Caribbean Case Study Reveals How to Manage Volcano Risk

Dec 23rd, 2013 | By

Sci Dev Net: Volcanologists advising governments on active volcanoes should acknowledge the uncertainties in their risk estimates and work with social scientists to more effectively communicate the threat to local people, concludes a case study from Montserrat, in the British West Indies. Amy Donovan and Clive Oppenheimer, geographers from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, studied the interaction between science

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Eight Lakh People May Die if 8 Magnitude Quake Hits: NDMA VC

Nov 15th, 2013 | By

More than eight lakh people may die if an earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale occurs in the seismically-active Himalayan states from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, National Disaster Management Authority’s Vice Chairman M Shashidhar Reddy Thursday warned. Inaugurating a stall on disaster management at India International Trade Fair here, Reddy said people

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One River, Two Countries, Too Many Dams

Apr 3rd, 2013 | By

The Hindu: Chinese reticence about projects on its stretch of the Brahmaputra do not assuage Indian fears about diversion of the river’s waters. By raising the Brahmaputra dams construction issue during his first meeting with the new Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was following a two-pronged strategy. On the one hand, Dr.

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UN Family Agrees Plan For Disaster Risk Reduction

Mar 12th, 2013 | By
UN Flag

Preventionweb: Representatives of UN agencies, funds and programmes completed an action plan this week that will accelerate the integration of disaster risk reduction into all UN country level operations in response to the rising levels of disruption to millions of lives each year from disasters. The United Nations Plan of Action Plan on Disaster Risk

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Disasters In Mountains: Increasing Catastrophes In Indian Himalayas (Video)

Feb 12th, 2013 | By

CHI: In recent disasters in Indian Himalayan region we lost many human lives, livestock population, agriculture land, livelihood opportunities and huge infrastructure overnight.  The most affected states due to these calamities in India are Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim and part of West Bengal. The flood in Kosi and Indus basins in Nepal and Pakistan

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Online Tools ‘Decentralising Disaster Relief Efforts’

Feb 7th, 2013 | By
Okhimat Disaster-LR1 Disaster response and relief efforts are becoming more dynamic and decentralised with the development of web-based geospatial technologies, says a study. Researchers writing in Disasters evaluated the experiences of Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) during the Sichuan and Haiti earthquake responses in 2008 and 2010, respectively. They found that the conventional ‘top-down’

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India’s Dam Building Activities In Himalaya Threatening Human Lives And Biodiversity

Jan 21st, 2013 | By
India Dam

Zee News: Unprecedented dam building in the Indian Himalaya holds serious consequences for biodiversity and could pose a threat to human lives and livelihoods, researchers have found. The team was led by Professor Maharaj K. Pandit from the University Scholars Programme at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Prof Pandit, who also holds a courtesy

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Himalayan Destruction

Jan 18th, 2013 | By
Dams in Himalaya

CSE: Study quantifies the impact of hydel projects on the ecology of the mountain range. THE Himalayas are virtually under bombardment—of dams. They would have the highest dam density in the world, with over a thousand water reservoirs dotting the mountain range in India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan, over the next few years. These projects

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Himalayas May Experience Major Earthquakes: Study

Dec 7th, 2012 | By

Zee News: Scientists studying geologic features and activity in the Himalayas have warned that the mountain range, separating the plains of Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau, is primed for major earthquakes. Stanford geophysicists said that The Himalayan range was formed, and remains currently active, due to the collision of the Indian and Asian continental

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Using Disaster Warning Tools To Their Best Potential

Nov 27th, 2012 | By
A communication gap between scientists and decision-makers was revealed during the Horn of Africa's 2011 drought. Source: Flickr/ Oxfam International Stronger links between scientific tools and the environment in which they operate can improve the effectiveness of early warning. To say there is a lot riding on disaster management is an understatement. The lives and livelihoods lost, as well as extensive damage, underscore the human, environmental, social and economic cost of extreme events that

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Strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction In CCA At COP18

