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Natural Disaster

The Takeaway

Are We Prepared for a Brutal Hurricane Season?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Hurricane season begins today and experts are expecting a larger than normal season, with 12 to 18 named hurricanes, three to six of which could turn into major hurricanes. With many parts of the country still reeling from tornadoes, and cuts to the disaster preparedness budget, how prepared are we as we begin hurricane season? Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, and co-founder and president of Children's Health Fund, has the answer.

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The Takeaway

Mother Nature vs. US Nuclear Power Plants

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan teeters on the brink of a nuclear meltdown following the 8.9 earthquake and the enormous tsunami. Meanwhile, many in the U.S. are pondering the state of our nuclear power plants if they ever faced a similar bout with mother nature. The U.S. is the home of 104 nuclear reactor sites, four of them along the west coast — famed for its fault line and earthquakes — one in Washington, two in California, and three in Arizona. 

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Transportation Nation

VA Governor McDonnell Makes Good On Promise To Accelerate Highway Spending

Monday, December 06, 2010

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

(Washington, D.C. -- David Schultz, WAMU) We told you earlier about Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's discovery of $1.5 billion dollars in unspent transportation funding. McDonnell, a Republican, found the money through a comprehensive audit of the state's Department of Transportation that he ordered immediately after succeeding Virginia's previous governor, Democrat Tim Kaine.

Now, the Governor is delivering on his pledge to get that $1.5 billion out the door as quickly as possible. Earlier today, he announced that almost three quarters of that newly-discovered funding would be advertised immediately -- meaning contractors can start bidding on it today. Excerpts from McDonnell's announcement are posted below.

But first -- in the interest of balance -- a caveat about that funding: Virginia Democrats say McDonnell didn't really discover any new funding and, in actuality, is drawing down the Transportation Department's cash reserves, which will make the state less able to respond to a natural disaster in the future.

Anyway, here's that announcement:

Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will advertise an estimated $1.1 billion in construction and maintenance projects during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2011. The estimated economic impact of this work is 33,900 jobs created or supported, as well as $2.83 billion in economic activity and $282.5 million in taxes that come back to the Commonwealth.

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According to studies published by the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, every $100 million spent on highway construction and maintenance projects adds 3,000 jobs created or supported, $250 million in economic activity and $25 million in taxes that go back to Virginia coffers.

McDonnell directed VDOT to more quickly initiate transportation improvements. A recent independent audit of the agency criticized its ability to move projects through the pipeline. VDOT and members of the McDonnell administration have been developing new business practices that speed the investment of transportation funding.

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The Takeaway

Tropical Storm Tomas Heads Toward Haiti

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Haitians officials have issued a hurricane warning as Tropical Storm Tomas barrels towards the beleaguered nation. More than one million earthquake survivors have been advised to leave their tent camps before Tomas arrives, which is expected sometime tomorrow. Besides the issue that most of these refugees have no place to go, the hurricane is expected to make the recent cholera epidemic in the country worse. Elysia Nisan, an aid worker for Save the Children, and Jacqueline Charles of The Miami Herald join us from Miami.

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The Takeaway

Dual Disasters Leave Indonesia in Peril

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake rocked Indonesia on Monday and caused a 10 foot tsunami, has left the country devastated. The latest death toll is at 272 and expected to rise. Rescue teams are battling through uprooted forests to reach at least 400 people believed to be missing. The country was already reeling from a volcano eruption on Java that killed 28 people. Patrick Barta, Southeast Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, is coordinating coverage of the twin disasters for his paper. He reports live from Singapore, where he is stationed until he is allowed to travel to Indonesia.

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WQXR News

Cholera Epidemic Feared in Pakistan Floods

Monday, August 02, 2010

Medical teams were sent to northwest Pakistan on Monday to be on hand for a possible cholera epidemic triggered by the district's heavy monsoon rains. The floods have killed some 1,200 people and displaced 2 million from their homes.

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WQXR News

South Assesses Damage from Saturday's Tornado

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ten from Mississippi and two Alabama residents have been reported dead from the tornado.

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WQXR News

New Ash Cloud Grounds Flights in Scandinavia

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beyond flights stalled in Norway, Sweden and Finland, Europe's 28,000 others are moving ahead as planned.

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WQXR News

Airlines Hit Hard as Flights Resume

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Airlines lost $1.7 billion in the past week due to travel disruptions.

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WQXR News

Limited Flights In and Out of Europe Today

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

As flights slowly resume across Europe today, passengers are beginning to get closer to home.

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WQXR News

Volcanic Ash Continues to Suspend Air Travel

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thousands of flights are still grounded in Northern Europe due to ash from an Iceland volcano.

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WQXR News

Over 700 People Dead from China's Quakes

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thousands are injured and 300 people have been reported missing.

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WQXR News

No Response Yet from Missing Miners

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Rescuers are trying to find out if four West Virginia miners are alive.

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WQXR News

Tens of Thousands Still Without Power

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Con Edison officials say the weekend storm was one of the worst they've ever seen, and it may take until Friday to restore electricity to all of the nearly 59,000 customers still without power.

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WQXR News

Storm Erodes Long Island Beaches

Monday, March 15, 2010

The weekend's storm caused major beach erosion at Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Park on Long Island.

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WQXR News

Earthquake Kills Dozens in Eastern Turkey

Monday, March 08, 2010

More than 50 people in Turkey are dead after a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern province of Elazig this morning.

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WQXR News

Looting, Fire and Curfews in Chile

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Looters set a department store on fire in Concepcion, Chile following Saturday's 8.8-magnitude earthquake. People are continuing to fight over goods and gasoline there, and a curfew is in place until midday to help keep the city calm.

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WQXR News

Chile's Earthquake Death Toll Exceeds 700

Monday, March 01, 2010

Looting has taken over the streets of Concepcion, following Saturday's 8.8 magnitude quake.

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WQXR News

Haiti's Rubble Will Take 3 Years to Clear

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Three years. That's how long Haiti's President Rene Preval is estimating it will take to clear the rubble after January's quake.

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WQXR News

Avalanche Deaths in Afghanistan Exceed 150

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More than 150 people have died in Afghanistan due to a series of avalanches Tuesday that let loose masses of snow and ice onto the Salang Pass.

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