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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"...

Could 'Common Sense' be the Solution to Railroad Safety?

March 25, 2015 3:50 pm | by Martha Waggoner, Associated Press | News | Comments

 America's railroads want five more years to stop train wrecks using a high-tech system costing...

Washington Announces Investigation Into Premera Cyber Attack

March 25, 2015 2:51 pm | by Derrick Nunnally, Associated Press | News | Comments

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said he plans to work with his counterparts in Alaska and...

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Ebola Victim May Have Caught Virus from Survivor

March 25, 2015 2:38 pm | by Jonathan Paye-Layleh, Associated Press | News | Comments

A woman who tested positive for Ebola in Liberia last week is dating a survivor of the disease, a health official said, offering a possible explanation for how she became the country's first confirmed case in weeks.  The patient is now being treated at the Monrovia Medical Unit, a U.S.-built field hospital.

Products from Areas of Japan Impacted by Nuclear Disaster Recalled

March 25, 2015 2:03 pm | News | Comments

Taiwanese health authorities have ordered a recall of all food products illegally imported from five Japanese prefectures affected by the 2011 earthquake and consequent nuclear disaster.  The Food and Drug Administration announced in October last year that it was planning to introduce regulations requiring foods imported from Japan to carry prefecture-specific labels of origin.

During Cyclone, Vanuatu Residents did More With Less

March 24, 2015 12:04 pm | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Last week, the island nation of Vanuatu was hammered by a massive cyclone that destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in Port Vila, the nation’s capital.  The challenges of recovering from a catastrophic weather incident of this magnitude in a country like Vanuatu are going to be far more amplified than they would elsewhere.  Still, residents did their best to prepare for the storm. 

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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.

Vanuatu Continues to Rebuild after Cyclone

March 23, 2015 10:30 am | by Nick Perry, Associated Press | News | Comments

A week after a cyclone tore through the South Pacific archipelago with winds of 168 miles per hour, people are focused on the task of rebuilding.  About 65,000 people across Vanuatu were left homeless by the cyclone, which killed 17 people.

Liberians Volunteering for Ebola Vaccine Trial

March 23, 2015 10:12 am | by Jonathan Paye-Layleh, Associated Press | News | Comments

The gruesome toll of West Africa's Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 4,200 Liberians of the more than 10,000 who have succumbed to the disease, has intensified efforts to find a vaccine for a disease that previously infected relatively few people in remote areas.

Testing Delayed After School Computers Were Hacked

March 23, 2015 9:54 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Common Core testing for thousands of students had to be delayed after computers were hacked at a Colorado school district, officials said.  School districts in New Jersey and Florida reported similar problems in recent weeks, as the new, computerized assessment tests developed by several states were administered.

Two BNSF Trains Derail Over Weekend

March 23, 2015 9:50 am | News | Comments

 While a crew worked Sunday to clean up the scene in Central Texas where the derailment of about a dozen train cars resulted in an industrial solvent leaking from one tanker, a train jumped its tracks in northern Colorado, dumping coal from more than two dozen cars.

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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.

Freedom Industries Plant Manager Pleads Guilty to Pollution Charge

March 19, 2015 9:53 am | by John Raby, Associated Press | News | Comments

 A former plant manager at Freedom Industries pleaded guilty to a pollution charge Wednesday in last year's chemical spill in West Virginia that fouled the local tap water supply.  Federal investigators have said holes in a corroded tank's floor and roof likely helped cause the Jan. 9, 2014, spill. Freedom Industries filed for bankruptcy protection eight days later.

Businesses Re-Open as European Economy Recovers Slowly

March 19, 2015 9:24 am | by Barry Hatton, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Valadares factory in Portugal shut down in 2012 amid Europe's financial crisis, its huge debts and outdated business practices dooming it to bankruptcy. Now, on the factory floor, a few dozen former employees are back at their jobs and fighting to rebuild their lives after the business was reopened by private investors.  

Search Called for Remaining Crash Victims Called Off

March 19, 2015 9:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

All 162 people aboard Airbus A320-200 died when it went down Dec. 28 while flying from Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, to Singapore. So far, 106 bodies have been recovered, with the last three pulled out from the underwater wreckage last week. 

More Reactors Being Decommissioned in Japan

March 19, 2015 8:37 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Chugoku Electric Power Co. decided  to decommission aging reactors, following a similar move the previous day by the operators of two nuclear power plants in Fukui Prefecture amid safety concerns in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

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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.

Former Freedom Industries Owner Pleads Guilty

March 16, 2015 2:57 pm | by John Raby, Associated Press | News | Comments

 A former owner of Freedom Industries has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from last year's chemical spill in Charleston.  He faces up to a year in prison.  The spill contaminated drinking water for 300,000 residents for days.

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.

Duke Energy Faces Massive Fine over Pollution

March 12, 2015 11:27 am | by Mitch Weiss, Associated Press | News | Comments

North Carolina environmental officials said  they are fining Duke Energy $25 million over pollution that has been seeping into groundwater for years from a pair of coal ash pits at a retired power plant.  The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources called it the state's largest penalty for environmental damages.

Soy Sauce Maker Endures After Tsunami

March 12, 2015 11:19 am | by Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press | News | Comments

When the tsunami warning sounded, workers at the two-centuries-old soy sauce maker in northeastern Japan ran up a nearby hill to a shrine for safety, and watched in disbelief as towering waters swallowed their factory.  They all believed the business and its precious fungal cultures that give soy sauce its unique taste were lost forever. Everyone except for Michihiro Kono, the ninth-generation son of the founding family.

Canadian Government Proposes New Tank Car Regulations

March 12, 2015 11:14 am | by Rob Gillies and Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Canadian government has proposed tough new standards for rail tank cars used to transport crude oil in response to a string of fiery crashes.  The proposal, posted online  by Transport Canada, would require the cars to have outer "jackets," a layer of thermal protection, and thicker steel walls.

Channel Re-Opened after Spill

March 12, 2015 10:51 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities closed a 4-mile to 8-mile section of the Houston Ship Channel Monday after the tanker Carla Maersk and the bulk carrier Conti Peridot crashed in foggy conditions. Nobody was hurt, but some of the Carla Maersk's cargo — methyl tert-butyl ether or MTBE — was spilled.

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.

Hacking Charges Against National Weather Service Employee Dropped

March 12, 2015 10:37 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Charges have been dismissed against a National Weather Service employee accused of illegally accessing a restricted federal computer database containing information about the nation's dams, stealing information and lying to investigators.

The Importance of Infectious Disease Planning: A Personal Experience

March 10, 2015 11:12 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

Infectious diseases are certainly not a new topic on here at Continuity Insights.  Ebola, Measles and MERS have all been in the news cycle in the last year and have been covered extensively on the website and in the CI Bulletin.   I am beginning to understand why experienced BC pros are concerned about and plan for infectious diseases even if the odds of getting them are unlikely.

Has Record Snow Harmed New England's Economy?

March 9, 2015 4:35 pm | by Philip Marcelo, Associated Press | News | Comments

Retailers and restaurants were among the hardest hit, as customers held off on big purchases or chose to stay at home rather than enjoy a night on the town.  A survey released this week by Massachusetts business groups representing those and other industries reported sales dropped an average of 24 percent and payroll dropped about 7 percent among their small businesses members.

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