Numerology: 2012 and the Mayan Calendar

One of the most significant years in numerology is the year 2012
A.D. That is because that is the date that the Mayans predicted
that the world would end.

Even people who do not know a lot about Mayan astrology have heard
this theory that the year 2012 will bring the apocalypse. It is
supposed to end on December 21st at 11:11 am. This is a date that
has always significant to theorists, physicist, astrologers,
historians and numerologists as the year signifies the end of the
thirteen cycle that make up what is known as the Mayan Long Count

The Mayan Calendar contains both components of astrology and
numerology. The people that belonged to this ancient civilization
of Central America were adept pampers and trackers of the heavens.
The massive temples that were built by this early civilization were
not just tombs or places to worship the Gods. They were also built
to be giant observatories of the heavens.

These temples were architecturally designed so that the movements
of the planets, the sun, the moon and the stars could be tracked.

The majestic structures that the ancient Mayans built were not just
places of worship. They were centers of astronomic studies that
also did dual duty as temples of worship. Some temples even had
cut-outs in their stones in the shapes of snakes. As the sun would
raise, these cut out shapes would cast lengthening shadows in the
shape of snakes down the temple steps. From a distance it would
seem that a real snake was slithering down the steps. When the
snake shadow lengthened so that it reached the bottom of the steps
it marked a day. One whole day in the Mayan calendar was called a

Many ancient civilizations in Africa and the Far East developed
calendars based on a 20 unit mathematical system and coincidentally
so did the Mayan civilization.

In essence the Long Count system nested cycles of days based on the
number 20. Every unit of time in the calendar was based somehow
out of that unit of 20.

Twenty days was called a Uinal. 7200 days was called a Katun and
144,000 days was called a Baktun. The Mayan year consisted of 360
days and was called a Tun. This calendar was a little shorter than
ours in terms of year length because it was only 360 days. Those
360 days were in turn divided into units of twenty days.

The reason that ancient Mayan year was a little bit shorter than
our current calendar of 365 years is that it was based on the
astral cycles of Venus. The ancient Mayans knew that whenever this
shining celestial body was close to the earth that it seemed to
bring good times. Of course today we would note this knowing that
the planet Venus is associated in astrology with love and
blessings. The planet Venus also has cycles that are the equivalent
in length to the number twenty.

This Long Count system of measuring time was first put into
practice by the Mayans around 32 B.C. The reason that it was
called The Long Count is because the Mayans, who were quite dark
spiritually, believed that the end of the world must happen. In
fact it was something to look forward to, because life was believed
tobe easier after that.

In essence the Mayan Long Count is the countdown to the eventual
and unavoidable apocalypse that would bring the end of the world.
The high priests and shamans in the Mayan culture figured out that
the Long Count which is supposed to equal 5125.36 days.

This number of days is also known as the Mayan Great Cycle. This
passage of time ends exactly on the winter solstice. Amazingly the
Mayan mathematicians were able to pinpoint the exact day and time
that the world will end in the future and that is on December 21st
2012. Just as a matter of interest they also believed that the
world was conceived on August 13th.

There is actual astrological and astronomical data to back up the
theory of the Mayan Long Count, and there are things happening in
the sky that day that could potentially bring the end of the world!

Astrologically this date is important as this marks the date when
the Sun is going to cross what is astronomically known as the Milky
Way Equator. The Mayans were absolutely incredible mathematicians
and they could predict centuries into the future when it came to
predicting the trajectory of the Sun.

Further here is a lot of imagery representing the Milky Way in
works of art done by the Mayans. The sea of stars of the Milky Way
is essential to the Mayan myth of the Sacred Tree.

In many of these drawings the sun is symbolized as a canoe
that carries Mayan deities across the sky. In many drawings on
temple walls there is a progressive series of images that shows the
end of the world as symbolized by the canoe sinking into the Milky
Way. Astrologically the crossing of the sun over the Milky Way
equator scheduled to happen at exactly 11:11 a.m GMT on December
21st in the year 2012.

