll is estimated to be more than 10,000 and over 600,000 people have been displaced. In one city, Tacloban, the UN is reporting a mass grave with 300 to 500 bodies after the town was hit by waves and winds up to 235 mph.

            “I don’t believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way — every single building, every single house,” U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy said after taking a helicopter flight over the former city / current garbage dump.

            Now the typhoon-ravaged Philippines is facing a daunting relief effort. All the Filipino cleaning ladies in the world couldn’t clean up the destruction left behind by typhoon Haiyan, so Philippine President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity in order to speed up relief efforts for victims.

            Millions have been affected by the storm and many are now struggling to survive without food, shelter or clean drinking water. Rescue workers have been out and about wading through floating bloated bodies and handing out aid. However, they are struggling to reach the hardest hit areas that have been cut off as a result of the typhoon.

            The Philippines National Red Cross said people were not prepared for such a powerful storm. While authorities had evacuated hundreds of thousands of residents, many evacuation centres weren’t able to withstand the winds and storm surges.

            “Imagine America, which was prepared and very rich, still had a lot of challenges at the time of Hurricane Katrina, but what we had was three times more than what they received,” said Gwendolyn Pang, the group’s executive director.

            I wouldn’t say America was “prepared” when it came to Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Pang, but your country体彩手机在线怎么下载 just had a pretty rough typhoon so I’ll let it slide…



            Current Event Cat of the Day: Super Typhoon Haiyan

            Current Event Cat - Typhoon Haiyan

            Super/Monster/Really Big Typhoon Haiyan roared into the Philippines early Friday with winds of up to 320km per hour (aka really fast).

            The storm, which may be the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit land, has forced millions to seek shelter in 20 provinces and hold on for dear life. So far, three people have been killed and seven more reported injured. Another 12 million are still at risk.

            The Super Typhoon, which began battering Samar at 4:30 a.m, flooded streets and knocked out power and communications networks in many areas. The super high winds meant the destruction was over quickly – but it also meant that there was a lot of destruction.

            “About 90% of the infrastructure and establishments were heavily damaged,” Gwendolyn Pang, the secretary general of the Philippine National Red Cross said.

            Pang also predicted that the death toll would rise as soon as aid workers could wade their way through the wreckage and the 10 feet high flood waters. Considering December’s Typhoon Bopha killed as many as 1,900 people last year, this Super Typhoon will probably do even more damage. But the Philippines is a resilient country体彩手机在线怎么下载 and they will get through it. If there are two things Filipinos are good at, it’s enduring typhoons (they have an average of 20 a year) and cleaning up big messes (I have a Filipino cleaning lady).

            Via: &

            Pakistani Earthquake Kills Hundreds But Creates New Island… And Other News

            Pakistan EarthQuake

            Powerful earthquake packs a punch in Pakistan.

            Hundreds are dead and hundreds more injured in Pakistan’s remote southwest province of Balochistan after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck on Tuesday. The killer quake flattened entire villages and was so strong that it was felt as far away as Delhi and Dubai. But on the bright side, Pakistan got a new island out of it. After the earthquake struck, an island, about 200m long and 100m wide, appeared the coast near the port of Gwadar. But don’t try to visit the island yet – it’s still emitting some pretty heavy gas.

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