Nov 26th, 2012 | By
UNISDR-drr photo

UNISDR: This paper provides key messages on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction with the intent of strengthening disaster risk reduction in key climate change adaptation agendas at the UNFCCC COP18. Previous COPs have adopted a number of decisions linking disaster risk reduction to climate change adaptation. These decisions include the Adaptation Committee and

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Early Warning Of Disasters: Facts And Figures

Nov 26th, 2012 | By
Disaster risk reduction has focused, in part, on developing early warning systems to help communities respond to disasters Flickr/ ccwg Lucy Pearson looks at early warning systems for disasters, their uses and limits, and what accounts for the gap between warning and action. Through history disasters have destroyed lives and livelihoods, killing people and damaging homes and businesses. Disasters in the past 35 years have taken an estimated 2.5 million lives and cost more

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Why Disaster Warning And Development Go Hand In Hand

Nov 23rd, 2012 | By
Ukhimath-disaster-2 To engage people in early action we must understand their experience, behaviour and constraints, says disaster policy expert Andrew Collins. Disaster predictions have significant uncertainty that tends to undermine efforts to act on early warnings. In Bangladesh, for example, where there are extensive climatic hazards, people risk their lives by not taking refuge in

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Data Gaps Hamper Disaster Risk Reduction

Nov 23rd, 2012 | By
Okhimath-disaster 2012 Reducing risks and losses from natural disasters calls for collaboration between social and natural scientists, who in turn must work with policy makers, communities and development groups, an international expert has said. For example, Bangladesh scientists had forecast the current devastating floods but local communities did not heed their warnings. In the 2010 Pakistan

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Disaster Prevention Needs Far More Investment, Say Experts

Oct 9th, 2012 | By
Deepak Benjwal-3

Scidevnet: A major global relief and development agency has called upon world governments to make binding commitments to reduce risks from climate change-related disasters such as drought and flooding. Islamic Relief, which currently works in 26 disaster-afflicted countries across the world, appealed to the UN to create a global contingency fund to finance drought and

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UN Urged To Create Global Fund For Disaster Prevention

Oct 5th, 2012 | By
MDG : NIGER :  Flooding in Niamey

Islamic Relief calls for fund to give poor nations ‘fighting chance’ against climate change with investment before disaster strikes. The NGO Islamic Relief has urged the UN to establish a global contingency fund for disaster prevention as it is cheaper to help prepare for floods and drought than spend billions on emergencies. In a report

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Climate Change Is Already Damaging Global Economy, Report Finds

Sep 27th, 2012 | By

Guardian: Economic impact of global warming is costing the world more than $1.2 trillion a year, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP Climate change is already contributing to the deaths of nearly 400,000 people a year and costing the world more than $1.2 trillion, wiping 1.6% annually from global GDP, according to a new study.

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The Global Challenge of Climate Change

Sep 25th, 2012 | By
Okhimath Disaster-Gajendra Rautela1

Alertnet: The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came up with some simple but far-reaching findings. It stated for instance, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising

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Flash Floods Are Man-Made: Prof. Valdia

Sep 20th, 2012 | By

CSE: Environmental geologist K S Valdiya lives in Uttarakhand and keeps a tab on the changing geological processes in the Himalayan region. He was recently conferred with the G M Modi Award for Innovative Science and Technology for his contribution in the fields of Himalayan geology and neotectonics. Formerly a member of the prime minister’s

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New Growth Measures in Himalayan Region: Himalayan Day 2012

Sep 10th, 2012 | By
Nandi Kund 32 km track from Madmaheshwar

HESCO: Himalayas have been soul of the country by virtue of cultural, ethnic, ecological and economical values. It has not been guarding country’s border only but constantly serving its human by enriching soil, air, water etc. Unfortunately importance of Himalayas was always underestimated for its integral role in overall development of the Nation. Deterioration of

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Pakistan ‘Nowhere Near Prepared For Another Major Disaster’