This type of astrological event is unheard of as the sun will
technically be in what is known as the “dark rift” of the Milky Way
and oddly will also be in conjunction with the exact center of the

Many visionaries and metaphysicians have noted how important this
date is to the end of the world. One famous analysis called “The
Mayan Prophecies” (authored by Adrian Gilbert and Maurice Cotterill)
have put forth the theory that the sun will reverse its magnetic
field that day. This would be a development that would result in
weather changes and seismic shifts that could cause the end of the

Of course the end of the world has been predicted many times in
history and it is more likely that the Long Count will signify the
end of one era and a new beginning of consciousness. However it is
quite odd that the number 11:11 — which is apocalyptic in other
religions and cultures — is the same in this system.

Every major religion, minor religions you’ve never
heard of, non-religious spiritualists, and even athiests
and agnostics agree in 2012 something will happen.

There are millions of people around the world sensing
this big event is coming. But What will happen?

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Data Streaming in from Space Station to OSU Lab

ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2011) — A prototype scanner aboard the International Space Station has been taking new images of Earth’s coastal regions during the 16 months since it was launched, providing scientists with a new set of imaging tools that will help them monitor events from oil spills to plankton blooms.

The images and other data are now available to scientists from around the world through an online clearinghouse coordinated by Oregon State University.

Additional details of the project will be announced in a forthcoming issue of the American Geophysical Union journal, EOS, and can be found on an OSU website about the project.

The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean, or HICO, is the first space-borne sensor created specifically for observing the coastal ocean and will allow scientists to better analyze human impacts and climate change effects on the world’s coastal regions, according to Curtiss O. Davis, an OSU oceanographer and the project scientist.

“What HICO does that other ocean imaging systems like NASA’s MODIS cannot is provide color sensor data down to the human scale,” Davis said. “Whereas the normal resolution for an ocean imager is about one kilometer, HICO provides resolution down to 90 meters. And instead of having just nine channels like MODIS, it has 90 channels.

“This allows us to focus the imaging system on a section of the coastline and map the ocean floor in water as deep as 50 to 60 feet,” he added. “It gives us the ability to track sediment down the Columbia River, and to distinguish that sediment from phytoplankton blooms in the ocean. It can reveal near-shore eddies, currents, and the influence of coastal streams entering the ocean.

“It is a scientific treasure trove for the coastal oceanographer,” he added.

This sophisticated imaging system was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory and installed aboard the space station in 2009. Its development was an experiment — to see if engineers could create an “Innovative Naval Prototype” instrument very quickly, at low-cost, and make it work for a year, said Davis, who worked for several years at the laboratory before joining the OSU faculty.

That first goal was achieved last October and now the focus is on the second goal, conducting useful science with this unique data set.

“We’ve already talked to 40-50 interested scientists and shared some preliminary data,” he said, “and they’ve been excited about the potential. They all want a piece of it.”

Some of the images HICO has provided have revealed interesting data:

  • Images of the Han River in South Korea outline the dynamic, rapidly shifting shallow mud flats that are covered by the incoming tide, but include sandbars where boats can easily get mired;
  • Images from the Straits of Gibraltar, separating Spain from North Africa, reveal where large internal waves propagate hundreds of feet below the surface. These waves, which were used during World War II to hide submarines moving through the channel, can affect fishing and boat navigation.
  • Images of the Columbia River, taken during a large storm and after, reveal changing breakwaters and bars that demonstrate the complexity and dynamics of this large system.

“We hope to begin imaging the area around Sendai, Japan, which was devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami to see what we might learn,” Davis said.

The space station orbits Earth about 16 times a day and the researchers are able to get about 5-6 good images daily of targeted locations. Cloud cover and darkness limit the number of possible images, and the transmission of data files is enormous.

Jasmine Nahorniak, a senior research assistant, developed and runs the website through OSU’s College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences where HICO images and other data are stored and shared with scientists around the world.

“We have a couple of thousand images and a growing number of scientists who are interested in the data,” she said. “It’s a work in progress.”

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Economic impact of Japan disaster ‘worse than thought’

by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) April 12, 2011
The economic impact of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan is worse than previously thought, a Japanese minister was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Economy and fiscal policy minister Kaoru Yosano said the ripples of the disaster that struck the country last month would be felt widely.

“The blow to the economy is bigger than initially thought,” Yosano said, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The damage “is wide-ranging. (The tsunami) hit the region that has sophisticated manufacturing as well as the primary industries. I think the blow to the economy is larger than our original expectations,” Yosano said.

The March 11 disaster has plunged Japan into its worst crisis since World War II, unleashing a tsunami that wiped out towns along the northeast coast to leave more than 27,000 dead or missing and triggering a nuclear crisis.

