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The Lead

Siberian Fires Sweep Through Villages, Kill 15

April 14, 2015 10:47 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Out-of-control agricultural fires have killed at least 15 people, injured hundreds more and destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 homes in Siberia, authorities said.  The fires were started in Khakassia, a region in southeastern Siberia, by farmers burning the grass in their fields, but spread quickly because of strong winds.

Californians celebrate rain, snow from rare spring storm

April 9, 2015 11:25 am | by Robert Jablon and Kristin Bender, Associated Press | News | Comments

The storm that had doused Northern California arrived in Southern California on Tuesday night,...

Middle America Braces for Strong Storms, Possible Tornadoes

April 9, 2015 11:12 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The conditions are ripe for a series of storms to gain strength and buffet Middle America over...

36 Dead, Dozens Hurt as Storms Lash Bangladesh

April 7, 2015 10:38 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Separate tropical storms that have swept through parts of Bangladesh have left at least 36...

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Pemex Begins to Restore Production at Fire-Damaged Platform

April 7, 2015 10:21 am | by Katherine Corcoran, Associated Press | News | Comments

Mexico's state-run oil company continues to search for three missing workers from a platform fireball that killed four others, while beginning to restore production at the damaged Gulf of Mexico facility, officials said.  The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Typhoon Weakens as it Heads for the Philippines

April 1, 2015 1:35 pm | by Grace Garces Bordallo, Associated Press | News | Comments

A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend.  Typhoon Maysak packed winds of 160 kilometers per hour (100 mph) when it passed north of the Yap State atolls of Ulithi and Fais in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Fatal Floods, Landslides Strike India, Kashmir

April 1, 2015 12:13 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Rescuers recovered 16 bodies Tuesday from two houses hit by rain-triggered landslides in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, following its second major floods in six months. Elsewhere in India, fierce rain and lightning toppled houses and trees in Bihar state, killing 20 others.

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Flooding in Chile Kills Nine

March 30, 2015 12:53 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

 Communities in Chile's northern desert region are digging houses out of the mud and working to reopen roads after floods pummeled several cities and left nine people dead.  he heavy rains  swelled rivers and led to flash-flooding in cities including Copiapo, Chanaral, Tierra Amarilla and Taltal, all north of Santiago.

Continuity and Concrete Sea Walls in Japan

March 26, 2015 11:46 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

In 2011, an earthquake triggered a massive tsunami that struck northern Japan, leaving thousands dead and causing billions of dollars in damage.  It also resulted in nuclear meltdowns, including the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant.  Now, the government is considering something drastic: building a 250 mile chain of cement sea walls more than five stories tall.

Germanwings Co-Pilot May Have Brought Plane Down Intentionally

March 25, 2015 4:17 pm | by David McHugh and Lori Hinnant, Associated Press | News | Comments

 The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and "intentionally" rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain's frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said.  

Japan Hopes Sea Wall will Protect Against Tsunamis

March 23, 2015 10:49 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press | News | Comments

Opponents of the 820 billion yen ($6.8 billion) plan argue that the massive concrete barriers will damage marine ecology and scenery, hinder vital fisheries and actually do little to protect residents who are mostly supposed to relocate to higher ground. Those in favor say the sea walls are a necessary evil, and one that will provide some jobs, at least for a time.

Residents Find Ways to Avoid Cyclone's Wrath in Vanuatu

March 19, 2015 10:14 am | by Nick Perry, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tanna Island in the southern part of the Vanuatu archipelago was one of the hardest hit when Cyclone Pam tore through the South Pacific nation early Saturday.  Among the island's 30,000 residents, however, there were just five confirmed deaths, a testament to their experience in dealing with cyclones as well as some narrow escapes.

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Island Nation Vanuatu Hammered by Cyclone

March 16, 2015 4:04 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has lost years of development progress and must "start anew" following a powerful cyclone that destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in the capital of Port Vila, the country's president said.

Firefighters Battle Blaze in Chile

March 16, 2015 3:21 pm | by Patricia Luna, Associated Press | News | Comments

Firefighters in Chile gained the upper hand on a coastal blaze that had gotten close to the neighboring cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar, but officials said strong winds could still pose a threat.  About 200 firefighters on the ground and water-dumping helicopters and planes were battling the wildfire, which started Friday afternoon at an illegal dump and quickly spread.

New Snow Record Set in Boston

March 16, 2015 3:01 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Boston finally has its snow record, and it could get more.  With 2.9 inches Sunday, Logan International Airport hit 108.6 inches for the season, topping the previous record of 107.6 inches set in 1995-96, according to the National Weather Service.

