2012 Recent Disasters

2012 Recent Disasters is an archive of news articles and videos of natural and man-made disaters for 2012.

30 tornadoes on Christmas Day and six deaths

The National Weather Service reports continuing winter storms in the Northeastern U.S. Storm warnings continue over parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. Winter advisories remain in effect over Eastern PA, Northern New Jersey and Southeast New Hampshire. Costal Flood advisories also from Long Island to Southern Maine and high wind warnings in effect across coastal Rhode Island and Massachusetts. This article was origanlly found here: www.allvoices.com

Christmas Storm heads Northeast

Snow covered roadsA winter storm system that blew through Christmas Day with Gulf Coast tornadoes and snow in the nation's midsection headed for the Northeast on Wednesday, spreading blizzard conditions that slowed holiday travel.

The death toll rose to six with car accidents on snow and sleet-slickened highways in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Post-Christmas travelers braced for flight delays and a raft of weather warnings for drivers, a day after rare winter twisters damaged buildings in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Snow blew across southern Illinois and southern Indiana early Wednesday as the storm tracked up the Ohio River valley toward the Eastern seaboard and New England. Read more.

Tornado Outbreak in the South

Authorities early Wednesday were trying to get a clearer picture of the widespread damage done by Christmas night storms in Alabama as daylight revealed the extent of the destruction.

"People who had hoped to spend time with family over the holiday are instead cleaning up after a tornado. The second one in 5 days right here in Mobile, Ala.," reports meteorologist Jim Cantore from Mobile, Ala.

The National Weather Service reported damage ranging from toppled trees to destroyed homes in more than a dozen counties, most of them in south Alabama, and teams were out assessing how much of the destruction was caused by tornadoes that skipped across the state Tuesday.

The damage was worst in Mobile's downtown area, where a school, church and several homes were slammed by a likely tornado on Christmas Day before the storm system that moved to other parts of the state. The storms were blamed for three deaths, several injuries, and left homes from Louisiana to Alabama damaged. Read more and see photos.

Japan Suffers Another Major Earthquake

TOKYO -- A strong earthquake Friday struck the same Japanese coast devastated by last year's massive quake and tsunami, generating small waves but no immediate reports of heavy damage. Several people along the northeastern coast were reportedly injured and buildings in Tokyo and elsewhere swayed for several minutes.

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 and struck in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Miyagi prefecture at 5:18 p.m. (0818 GMT), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The epicenter was 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) beneath the seabed and 240 kilometers (150 miles) offshore.Read more.

Recent Earthquakes

November 11th a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck this afternoon in the Pacific off the western coast of Guatemala, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Striking about 17 miles (27 kilometers) below sea level, the tremor was centered about 19 miles west-southwest of Champerico, Guatemala, and 115 miles from the capital, Guatemala City. The quake was not far from southern Mexico, with the USGS reporting it was 27 miles south-southeast of the border community of Suchiate, Mexico.

Earlier Sunday, the U.S. agency had said it was a 6.2-magnitude tremor, but later revised the report with the higher magnitude. It was followed by a number of significant aftershocks with magnitudes as strong as 5.0. Sunday's earthquake is the second major one in four days to strike the region.

Last Wednesday morning, a powerful 7.4-magnitude tremor struck in the same area - about 22 miles from the coastal town of Champerico - at a depth of 15 miles. At least 52 people were killed in its aftermath, according to President Otto Perez Molina. Hundreds more were injured, while more than 2,200 homes were damaged.Read more.

The same day a 6.8 earthquake struck Burma - Burmese officials and aid workers say a strong earthquake has killed about a dozen people and injured many others in central Burma. The 6.8 magnitude tremor struck early Sunday about 110 kilometers north of the Burmese city of Mandalay. Aftershocks shook the region into early Monday. Witnesses also said a monastery collapsed in the village of Kyaukmyaung on the west side of the bridge, killing several people, while a gold mine was damaged in the village of Sintku, killing several more. Read more.

New York Still Plagued by Power Outages

Nearly two weeks later after being hit by Hurricane Sandy power outages still dominate the news in areas of New York.

In the aftermath of Hurricane we see where loss of electricity can linger days after the storm has passed. Tempers flare as local residents are frustrated by the slow progress of returning the lights back on.

Many people hit their local home improvement stores a day or two before a storm hits looking for a portable generator. If you live in an area prone to power outages the time to plan is before the next storm is forecast on the weather channel. Read more and watch video.

Guatemala Hit by Strong Earthquake

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake rocked Guatemala on Wednesday, killing at least 48 people in two states as it toppled thick adobe walls, shook huge landslides down onto highways, and sent terrified villagers streaming into the streets of this idyllic mountain town near the border with Mexico. One hundred people were missing, and hundreds were injured.