Aug 6th, 2012 | By

Guardian: Major shortcomings in risk reduction system leave Pakistan vulnerable to floods and earthquakes, says Disasters Emergency Committee report. Measures introduced by the Pakistan government to reduce the risk and impact of disasters may look good on paper, but the reality is markedly different, according to a research study commissioned by the Disasters Emergency Committee

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Landslide Mitigation Housing

Apr 28th, 2012 | By

Institute of Hazard Risks and Resilience: Last week Archinect website carried a slightly intriguing design concept for ‘Landslide Mitigation Housing‘ by Jared Winchester and Viktor Ramos, which are residential units to be intentionally constructed on a landslide site.  The inspiration is a location in California at Rancho de Palos Verdes , near to Los Angeles,

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Earthquake-Resistant Table Could Save Lives

Apr 7th, 2012 | By

SciDevnet: Israeli researchers have designed a table that can withstand falling debris in the event of an earthquake. The table’s designers, Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, said it could be particularly valuable in schools, especially those built near geological fault lines or in developing countries,

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ASIA: Natural Disasters Becoming Costlier Than Ever

Feb 2nd, 2012 | By

Natural disasters in Asia in 2011 could well prove to be the costliest ever, experts say. “Never before has this world suffered so much economic loss due to natural disaster, most of which has been in Asia and the Pacific,” Sanjay Srivastava, UN regional adviser for disaster risk reduction, told IRIN in Bangkok. Of the

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Life after Death: Looking at Adaptation in Mountains After 2005 Earthquake

Jan 24th, 2012 | By

Noreen Haider: It has been more than six years when the Northern areas of Pakistan were hit by one of the most devastating earthquake in the history of the region. The earthquake measured 7.6 on the Richter scale and within the very few first seconds created an unimaginable devastation in an area of more than

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Pakistan Losing $1 Billion Per Day Due to Environmental Degradation

Jan 19th, 2012 | By

Business Recorder: Pakistan is losing cumulatively $1 billion per day due to the environmental degradation while the successive governments have never given serious attention to the issue. This was the crux of the seminar on “Strategic Environmental Assessment – in the context of Framework for Economic Growth – Taking the bull by the horns” organised

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Rise in Global Disasters Means Rise In Data Backup Solutions

Jan 6th, 2012 | By

On November 18, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report, Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters, claiming that scientists are “virtually certain” the world will have more extreme heat spells. By 2050, heat waves could be in the range of 5 degrees hotter, and 9 degrees by 2100. This increase

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Earth Systems Disruption: Does 2011 Indicate the New Normal of Climate Chaos and Conflict?

Dec 23rd, 2011 | By

Mongabay: The year 2011 has presented the world with a shocking increase in irregular weather and disasters linked to climate change. Just as the 2007 “big melt” of summer arctic sea ice sent scientists and environmentalists scrambling to re-evaluate the severity of climate change, so have recent events forced major revisions and updates in climate

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30 Million People Are Left Displaced By Natural Catastrophes

Dec 17th, 2011 | By

ChinaDaily: More than 30 million people in the Asia-Pacific region were displaced last year by environmental disasters, including floods and storms, and the number is likely to increase as droughts and floods become more severe. While many of those displaced eventually returned home when flood waters receded, many have now become migrants seeking more secure

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Why Small Hydropower Beats Big Dams

Dec 1st, 2011 | By

Good Environment: This graph from the  Energy Information Administration communicates the reality of renewable energy in America better than any other single source. Renewable energy covers only a small slice, 8 percent, of the country’s needs. And despite the focus on biofuels and solar power, the chart shows that more than a third of that slice

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Shattered Himalayas-Dying Ganges

Nov 19th, 2011 | By
Shattered Himalaya-Dying Ganges

NDTV India (Video): The video not only raises important questions about one of the Indian Himalayan States, its few Tributaries (Rivers) or about saving the lives of a few Mountain Dwellers, but, it is about status of Himalayas and Hindustan (India) itself. This very interesting video was released by NDTV India on 18 November 2011 