With infrastructure ravaged, key supply chains have been broken and power shortages have crippled production for Japan’s biggest companies, such as Sony, Toyota and Honda.

Output overseas has also been compromised, with a shortage of Japanese components affecting global markets.

Many see Japan sliding into a temporary recession as a result of the impact of the disasters. The Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey last week showed Japanese business confidence in the outlook for the next three months had plunged.

Japan has said the cost of rebuilding could be as much as 25 trillion yen ($295 billion).

The estimate does not include the potential cost of contamination of the food and water supply from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The monster wave knocked out reactor cooling systems at the plant north of Tokyo, causing explosions and the release of radiation.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from a 20-kilometre (12-mile) radius around the plant amid a contamination scare that has led to restrictions on farm produce and overseas bans on the import of Japanese goods.

Japan upgraded its nuclear emergency to a maximum seven on an international scale of atomic crises on Tuesday, putting it on par with the Chernobyl disaster, and making it a “major accident” with “widespread health and environmental effects”.

Tokyo stocks slid 1.69 percent Tuesday on concerns for the economy.

Yosano’s comments came a day after the International Monetary Fund lowered its 2011 growth forecast for Japan, citing “large uncertainties” hanging over the world’s third-biggest economy a month after the huge earthquake.

A mammoth rebuilding task will be required, but Japan faces a huge challenge in financing it without expanding a public debt that is already the industrialised world’s biggest at around 200 percent of GDP.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s in January cut Japan’s credit rating for the first time since 2002, and in February Moody’s lowered its outlook for Japan’s sovereign debt to

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Tsunamis – Natural Disasters

A tsunami is a series of ocean waves that sends surges of water, sometimes reaching heights of over 100 feet (30.5 meters), onto land. These walls of water can cause widespread destruction when they crash ashore.

These awe-inspiring waves are typically caused by large, undersea earthquakes at tectonic plate boundaries. When the ocean floor at a plate boundary rises or falls suddenly it displaces the water above it and launches the rolling waves that will become a tsunami.

Most tsunamis, about 80 percent, happen within the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” a geologically active area where tectonic shifts make volcanoes and earthquakes common.

Tsunamis may also be caused by underwater landslides or volcanic eruptions. They may even be launched, as they frequently were in Earth’s ancient past, by the impact of a large meteorite plunging into an ocean.

Tsunamis race across the sea at up to 500 miles (805 kilometers) an hour—about as fast as a jet airplane. At that pace they can cross the entire expanse of the Pacific Ocean in less than a day. And their long wavelengths mean they lose very little energy along the way.

In deep ocean, tsunami waves may appear only a foot or so high. But as they approach shoreline and enter shallower water they slow down and begin to grow in energy and height. The tops of the waves move faster than their bottoms do, which causes them to rise precipitously.

A tsunami’s trough, the low point beneath the wave’s crest, often reaches shore first. When it does, it produces a vacuum effect that sucks coastal water seaward and exposes harbor and sea floors. This retreating of sea water is an important warning sign of a tsunami, because the wave’s crest and its enormous volume of water typically hit shore five minutes or so later. Recognizing this phenomenon can save lives.

A tsunami is usually composed of a series of waves, called a wave train, so its destructive force may be compounded as successive waves reach shore. People experiencing a tsunami should remember that the danger may not have passed with the first wave and should await official word that it is safe to return to vulnerable locations.

Some tsunamis do not appear on shore as massive breaking waves but instead resemble a quickly surging tide that inundates coastal areas.

The best defense against any tsunami is early warning that allows people to seek higher ground. The Pacific Tsunami Warning System, a coalition of 26 nations headquartered in Hawaii, maintains a web of seismic equipment and water level gauges to identify tsunamis at sea. Similar systems are proposed to protect coastal areas worldwide.


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NASA Airborne Radar Set to Image Hawaiian Volcano

SA Airborne Radar Set to Image Hawaiian Volcano

ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2011) — The Kilauea volcano that recently erupted on the Big Island of Hawaii will be the target for a NASA study to help scientists better understand processes occurring under Earth’s surface.

A NASA Gulfstream-III aircraft equipped with a synthetic aperture radar developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., was scheduled to depart Sunday, April 3, from the Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., to the Big Island for a nine-day mission.

The Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, uses a technique called interferometric synthetic aperture radar that sends pulses of microwave energy from the aircraft to the ground to detect and measure very subtle deformations in Earth’s surface, such as those caused by earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and glacier movements.

As the Gulfstream-III flies at an altitude of about 12,500 meters (41,000 feet), the radar, located in a pod under the aircraft’s belly, will collect data over Kilauea. The UAVSAR’s first data acquisitions over this volcanic region took place in January 2010, when the radar flew over the volcano daily for a week. The UAVSAR detected deflation of Kilauea’s caldera over one day, part of a series of deflation-inflation events observed at Kilauea as magma is pumped into the volcano’s east rift zone.

This month’s flights will repeat the 2010 flight paths to an accuracy of within 5 meters, or about 16.5 feet, assisted by a Platform Precision Autopilot designed by engineers at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. By comparing these camera-like images, interferograms are formed that reveal changes in Earth’s surface.

Between March 5 and 11, 2011, a spectacular fissure eruption occurred along the east rift zone. Satellite radar imagery captured the progression of this volcanic event.

“The April 2011 UAVSAR flights will capture the March 2011 fissure eruption surface displacements at high resolution and from multiple viewing directions, giving us an improved resolution of the magma injected into the east rift zone that caused the eruption,” said JPL research scientist Paul Lundgren.

This injection of magma takes the form of a dike, a thin blade-like sheet of magma extending from the surface to several kilometers depth, with an opening of only a few meters.

“Our goal is to be able to deploy the UAVSAR on short notice to better understand and aid in responding to hazards from Kilauea and other volcanoes in the Pacific region covered by this study,” Lundgren added.

For more on UAVSAR, visit: . For more information about NASA’s G-III Earth science research aircraft, visit: .

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Japan shaken by quake after more evacuations urged

By JAY ALABASTER and ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press – 1 hr 41 mins ago

SENDAI, Japan – A strong new earthquake rattled Japan’s northeast Monday as the government urged more people living near a tsunami-crippled nuclear plant to leave, citing concerns about long-term health risks from radiation.

The magnitude 7.0 aftershock, which trapped some people in collapsed homes, came just hours after residents bowed their heads and wept in ceremonies to mark a month since a massive earthquake and tsunami killed up to 25,000 people and set off radiation leaks at the nuclear plant by knocking out its cooling systems.

“Even after a month, I still cry when I watch the news,” said Marina Seito, 19, a student at a junior college who recalled being in a basement restaurant in Sendai when the original 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit on March 11. Plates fell and parts of the ceiling crashed down around her.

Officials said Monday’s aftershock did not endanger operations at the tsunami-flooded Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex, where power was cut but quickly restored. The epicenter was just inland and about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Tokyo.

But a nuclear safety official said repeated strong aftershocks — another large quake hit last Thursday — were slowing work at the plant, and said that if one of them were to spawn a tsunami, the complex would be just as vulnerable as on March 11.

“At the moment, no tsunami resistance has been added to the plant. At the moment, there is nothing we can do about it,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

With the crisis dragging on, residents of five more communities, some of them more than 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the plant, were urged to evacuate within a month because of high levels of radiation, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters. People living in a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius around the plant already have been evacuated.

“This is not an emergency measure that people have to evacuate immediately,” he said. “We have decided this measure based on long-term health risks.”

Edano sounded a grave note, acknowledging that “the nuclear accident has not stabilized” and that “we cannot deny the possibility the situation could get worse.”

The latest quake spooked people yet again in a disaster-weary northeastern Japan. Customers in a large electronics store in Sendai screamed and ran outside and mothers grabbed their children.

In Iwaki, a city close to the quake’s epicenter, three houses collapsed and up to seven people were believed trapped inside. Two were later rescued, city fire department spokesman Takumi Namoto said. Their condition, and the fate of the others, was not immediately known.

Japanese officials said the quake had a magnitude of 7.0, but the U.S. Geological Survey said it measured 6.6.

With workers still far from bringing the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant under control, the bodies of thousands of tsunami victims yet to be found and more than 150,000 people living in shelters, there was little time Monday for reflection on Japan’s worst disaster since World War II.

People in hard-hit towns gathered for ceremonies at 2:46 p.m., the exact moment of the massive quake a month earlier.