The quake, which was 20 miles deep, was centered 15 miles off the coastal town of Champerico and 100 miles southwest of Guatemala City. It was the strongest earthquake to hit Guatemala since a 1976 temblor that killed 23,000.

Officials said most of 100 missing were from San Marcos. The mainly indigenous inhabitants farm corn and herd cattle, mostly for their own survival. Read More.

Super Storm Sandy

The storm, packing torrential rains and wind, made landfall along the New Jersey coast near Atlantic City, the National Hurricane Center says. Click here to read the full article, 

The next Pandemic?

Last month, a 49-year-old man entered London’s St Thomas’ hospital with a raging fever, severe cough and desperate difficulty in breathing.

He bore all the hallmarks of the deadly Sars virus that killed nearly 1,000 people in 2003 — but blood tests quickly showed that this terrifyingly virulent infection was not Sars. Nor was it any other virus yet known to medical science. Read more.

Fire Tornado in the Outback

While North America has dealt with a deadly and devastating wildfire season, Australia as well has seen many bushfires rage across its wild lands. One fire in recent days burning near Alice Springs spawned a rare fire tornado that whirled through the Outback for 40 minutes.

Fire tornadoes, sometimes referred to as a fire whirl, fire devil, or firenado, the phenomena are formed when heated air from a fire rises and rotates. This vertical column of air can pull fire into it turning it into an amazing display of nature’s fury. Read More and view the video.

Ebola death toll up to 31 in Congo

GOMA, Congo (AP) — The United Nations says that an outbreak of the Ebola virus has killed 31 people in northeastern Congo, more than doubling the death toll from a week ago.

The U.N. World Health Organization said Friday that there have been 69 cases in all including nine confirmed by a lab.

The Ebola virus has no cure and is deadly in 40 percent to 90 percent of cases. The disease causes severe internal bleeding.

A review of earlier cases has shown that 31 people have died since the beginning of the epidemic in May 2012. More than half of the deaths occurred before August 17, when the Ebola outbreak was officially declared by medical authorities.

Congo has had eight previous Ebola epidemics the first discovery of the virus in 1976. Read Article.

Cholera Outbreak

September 14, 2012 –AFRICA - Floods in Niger have killed 81 people since July, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs announced Thursday, adding cholera outbreaks have killed a further 81 people. “The last update of the toll of the floods dating from September 11 indicates that 527,471 people have been affected by the bad weather and 81 people have lost their lives,” OCHA said in a statement in Niamey.

The previous toll established by the authorities was 68 dead and 485,000 people affected in the Sahel nation in West Africa. Thousands of homes, schools, health centres and mosques have been destroyed, along with large quantities of food supplies, according to the authorities.

The UN office also reported outbreaks of cholera, which have claimed 81 lives since the start of the year, mainly in the west of the country. Cholera is spreading fast in at least four places, making 3,854 people sick and notably affecting the Tillaberi regions lying by the Niger River and close to the border with Mali, OCHA said. Read more.

Utah Dam Failure

A small Utah town has been devastated after a earthen dam broke during heavy rains on Tuesday, sending a surge of flood waters into dozens of homes and some businesses.

KSL reports a breach in a retention basin dam caused the surge of water to flow into a Santa Clara neighborhood.

According to the National Weather Service, more than three inches of rain fell on the small canyon area of Ivins early Tuesday, near the town of Santa Clara, and the runoff drained into a dry wash, forcing pressure on the dam. Read more and See Photos.

Another Volcano Erupts in Central America

GUATEMALA CITY – A long-simmering volcano outside one of the Guatemala's most famous tourist attractions exploded into a series of powerful eruptions Thursday, hurling thick clouds of ash nearly two miles (three kilometers) high, spewing rivers of lava down its flanks and forcing the evacuation of more than 33,000 people from surrounding communities.

Guatemala's head of emergency evacuations, Sergio Cabanas, said the evacuees were leaving some 17 villages around the Volcan del Fuego, which sits about six miles southwest (16 kilometers) from the colonial city of Antigua. The ash was blowing south and authorities said Antigua was not currently in danger, although they expected the eruption to last for at least 12 more hours. Read More.

Nicaragua evacuates 3,000 as volcano spews ash

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — The San Cristobal volcano spewed out a column of ash and gas 2½ miles high Saturday, leading Nicaraguan authorities to evacuate about 3,000 people from nine communities around the country's tallest mountain.

Residents reported hearing three powerful explosions in the volcano as the cloud began billowing skyward and ash drifted over nearby villages.

"This activity could affect some 500 families totaling 3,000 people, so we decided to evacuate them," said Guillermo Gonzalez, executive director of the government's disaster agency. Read More.

More about Volcanoes

Another Strong Earthquake

CANGREJAL, Costa Rica — A powerful magnitude-7.6 earthquake shook Costa Rica and neighboring countries Wednesday, sending panicked people into the streets and briefly triggering a tsunami alert, but causing little damage. Authorities reported one confirmed death.