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Promoting adaptation to climate change in Nepal

Nov 12th, 2011 | By

Practical Action: This briefing focuses on the impact of climate change on Nepal’s rural poor. A great deal has been written  on the challenges of providing clean energy and the risks to urban populations but, as this paper outlines, climate change also has many other consequences. Rural communities, whose livelihoods are intimately tied to the

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Bhutan’s Moving Gold: How water is powering the country

Nov 9th, 2011 | By
The greenest country on Earth

CNN: Bhutan is the last of the Himalayan kingdoms. The small country is situated in the nooks and crannies of the highest mountain range on earth. It’s a special place that didn’t have paved roads until the 1960s, was off-limits to foreign tourists until the 1970’s, and didn’t have television until 1999, the last country

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India loses nearly $18 bn to disasters: UN Expert

Nov 8th, 2011 | By
Disaster Altertnet

Economic Times: India is paying a high price for its lack of disaster management practices — Rs.86,000 crore ($17.5 billion) every year to be precise, says a UN expert. “India is vulnerable, in varying degrees, to a large number of natural as well as manmade disasters,” J. Radhakrishnan, head of UNDP India’s Disaster Management wing,

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Nepal: Durban climate change conference

Nov 3rd, 2011 | By

Himalayan Times: The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011, is now warming up, and preparations are taking place. It will bring together representatives of the world’s governments, international organizations and civil society. The discussions will seek to advance the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan,

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Mega Dams in the Himalayas: An Assessment of Environmental Degradation and Global Warming

Nov 1st, 2011 | By
dam 2

Mega dams have the multipurpose applications and considered as the greener energy source than most alternatives. But as compensation to this development it may result a wide range of environmental degradation. This study aims to search the fact of environmental impacts due to the existing and proposed mega dams of the Himalayas and also to

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Quake triggers dam debate

Oct 3rd, 2011 | By

Times of India: The earthquake that ravaged Sikkim on September 18 has had a welcome side-effect. It has sparked a serious debate among people on the issue of dams. Most Sikkimese today have turned against mega dams being built to harness the Teesta river for generating 20,000 MW of power through as many as 28

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Consultation mulls on impacts of dam construction on people

Oct 1st, 2011 | By

Kanglaonline: A one day consultation on dams and development in Manipur was organized by the Citizen Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD) at Manipur Press Club to review the trend of introducing of policies and mega development projects in Manipur. The first session of the consultation was marked by the sharing of views among representatives

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Bad governance has accentuated the environment crisis

Oct 1st, 2011 | By

Friday Times: What role has climate change played in this year’s flooding? Climate change is the multiplier only – it is bad for everyone, especially the poor but it is even worse for the poor under bad governance. The present flooding in Sindh has affected all 23 districts, almost the entire province. The damage is

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Fatal flaws in climate change policy

Oct 1st, 2011 | By

Friday Times: With several inherent flaws, the draft National Climate Change Policy is likely to suffer the same fate as its predecessors A man asked a neighbourhood grocer for 25 kilogrammes of grain and said he would pay later. The grocer agreed and started weighing five portions of five kilos each. Each time he weighed,

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Earthquakes: Valley Faces Shaky Future

Sep 30th, 2011 | By
Figure above shows locations of major events along the Himalayan arc. The pink areas are the rupture zones of damaging earthquakes (magnitudes 7.3-8.6) in the past two centuries, and the grey areas are the inferred enormous rupture zones of Medieval megaquakes.

