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Glitch Shows There's Still a Long Way to go in Fukushima

March 30, 2015 1:10 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The cutting-edge technology was billed as a way to decipher where exactly the morass of nuclear fuel might sit at the bottom of reactors in the Japanese power plant that went into multiple meltdowns four years ago.  But what went wrong, even in a simple demonstration for reporters Friday for the $5 million project, was a sobering reminder of the enormous challenges that lie ahead for the decommissioning of Fukushima Dai-ichi.

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...

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...

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...

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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.

Lack of Snowpack Could Contribute to Continuing California Drought

March 23, 2015 10:00 am | by Ellen Knickmeyer, Associated Press | News | Comments

Spring is arriving with the Pacific Northwest measuring near record-low-snowfall, and much of the rest of the West below average. But what California is experiencing is historically low snowpack — a meager accumulation that has serious implications not only for the state but potentially for the entire West if the drought not just of water, but of snow, persists.

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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.

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.

Residents Concerned as Ohio River Hits Highest Level in Decades

March 16, 2015 3:26 pm | by Dan Sewell, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Ohio River crested  at its highest level in two decades, leaving riverside residents relieved but cautious as forecasters warned that flooding problems will linger much of the week ahead.  The National Weather Service said the river crested at around 6 a.m. at 57.7 feet, or seven feet below the 1997 level that caused severe, widespread flooding in the Cincinnati area and in Kentucky. 

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.

Train Service Halted after Mud Blocks Tracks

March 16, 2015 2:51 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Heavy rain over the weekend caused mudslides around western Washington, including one that has stopped passenger train service between Seattle and the city of Everett, about 25 miles north.  The National Weather Service says Sunday's rainfall broke records across western Washington.

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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.

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.

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.

More Snow, but Could This be the End?

March 3, 2015 11:34 am | by Joe Shust, Editor | Blogs | Comments

It seems like I have written these words dozens of times since the winter started and it looks as though I will have to write them at least one more time: more snow is coming to the Northeastern United States.  

Boston Inches Away from New Snowfall Record

March 2, 2015 4:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

It has topped more than 100 inches of snow this season, but Boston is just short of surpassing its 20-year-old snowfall record — for now.  Two small snowfalls, Tuesday night and Wednesday into Thursday, could do it, said Frank Nocera, a National Weather Service meteorologist in the Taunton, Massachusetts, office.

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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.

Even Southern California Can't Escape Snow

March 2, 2015 3:40 pm | News | Comments

The beach at Southern California's "Surf City" has been turned white by a dumping of hail from a fast-moving storm.  The National Weather Service says at least an inch of icy pellets coated the sand at Huntington Beach after the system roared ashore Monday morning.

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.

Residents Throughout U.S. Coping with Winter Weather

February 18, 2015 2:53 pm | by Jonathan Drew and Meredith Somers, Associated Press | News | Comments

For the South, the storm that dumped a foot of snow in some places was only the beginning. Low temperatures gripped the region Wednesday, freezing and refreezing the snow and ice and making the roads as hazardous as they were during the height of the storm. In many areas, the cold was expected to stay for days. The refreeze has already played out over and over in New England, where mountains of snow are piled high.

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.

Snow Causing Massachusetts Roofs to Collapse

February 18, 2015 1:44 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Roofs across eastern Massachusetts are collapsing or buckling under the weight of several feet of snow, but no major injuries have been reported.  The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency says it has received 74 reports of roof collapses since Feb. 9.

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.

Japanese Earthquakes Trigger Tsunami Warning

February 17, 2015 11:22 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Earthquakes with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 and 5.7 struck the Pacific off northeastern Japan on Tuesday, with slight tidal waves observed in some coastal areas following the first temblor.  The coastal areas of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures were devastated on March 11, 2011, when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck the Pacific off the northeastern Japan areas, and caused a massive deadly tsunami.

Winter Weather Causing New York Town to 'Give Up' on Tourism

February 17, 2015 10:59 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The tourism office of Ithaca, New York, is waving the white flag on winter and advising visitors to its website to check out the Florida Keys instead.  Ithaca and the rest of upstate New York have been in the grips of a snowy and brutally cold winter. The most recent cold snap sent temperatures plunging as low as 28 degrees below zero in the Adirondacks.

Even More Snow in the Forecast for New England

February 12, 2015 10:15 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Just as southern New England residents finished digging out from the latest storm, forecasters say more snow is on the way.  Forecasters also are watching a much larger storm that could dump higher amounts Sunday into Monday. It's too early to say how much that might ultimately bring.

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.

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