Officials said the quake collapsed some houses and at least one bridge and caused landslides that blocked highways. But Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla said there were no reports of major damage and called for calm.Read More.

More about Earthquakes

Strong Quake hits Phillipines Triggering Tsuami Warnings

Original story, 9:50am EDT: An extremely powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake has occurred east of the Philippines and has the potential to generate a tsunami across the Pacific. Tsunami warnings and watches have been issued for much of the Pacific Rim.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) the temblor occurred at 8:47pm local time (12:47 UTC) approximately 58 miles east of Sulangan, Philippines or 464 miles east-southeast of Manila. The quake originated at a depth of 21.6 miles beneath the surface along the Philippine Sea plate.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) has issued a Tsunami Warning for Indonesia, the Philippines and Belau. It is not known yet if a tsunami was actually generated but data from ocean buoys in the area indicate one may have been. Read More.

Hurricane Isaac

Isaac remnants dumping heavy rain across Missouri, Illinois By NBC News staff and wire reports - Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET: The remnants of Hurricane Isaac were grinding slowing northward early on Saturday with its center now deep into Missouri and the heavy rain stretching for hundreds of miles east into Illinois amid reports of tornadoes and high winds, meteorologists said.

Drought-stricken areas of Missouri and Illinois were easily absorbing the rain Friday and the system was expected to soak the region deep into Sunday, said Jayson Gosselin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service's St. Louis-area office.

The death toll in the aftermath of what was Hurricane Isaac continues to rise in the hardest hit states of Louisiana and Mississippi. At least seven deaths from Isaac have been reported with five in Louisiana and two in Mississippi.

Isaac brings back painful Katrina memories

Slow-moving Hurricane Isaac hammering SE Louisiana and coastal Mississippi - Isaac is proving to be more a significant storm than originally expected as the region observes the 7-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Hundreds of thousands are reported without power, widespread flooding and wind damage has all been reported across southeastern Louisiana and along the Mississippi coast due to the slow-moving hurricane. Read more and view photos.

Iran suffers loss after 2 strong earthquakes

Overcrowded hospitals in northwest Iran struggled to cope with thousands of earthquake victims on Sunday as rescuers raced to reach remote villages after two powerful quakes killed nearly 300 people.

Thousands huddled in makeshift camps or slept in the street after Saturday's quakes for fear of more aftershocks, 60 of which had already struck. A lack of tents and other supplies left them exposed to the night chill, one witness told Reuters.

"I saw some people whose entire home was destroyed, and all their livestock killed," Tahir Sadati, a local photographer, said by telephone. "People need help, they need warm clothes, more tents, blankets and bread."

The worst damage and most casualties appeared to have been in rural villages around the towns of Ahar, Varzaghan and Harees, near the major city of Tabriz, Iranian media reported. Read More.

Tropical storm in Kuban Devastates Russian Villages

Thousands of houses located in the cities of Gelendzhik, Krymsk and Novorossiysk, as well as a number of villages in Russia’s Krasnodar region were submerged. At least 171 people were killed and 20.000 more displaced in the flooding. Meteorologists have, meanwhile, said that a threat of abnormal natural calamities will persist due to climate change.

The July 7 flash floods were not a bolt from the blue, of course. The Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia issued a storm warning several hours before the beginning of a torrential rain in Kuban, a natural disaster that led to catastrophic consequences. Read More.

Hungary’s Red Sludge Disaster Zone

In 2010, a lake of caustic, poison mud from an aluminum manufacturing operation spilled out and destroyed a nearby town, along with much of the native life. Humans were killed and burned, property destroyed. And it still looks like Mars.

Cleanup efforts have made some decontamination process, but much like Fukushima, it will be a long, long time before the marks of human negligence and manmade crisis can be wiped off. Read More.

European environmental groups had long fretted about an aging industrial sludge pond near Ajka, Hungary, containing caustic waste from the process that converts bauxite to aluminum. The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River included the pond on a 2006 watch list of sites “at risk” for accidents that could pollute the Danube ecosystem.

WWF Hungary had pushed for the closure of the pond (large enough that it could easily be seen from space on Google Earth) and of two other bauxite sludge storage ponds in western Hungary.

Similiar to Ajka, there was a massive coal ash sludge spill that occurred days before Christmas, 2008, in Kingston, Tenn. “In Tennessee, there were billions of gallons of toxic sludge washing up on peoples’ doorsteps.” It barely made the news. The problem: The lead villain was brown, the color mud was supposed to be, rather than blood red, which would have provided Roger Corman horro-film contrast. Read More.

Water samples near last week’s massive spill of coal ash in eastern Tennessee reveal high levels of arsenic, and officials are warning residents who use wells or springs to stop drinking the water.