Kashmir Observer: Estimates of the magnitudes of past seismic events foretell a very shaky future for this pastoral Valley writes Dr Afroz Ahmad Shah. The earthquake studies in the state of Jammu of Kashmir, and primarily in the valley is still quite juvenile. Any kind of conclusion or opinion at this point of time will

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India needs more public-private participation

Sep 28th, 2011 | By

Times of India: India is at the forefront in using wireless technology, but lack of government participation is preventing the country from achieving the true growth it deserves, said Dr Subhas Chandra Mukhopadhyay, editor in chief of International Journal on Smart Sensing and intelligent Systems. An expert in the field of sensors and sensing technology,

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Health and Climate Change: 7 Ways You Are Being Harmed

Sep 28th, 2011 | By

The Atlantic: From the increase in frequency of heatwaves to the spread of infectious diseases, changing weather patterns are already affecting us all. The consequences of climate change sometimes appear far off. But warming and changing weather patterns are already driving changes in public health. The following are seven ways in which climate change affects

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Killer earthquakes on the rise

Sep 27th, 2011 | By
People repair their house damaged in Sunday's 6.9-magnitude earthquake inorth of Gangtok, India, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Indian soldiers managed to reach a hydroelectric project in the northeastern Wednesday where many people were killed in a series of landslides triggered by a powerful earthquake. (AP Photo)

Deccan Chronical: The last decade has seen an intensification in earthquake activities. The 2004 Sumatra quake in Indonesia, which registered 9.3 on the Richter scale, has triggered stress in many areas. The Sikkim earthquake could be a manifestation of this stress. Earthquakes, some scientists believe, are on the rise. The earthquake in Fukushima in Japan

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Himalayan quake a wake-up call for unprepared S.Asia-Analysis

Sep 26th, 2011 | By
A man stands in front of his house, which was damaged by the Sept. 18 6.9 magnitude earthquake, at the Mangan village north of the northeastern Indian city of Gangtok September 20, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Alertnet: The earth moves and across a metropolis, the schools and offices come crashing down, bridges snap sending cars smashing below, and fallen power lines set off fires. In seconds, the quake has left a world capital with mass casualties and economic losses. That could be the scenario in many of South Asia’s populous cities

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When the earth pushed west

Sep 26th, 2011 | By
Sikkim EQ-26 Sep

The Pioneer: The Sikkim earthquake has thrown both a challenge and an opportunity. UTPAL KUMAR, however, is not too sure if we will go for the right option It was one calamitous September morning that changed Japan forever. On September 1, 1923, a massive earthquake shook that country’s Kanto Plain, killing at least 100,000 people

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Damage to peaks worries Everesters

Sep 23rd, 2011 | By

Times of India: The Everest climbers of Himachal are concerned about the impact of global warming and blurring charm of Himalayas. Having no obvious purpose, the frequent, unplanned and “commercial” expeditions to the Himalayan peaks are ruining their beauty, they said. With over 19 successful Everest climbers, Himachal being the prime producer of mountaineers, more

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Quake puts lens on Siliguri highrises-Death toll 106

Sep 23rd, 2011 | By
People repair their house damaged in Sunday's 6.9-magnitude earthquake inorth of Gangtok, India, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Indian soldiers managed to reach a hydroelectric project in the northeastern Wednesday where many people were killed in a series of landslides triggered by a powerful earthquake. (AP Photo)

Times of India:The mushrooming highrises along Hill Cart Road, Bidhan Road, or Sevoke Road in Siliguri were touted till the other day as a breakaway from the vanishing light one-storey houses with tin roofs in Ashrampara or Hakimpara that dotted the town some two decades ago. The tremor on Sunday that damaged apartments, malls, power

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Wake-up call

Sep 22nd, 2011 | By
Photo Sikkim Earthquake. Credit-IIFL

Times of India: With the death toll climbing to at least 80, the recent Himalayan earthquake is an urgent wake-up call for all concerned — the government, policymakers and law enforcers. The effects of the 6.8 magnitude earthquake were felt across as many as six northern and eastern Indian states. The scale of devastation in

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Himalayan quake rescuers move to epicentre

Sep 22nd, 2011 | By
Phto Credit: Times of India

NineMSN: Rescue teams backed by army engineers using explosives are trying to reach the remote epicentre of a powerful Himalayan earthquake that killed 83 people in India, Nepal and Tibet. Before the grim search for more victims can begin, the main challenge after Sunday’s 6.9-magnitude quake is to reach the isolated, mountainous impact zone on