“My chest has been ripped open by the suffering and pain that this disaster has caused the people of our prefecture,” said Yuhei Sato, the governor of Fukushima, which saw its coastal areas devastated by the tsunami and is home to the damaged plant at the center of the nuclear crisis. “I have no words to express my sorrow.”

In a devastated coastal neighborhood in the city of Natori, three dozen firemen and soldiers removed their hats and helmets and joined hands atop a small hill that has become a memorial for the dead. Earlier, four monks in pointed hats rang a prayer bell there as they chanted for those killed.

The noisy clatter of construction equipment ceased briefly as crane operators stood outside their vehicles and bowed their heads.

In the industrial town of Kamaishi, Iwate Gov. Takuya Tasso led a moment of commemoration as a loud siren rang through a high school gymnasium being used as a shelter. He bowed while people who have lived there since the tsunami kneeled on makeshift futons, bowed their heads and clasped their hands.

The school’s students will return to classes Tuesday even though 129 people are living in their gym. Some, like 16-year-old Keisuke Shirato, wore their baseball uniforms for Monday’s ceremony. Shirato’s family was not affected by the tsunami, but about half of his teammates lost their homes.

“A new school year starts tomorrow,” Shirato said. “Hopefully that will help give people hope and allow them to look toward a new start.”

The earthquake and tsunami flattened communities along hundreds of miles (kilometers) of coastline, causing what the government estimates could be as much as $310 billion in damage. About 250,000 are without electricity, although some of them because of the latest two quakes Monday and last Thursday.

Adding to the misery is radiation spewing from the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex, 140 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. The 70,000 to 80,000 people who lived within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the plant must stay away from their homes indefinitely.

“We have no future plans. We can’t even start to think about it because we don’t know how long this will last or how long we will have to stay in these shelters,” said Atsushi Yanai, a 55-year-old construction worker. The tsunami spared his home, but he has to live in a shelter anyway because it is in the evacuation zone.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said its president, Masataka Shimizu, went to Fukushima prefecture Monday to relay his gratitude and apologies. Shimizu recently spent eight days in the hospital with dizziness and high blood pressure, but has since returned to work.

Shimizu told reporters in Fukushima that people who live near the plant are “suffering physically and mentally due to the nuclear radiation leak accident,”

“We sincerely apologize for this,” he said.

At TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo, hundreds of employees bowed their heads for a moment of silence at 2:46.

Japan’s government marked the one-month period by putting an ad in newspapers in China, South Korea, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States — a letter from Prime Minister Naoto Kan thanking people for the outpouring of support that followed the tsunami. The Red Cross alone said it has collected $107 million (9.1 billion yen) from overseas.

Kan described the outpouring as “kizuna,” the bond of friendship.

“We deeply appreciate the kizuna our friends from around the world have shown and I want to thank every nation, entity, and you personally, from the bottom of my heart.”


Talmadge reported from Fukushima. Associated Press Writers Tomoko Hosaka in Kamaishi and Shino Yuasa, Mari Yamaguchi and Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo contributed to this report.

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Natural disaster and Geological disasters

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Natural disaster

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard (e.g., floodtornadohurricanevolcanic eruptionearthquake, or landslide). It leads to financial, environmental or human losses. The resulting loss depends on the vulnerability of the affected population to resist the hazard, also called their resilience.[1] This understanding is concentrated in the formulation: “disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability.”[2] A natural hazard will hence never result in a natural disaster in areas without vulnerability, e.g. strong earthquakes in uninhabited areas.[3] The term natural has consequently been disputed because the events simply are not hazards or disasters without human involvement.[4] A concrete example of the division between a natural hazard and a natural disaster is that the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was a disaster, whereas earthquakes are a hazard. This article gives an introduction to notable natural disasters, refer to the list of natural disasters for a comprehensive listing.

Main articles: Disaster and List of natural disasters


Geological disasters

Main article: List of avalanches
See also: Avalanche

Avalanche on the backside (East) of Mt. Timpanogos, Utah at Aspen Grove trail

Notable avalanches include:

Main article: List of earthquakes
See also: Earthquake

An earthquake is a sudden shake of the Earth’s crust caused by the tectonic plates colliding. The vibrations may vary in magnitude. The underground point of origin of the earthquake is called the “focus”. The point directly above the focus on the surface is called the”epicenter”. Earthquakes by themselves rarely kill people or wildlife. It is usually the secondary events that they trigger, such as building collapse, fires, tsunamis (seismic sea waves) and volcanoes, that are actually the human disaster. Many of these could possibly be avoided by better construction, safety systems, early warning and evacuation planning.Earthquakes are caused by the discharge of energy accumulated along geologic fault.

