Natural Disasters & Response

Getting ahead of climate change?

British Columbia ostensibly will be better prepared to deal with natural disasters related to climate change though a program announced by Premier David Eby. “The last few years have taught us a hard lesson,” he said, citing wildfires, floods, a lethal heat wave and infrastructure damage. Accordingly, his government is adding $180 million to its Community Emergency Preparedness Fund. [node:read-more:link]

New quake on Turkey-Syria border

Two weeks after earthquakes and aftershocks in Turkey resulted in the deaths of more than 45,000 people, the region was struck by another quake today. Initial details indicated relatively few fatalities but the latest one collapsed buildings damaged in the previous quakes. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish arrests after earthquakes

The Turkish government has ordered the arrest of more than 100 persons as it investigates the role of sloppy construction of thousands of buildings toppled or heavily damaged in the recent earthquakes. The death toll there and in neighbouring Syria topped 41,000 today as recovery efforts continue. [node:read-more:link]

Why no immediate DART deployment?

As the Army officer who oversaw Canada’s refugee verification mission in Kosovo some three decades, retired Lieutenant-General J.O. Michel Maisonneuve is asking why the internationally-respected Disaster Assistance Response Team hasn’t been deployed to help in the aftermath of the earthquakes that have killed more than 25,000 persons in Turkey and Syria. “In truth,” Maisonneuve says, the CAF have “very little capability to help” due to shrinking ranks and mostly outdated equipment. [node:read-more:link]

Winter “worsening” earthquake aftermath

Unseasonably cold weather is worsening the outlook for survivors of this week’s massive earthquakes and aftershocks in Turkey and Syria with more than 20,000 deaths confirmed as of today. “We’ve got a lot of people who have survived now out in the open and in worsening and horrific conditions,” said Robert Holden, the World Health Organization’s incident manager. “We are in real danger of seeing a secondary disaster.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian disaster team to Turkey

A Canadian Armed Forces-Global Affairs Canada disaster assessment team has been sent to Turkey after earthquakes and aftershocks struck Turkey and Syria, resulting in a death toll which today topped 2,000 with many victims still unaccounted for. Announcing the deployment late February 8, International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said the team’s report would determine Canada’s further involvement. [node:read-more:link]

Earthquake death toll mounting

More than 11,000 people in Turkey and Syria are now confirmed dead and thousands more remain missing today after a earthquakes and aftershocks in their border region February 6. International rescue teams are racing against time, their work hampered by winter weather, to find survivors in devastated communities but logistics and politics in war-torn Syria exacerbate the difficulties. [node:read-more:link]

Canada contributes to earthquake relief

As the death toll from the weekend’s earthquakes and aftershocks in Turkey and Syria topped 6,200 today, the Canadian government has committed an initial $10 million to the international relief effort. International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said further aid and potential deployment of disaster response teams are being considered. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian waterbomber crashes

The two crewmembers of a converted Boeing 737, one of six owned by Vancouver-Island Coulson Aviation, survived the February 6 crash of their waterbomber while fighting wildfires in western Australia. The aircraft was based in Sydney after Coulson waterbomber had been based in Sydney after the company recently signed a two-year contract from the Australian government [node:read-more:link]

Earthquake hits Turkey and Syria

At least 2,600 persons are reported dead and rescue efforts continue today after two earthquakes in an area of southeastern Turkey which borders on Syria. Turkish authorities have confirmed 1,651 victims while at least 968 are reported in Syria. [node:read-more:link]

New Zealand PM to resign

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 42, announced today that she will step down by February 7 after six years in office and nine months before her country’s next election. She explained that she no longer has “enough in the tank” to lead the Labour Party government and that remaining in office “would be doing a disservice to New Zealand. [node:read-more:link]

Sweden contemplates civil conscription

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson announced today that his government is preparing to reintroduce conscription of civilians for its emergency services. His Civil Defence Minister, Carl-Oskar Bohlin, said the focus will be on deploying appropriately trained civilians within the municipal rescue services and bolstering their capabilities to respond in a state of emergency or to any potential attack. [node:read-more:link]

UN unveils record aid budget

The United Nations is asking its member states for a record US$51.5 billion in aid funding for 2023, some 25 per cent more than in 2022. Citing Russia’s war on Ukraine, drought in Africa and flooding in Pakistan, among other things, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said today that “humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year's extreme events are spilling into 2023.” [node:read-more:link]

Indonesian earthquake toll climbs

An earthquake in Indonesia's West Java killed at least 268 people, many of them children, with 151 still missing, disaster relief officials said today. While earthquakes of magnitude 6 or 7 are relatively common in Indonesia and occur mostly at depth along offshore fault lines, the latest, registered at 5.6, occurred at a relatively shallow depth in the densely-populated area. [node:read-more:link]


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