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Sikkim quake unusual, say geologists

Sep 21st, 2011 | By

Hindustan Times: The earthquake that rocked Sikkim on Sunday is unusual in terms of its magnitude and nature of origin, say leading geologists. “There is nothing surprising in this earthquake as the region north of Sikkim, which forms the outliers of Tibetan tectonics, is known for moderate earthquakes in the past,” C P Rajendran at

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Sikkim earthquake: Rescue opeartions in full swing, death toll 72

Sep 20th, 2011 | By
Sikkim Earthquake

Economic Times: Even as the government authorities assessed the extent of damage to life and property on account of Sunday’s earthquake epicentred in Sikkim, the death toll touched 72 on Monday, with over 100 reportedly injured. The dead include 10 employees of the Sikkim-based Teesta Hydel Project, whose bodies were recovered on Monday. While the

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A Carte Blanche To China In Gilgit-Baltistan

Sep 13th, 2011 | By
K2-Baltoro Muztagh, Central Karakoram, Pakistan

Syed Iqbal Hasnain: China’s high-stake poker game in Gilgit-Baltistan, a mountainous area that is part of the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, will have disastrous environmental consequences for the entire South Asia region and beyond. Reports in the local and international media indicate that, over the past few years, Beijing has been steadily undertaking

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Coventry nurse working in Pakistan voices fears of monsoon floods disaster

Jul 30th, 2011 | By

Coventry Telegraph: A COVENTRY nurse working in Pakistan fears the country could be hit hard by monsoon floods. Neva Khan, who grew up in Coventry and worked as a nurse in Nuneaton, has gone on to become Oxfam’s director in Pakistan. On the anniversary of the worst floods the country has ever seen – estimated

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New US Program Funds Research Collaborations in Developing World

Jul 12th, 2011 | By

Science Mag News: The 13 million people living in Dhaka, Bangladesh, sit on an “earthquake bomb,” says seismologist Syed Humayun Akhter of the University of Dhaka. But as recently as a decade ago, he notes, there was not a single seismologist in the country. That yawning talent gap is slowly closing, thanks in part to

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Future Development Must Be Centred Around Risk

Jul 7th, 2011 | By

Around 20% of the Earth is at risk from at least one natural hazard and more than half the world’s six billion plus population is exposed. In a matter of minutes, at least one hazard can change the world they know. Only through incorporating risk into development planning can we start to reduce this exposure.

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Q&A: M Shashidhar Reddy, NDMA

Jun 28th, 2011 | By

Business Standard: National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has taken a slew of initiatives on disaster management by involving states and concerned agencies. In an interview with Sanjay Jog, NDMA vice chairman M Shashidhar Reddy takes reviews the present state of disaster management. Excerpts: Is India equipped to handle earthquake and tsunami similar to Japan?About 59

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Himalayas more vulnerable to tremors: IISc study

Jun 14th, 2011 | By

IBN Live: Two academicians from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, based on their studies as well as those by researchers in the past, call for a critical reevaluation of the current understanding of past earthquakes in the Himalayas. K Rajendran and C P Rajendran of the Centre for Earth Sciences, IISc, have, in a

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A record of lake outburst in the Indus valley of Ladakh Himalaya, India

Jun 14th, 2011 | By

Research Communication IAS.AC.IN: We report here a paleolake record of outburst discovered at ~3245 m asl in the Spituk–Leh valley of the Indus river, Ladakh Himalaya. The >55 m thick sediment package is displayed by megascopic (metre scale) and intense injective liquefactions, slumping and gliding of the lake beds, and mega-scouring by gravelly outflow with

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Mountain tsunamis – a rising threat

May 24th, 2011 | By

Earthquakes could burst glacial lakes in the Himalayas, flooding populated areas downstream, scientists are warning. Navin Singh Khadka reports. Glacial lakes in the Himalayas could pose a major hazard to population centres if they are ruptured by earthquakes, scientists say. The true risk to settlements and infrastructure downstream in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region is difficult to assess. But

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