CPE Meeting Focuses on Storm Resilience

March 12, 2015 11:31 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Articles | Comments

The New York Chapter of the Contingency Planning Exchange (CPE) hosted its half day quarterly event, which featured presentations and a panel discussion focusing on storm and flood resilience in New York City, on Wednesday, March 11 at Credit Suisse.

Building Collapse in Bangladesh Kills Four

March 12, 2015 10:43 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The roof of a five-story cement factory under construction in Bangladesh collapsed Thursday, killing at least four workers and trapping many others.  About 150 workers were on duty when the collapse occurred at Mongla in Bagerhat district, fire official Mizanur Rahman said.

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Death Toll from Afghan Avalanche Continues to Rise

March 2, 2015 3:51 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

 An Afghan provincial official says that the death toll from a massive avalanche in a mountainous valley near the capital Kabul rose to 198 as bulldozers and other machinery began clearing roads and rescue teams were able to reach remote villages that have been cut off for almost a week.

United Nations Urges Persistence in Ebola Fight

March 2, 2015 3:31 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The United Nations is urging donors, organizations and countries fighting Ebola in West Africa not to give in to complacency as the death toll from the virus climbs toward 10,000.  U.N. experts said the spread of the disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has dropped to almost 10 percent of what it was in September.

Avalanches in Northeastern Afghanistan Kill at Least 165

February 26, 2015 9:27 am | by Amir Shah and Rahim Faiez, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. The heavy snowstorms, which began early Tuesday, hampered rescue efforts.

More Harsh Winter Weather in South, Record Snow in Boston

February 26, 2015 9:16 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

States of emergency were declared and schools were closed ahead of wintry weather mix that hit much of the South on Wednesday.  Heavy rain, snow, and temperatures 20 to 30 degrees below zero were forecast for several states. The wintry mix of precipitation was expected from northern Texas eastward across the Gulf states and into the Carolinas, according to the National Weather Service.

U.S. Government Contracts with Quebec Biotech Company to Make Anti-Ebola Drug

February 26, 2015 8:57 am | by Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press | News | Comments

A Quebec City biotech company has been awarded a contract to make a ZMapp-like product to fight Ebola.  The U.S. government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority issued a contract to make monoclonal Ebola antibodies to Medicago.

New Restrictions Considered as Drought Continues in California

February 18, 2015 1:54 pm | by Fenit Nirappil, Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials are considering new water restrictions as California's drought drags on, possibly forcing residents to ask for water at restaurants and for fresh towels and sheets at hotels.  The State Water Resources Control Board floated the ideas at an informational hearing Tuesday as it considers extending and expanding mandatory water-use rules.

Mid-Atlantic, South Hit by Ice Storm

February 17, 2015 11:42 am | by Jonathan Drew and Mitch Weiss, Associated Press | News | Comments

A snow and ice storm blasted parts of the Mid-Atlantic and the South on Tuesday, creating treacherous road conditions and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.  Officials urged people to stay off the roads in several states, but wrecks were reported along slick streets.

West Virginia Train Derails, Causes Fires, Threatens Water Supply

February 17, 2015 11:35 am | by John Raby and Jonathan Mattise, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Fires burned for hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm in West Virginia, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said.

Maintenance Workers Who Sparked Fire Never Called 911

February 12, 2015 9:46 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Maintenance workers who sparked a fire that left about 500 residents of a northern New Jersey apartment complex homeless never called 911 for help, documents showed.  A review of dispatch logs and 911 tapes revealed no record of any employee alerting authorities as the Avalon Bay blaze, which started when two workers tried to fix a leaky pipe, grew into an inferno on Jan. 21 in Edgewater.

Wildfire Forces Evacuation of 250 Residents in California

February 9, 2015 3:02 pm | by Michelle Rindels, Associated Press | News | Comments

Fire crews increased containment of the wind-driven wildfire that ravaged communities along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, but they said that they still didn't know when the roughly 250 residents evacuated from Swall Meadows and nearby Paradise would be able to return home.

Testing for Ebola Drug Stopped as Cases Decline

February 5, 2015 10:21 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Doctors Without Borders says that human testing on a potential Ebola drug is being stopped because there aren't enough patients because of a decline in Ebola cases.  The drop-off in Ebola infections is good news for Liberia, but it means there are not enough sick people to take part in the study.

Human Testing of Potential Ebola Vaccine Begins in Liberia

February 3, 2015 11:32 am | by Jonathan Paye-Layleh, Associated Press | News | Comments

 Large-scale human testing of two potential Ebola vaccines got under way in Liberia's capital Monday, part of a global effort to prevent a repeat of the epidemic that has now claimed nearly 9,000 lives in West Africa.  There is currently no licensed treatment for Ebola, a ghastly virus that has killed at least 60 percent of even its hospitalized victims.

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