Some of the most significant earthquakes in recent times include:

Volcanic eruptions

Volcanoes can cause widespread destruction and consequent disaster through several ways. The effects include the volcanic eruption itself that may cause harm following the explosion of the volcano or the fall of rock. Second, lava may be produced during the eruption of a volcano. As it leaves the volcano the lava destroys any buildings and plants it encounters. Third,volcanic ash generally meaning the cooled ash – may form a cloud, and settle thickly in nearby locations. When mixed with water this forms a concrete-like material. In sufficient quantity ash may cause roofs to collapse under its weight but even small quantities will harm humans if inhaled. Since the ash has the consistency of ground glass it causes abrasion damage to moving parts such as engines. The main killer of humans in the immediate surrounding of an volcanic eruption is the pyroclastic flows, which consist of a cloud of hot volcanic ash which builds up in the air above the volcano and rushes down the slopes when the eruption no longer supports the lifting of the gases. It is believed that Pompeii was destroyed by a pyroclastic flow. A lahar is a volcanic mudflow or landslide. The 1953 Tangiwai disaster was caused by a lahar, as was the 1985 Armero tragedy in which the town of Armero was buried and an estimated 23,000 people were killed.

A specific type of volcano is the supervolcano. According to the Toba catastrophe theory 70 to 75 thousand years ago a super volcanic event at Lake Toba reduced the human population to 10,000 or even 1,000 breeding pairs creating a bottleneck in human evolution. It also killed three quarters of all plant life in the northern hemisphere. The main danger from a supervolcano is the immense cloud of ash which has a disastrous global effect on climate and temperature for many years.

Hydrological disasters


Main article: List of floods
See also: Flooding

The Limpopo River, in southernMozambique, during the 2000 Mozambique flood

Some of the most notable floods include:

Tropical cyclones can result in extensive flooding and storm surge, as happened with:

Limnic eruptions

See also: Limnic eruption

A cow suffocated by gases from Lake Nyos after alimnic eruption

limnic eruption occurs when a gas, usually CO2 suddenly erupts from deep lake water, posing the threat of suffocating wildlife, livestock and humans. Such an eruption may also cause tsunamis in the lake as the rising gas displaces water. Scientists believe landslidesvolcanic activity, or explosions can trigger such an eruption. To date, only two limnic eruptions have been observed and recorded:

  • In 1984, in Cameroon, a limnic eruption in Lake Monoun caused the deaths of 37 nearby residents.
  • At nearby Lake Nyos in 1986 a much larger eruption killed between 1,700 and 1,800 people by asphyxiation.


Main article: Historic tsunamis
See also: Tsunami

The tsunami caused by the December 26, 2004, earthquake strikes Ao NangThailand.

Tsunamis can be caused by undersea earthquakes as the one caused in Ao Nang, Thailand, by the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, or by landslides such as the one which occurred at Lituya BayAlaska.

Meteorological disasters


Young steer after a blizzard, March 1966


See also: Blizzard

Blizzards are severe winter storms characterized by low temperature, strong winds, and heavy snow. The difference between a blizzard and a snow storm is the strength of the wind. To be a considered a blizzard, the storm must have winds in excess of 35 miles per hour, it should reduce the visibility to 1/4 miles, and must last for a prolonged period of 3 hours or more. Ground blizzards require high winds to stir up snow that has already fallen, rather than fresh snowfall. Blizzards have a negative impact on local economics and can terminate the visibility in regions where snowfall is rare.

Significant blizzards include:

Cyclonic storms

See also: Tropical cyclone and Cyclone

Cyclonetropical cyclonehurricane, and typhoon are different names for the same phenomenon a cyclonic storm system that forms over the oceans. The deadliest hurricane ever was the 1970 Bhola cyclone; the deadliest Atlantic hurricane was the Great Hurricane of 1780 which devastated Martinique, St. Eustatius and Barbados. Another notable hurricane isHurricane Katrina which devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005.


