350 Dead as Cyclone Nagris hits Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma  was hit by Cyclone Nargis on Saturday as it ripped through the Irrawaddy Delta and the commercial capital Yangon. Five regions have been declared disaster zone and tens of thousands have been left homeless with over 350 deaths already reported.

With many communication networks down including roads and bridges and many remote villages having been affected it is difficult to get a full overview of the damage caused. UN International agencies are working to co-ordinate their response, however the movement of foreign aid workers is restricted in military ruled Myanmar. Travel permits and official escorts are required and the transport of supplies and materials has restrictions on it.

Current aid priorities include water purfication tables and mosquito nets and with many thousands now left homeless in the current rainy season, waterproof sheeting is required to provide some shelter.

For more details on the cyclone, follow up some of the news links below

Video clips on the cyclone:

Chaiten Volcano – Eruption threatens parts of Southern Chile

Over a 1000 people have already been evacuated from the area around Chaiten in Southern Chile as Chaiten volcano contains to spew ash and other volcanic materials since it began erupting in the early hours of May 2nd.

The video clip below gives a brief overview of the status of the eruption so far:

Find out more about the eruption and the rescue / evacuation attempts which are under way by following some of the links below. Also think about the nature of the volcanic hazards involved.

California devastated by the spread of Wildfires

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Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/caesarsebastian/1734142858/

California has been declared a major disaster zone by George Bush with the biggest US evacuation since Hurricane Katrina taking place as people flee the devastating wildfires in seven California counties. The situation has been made worse by the annual Santa Ana winds which are helping to spread the fires by dispersing burning embers, turning the tinder dry vegetation into burning infernoes. For a full updates on the fires and photographs / video footage, explore some of the links below.

Photographs:

Videos:

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Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anthonybaby/1722366077/

Terrifying Twisters!

A tornado in the US has claimed 9 lives as it ripped through Greensburg, Kansas on Friday (4th May 2007). Around 90% of the small rural town of Greensburg has been destroyed. Greensburg, is in Tornado Alley, the central part of the US which is frequently hit by tornadoes. Stunning video footage of the tornado (courtesey of Sky News http://news.sky.com) can be seen here.

9 people were killed just under two weeks ago when a strong tornado struck a small Texan community on the US border before passing into Mexico.

Find out more about these deadly natural phenomenum in this Tornadoes special from CNN with quizzes, photos and tornado facts and figures.

Stunning images of tornadoes can be found in the NOAA Tornadoes Photo library.

Southern England struck by Earthquake

 An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the richter scale struck Southern England at 8.18am this morning (Saturday 28th April 2007). The map to the left shows the location of the quake (source credit: U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior) – further maps of the quake (including seismicity) can be found here. It is also worth looking at the location on the Worldwide Earthquake locator (try altering the map to add on fault lines, plate names etc.)  

News Articles:
Earthquake shakes part of Kent (BBC News)
Eyewitness accounts of the earthquake (BBC News)
Homes evacuated after earthquake hits Kent (Times Online)
Photographs of the earthquake damage (Sky News)
Earthquake shakes Southern England (SKy News)
The House shook “Its chaos down here” (Sky News)
Homes crumble as earthquake rocks Kent (This London.co.uk)
In pictures: Kent Earthquake (BBC News)

Q&A – Kent earthquake (BBC News)

Video Links:
Interview with BGS on initial thoughts on Earthquake (Sky News Video link)
The View from above (Sky News video link)
Chimneys and Roofs damaged by quake (Sky News Video link)
Eyewitness Interview (Sky News video link)
It is also worth looking at the location of the quake in the Worldwide Earthquake locator (you can alter the map to display fault lines, plate boundaries etc.)

To find out more about earthquakes in the UK – have a look at some of the links on the Advanced Extension Blog.

Map Source: Credit U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Interior