See also: Drought

Well-known historical droughts include:

  • 1900 India killing between 250,000 and 3.25 million.
  • 1921-22 Soviet Union in which over 5 million perished from starvation due to drought
  • 1928-30 northwest China resulting in over 3 million deaths by famine.
  • 1936 and 1941 Sichuan Province China resulting in 5 million and 2.5 million deaths respectively.
  • As of 2006, states of Australia including South Australia, Western Australia, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Queensland had been under drought conditions for five to ten years. The drought is beginning to affect urban area populations for the first time. With the majority of the country underwater restrictions.
  • In 2006, Sichuan Province China experienced its worst drought in modern times with nearly 8 million people and over 7 million cattle facing water shortages.


See also: Hail

Hailstorms are rain drops that have formed together into ice. A particularly damaging hailstorm hit Munich, Germany, on July 12, 1984, causing about 2 billion dollars in insurance claims.

Heat waves

See also: Heat wave

The worst heat wave in recent history was the European Heat Wave of 2003.

A summer heat wave in Victoria, Australia, created conditions which fuelled the massive bushfires in 2009. Melbourne experienced three days in a row of temperatures exceeding 40°C with some regional areas sweltering through much higher temperatures. The bushfires, collectively known as “Black Saturday”, were partly the act of arsonists.


See also: Tornado
Wiki letter w cropped.svg This section requires expansion.

A tornado (often referred to as a twister or, erroneously, a cyclone) is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (177 km/h), are approximately 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme can attain wind speeds of more than 300 mph (480 km/h), stretch more than two miles (3 km) across, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km).[1][2][3]


Main article: List of forest fires
See also: Wildfire

Wildfires are an uncontrolled fire burning in wildland areas. Common causes include lightning and drought but wildfires may also be started by human negligence or arson. They can be a threat to those in rural areas and also wildlife.

Notable cases of wildfires were the 1871 Peshtigo Fire in the United States, which killed at least 1700 people, and the 2009 Victorian bushfires in Australia.

Health disasters


Main article: List of epidemics
See also: Epidemics

The A H5N1 virus, which causes Avian influenza

An epidemic is an outbreak of a contractible disease that spreads at a rapid rate through a human population. A pandemic is an epidemic whose spread is global. There have been many epidemics throughout history, such as Black Death. In the last hundred years, significant pandemics include:

  • The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, killing an estimated 50 million people worldwide
  • The 1957-58 Asian flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 1 million people
  • The 1968-69 Hong Kong flu pandemic
  • The 2002-3 SARS pandemic
  • The AIDS pandemic, beginning in 1959
  • The H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Pandemic 2009-2010

Other diseases that spread more slowly, but are still considered to be global health emergencies by the WHO include:


Main article: List of famines
See also: Famine

In modern times, famine has hit Sub-Saharan Africa the hardest, although the number of victims of modern famines is much smaller than the number of people killed by the Asian famines of the 20th century.

Space disasters


Fallen trees caused by the Tunguska meteoroid of the Tunguska event in June 1908.

Impact events

See also: impact event
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One of the largest impact events in modern times was the Tunguska event in June 1908.

Solar flares

See also: solar flare

solar flare is a phenomenon where the sun suddenly releases a great amount of solar radiation, much more than normal. Some known solar flares include:

  • An X20 event on August 16, 1989
  • A similar flare on April 2, 2001
  • The most powerful flare ever recorded, on November 4, 2003, estimated at between X40 and X45
  • The most powerful flare in the past 500 years is believed to have occurred in September 1859

Protection by international law

International law, for example Geneva Conventions defines International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, requires that “States shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including the occurrence of natural disaster.”[6] And further United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is formed by General Assembly Resolution 44/182.

See also


  1. ^ G. Bankoff, G. Frerks, D. Hilhorst (eds.) (2003). Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development and PeopleISBN ISBN 1-85383-964-7.
  2. ^ B. Wisner, P. Blaikie, T. Cannon, and I. Davis (2004). At Risk – Natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters. Wiltshire: Routledge. ISBN ISBN 0-415-25216-4.
  3. ^ Luis Flores Ballesteros. “What determines a disaster?” 54 Pesos Sep 2008:54 Pesos 11 Sep 2008. <>
  4. ^ D. Alexander (2002). Principles of Emergency planning and Management. Harpended: Terra publishing. ISBN ISBN 1-903544-10-6.
  5. ^ ^ “USGS Earthquake Details”. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved February 27, 2010
  6. ^ Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
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