The spill occurred on Dec. 22 when a dam broke at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston power plant, causing an estimated 5.4 million tons of wet ash to burst from the impoundment and cover 300 acres of nearby farms, homes, and waterways.

Local officials are concerned that risks to residents could grow when the sludge dries out, and authorities have begun air monitoring and are recommending that children be kept away from affected areas.Read More.

Extreme Weather Brings Tragedy

A procession of violent storms hammered the Washington area late Friday, cutting off power to nearly 2 million people and killing two people when trees fell onto a house and a car.

The storms hit Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia on Friday night following a day of high temperatures across much of the country. Officials in Tennessee and Missouri were looking into the deaths of five people - including a baby and two young children - thought to have been caused by the heat. Read more.

Mudslides in Uganda and Flooding in Bangladesh

BUDUDA, Uganda – Rescue workers equipped only with hand-held tools gave up their search Tuesday and waited for bulldozers to arrive to help find some 100 people who residents said were missing after landslides struck Uganda's mountainous east.

Residents who survived the natural disaster stared at the quickly hardening red sludge the day after massive landslides hit the eastern district of Bududa. A government official called the region a "death trap" and said the government would move out residents. Read more.

Colorado Wildfires Erupt into Massive Firestorm

6/27 - A fast-moving wildfire near Colorado Springs forced as many as 32,000 residents to be evacuated on Tuesday, as the blaze—fueled by 65 mph winds—jumped a perimeter set by firefighters trying desperately to contain it.

The Waldo Canyon fire—which was first spotted Saturday near Pikes Peak—doubled in size overnight to more than 24 square miles, according to the Associated Press.View photos and read more.

Colorado wildfire: Eight more homes lost in High Park Fire; Springer Fire grows to 970 acres - The High Park Fire west of Fort Collins burned eight more homes Sunday night, bringing the number of destroyed properties to 189, Larimer County officials said this afternoon.

Spokesman John Schulz said the homes were in the Buckhorn area down to Redstone Canyon. He said residents who lost their homes were being notified at citizen briefings today. Read More.

Click here to find out what to take when you evacuate.


(CNN) -- A raging, fast-moving Colorado wildfire continued to grow Sunday, prompting evacuations as some 14,000 acres burned, authorities said.

About 2,000 people had been asked to leave their homes as the High Park fire sprawled in multiple directions, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters' primary goal is to get people out of harm's way and try to save as many buildings as possible, he added. Still, the sheriff admitted much is still beyond authorities' control, thanks to low humidity, high temperatures and dry brush fueling the flames. Read more.

June's 5 Top Extreme Weather Events

Western wildfires, record-setting temperatures, devastating floods, and other extreme weather made more extreme by global warming have welcomed us to summer 2012.

Yesterday’s solstice — marked by 66 high scorching records across the Eastern Seaboard — should serve as yet another reminder that it’s time to seriously address the carbon pollution.Read more and see the photos.

Extreme Heat in India

New Delhi: North India sweltered under extreme heat as maximum temperatures soared at most places of the region.

The capital Delhi recorded a maximum of 43.2 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal and a minimum of 30.4 degrees Celsius.

People got no respite from the scorching sun in Uttar Pradesh as eastern parts of the state continued to reel under intense heat with Allahabad recording a maximum temperature of 45.8 degrees Celsius. Read More.

Farms Buried Under Feet of Sand

Hundreds of farmers are still struggling to remove sand and fill holes gouged by the Missouri River, which swelled with rain and snowmelt, overflowed its banks and damaged thousands of acres along its 2,341-mile route from Montana through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. The worst damage and the largest sand deposits were in Iowa and Nebraska. Click here for photos.

Flooding in Florida

MIAMI (AP) — Floodwaters from torrential rains damaged homes and closed roads throughout the Florida Panhandle, cutting power to the county jail and sending residents to emergency shelters as the area braced for additional rains Sunday.

More than 100 residents spent the night in three Red Cross shelters in Escambia County on Saturday night, including residents from a 50-unit apartment. Navy officials also set up housing for residents of a 22-home subdivision evacuated because of flooding, according to Red Cross officials. Read more.

Flooding in Wales

The River Leri burst its banks overnight under pressure from the driving rain and winds of up to 70mph, as homes in villages across the area were battered by the elements.

A spokesperson for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: 'There is a large amount of water and a heavy current running through the caravan park.'

The representative went on to explain that dozens of personnel from the fire service are in attendance at the scene.

Many were, and continue to be, armed with a range of rescue aids, including boats as the conditions affect various surrounding areas in different ways. Click here for the full article and view photos.

Plane Crashes into Neighborhood

The American pilot of the passenger jet that crashed in Lagos, Nigeria, on Sunday reported engine trouble shortly before the crash, airline officials said.

The Dana Air flight from Abuja to Lagos was in its final approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport when the pilot radioed the control tower to declare an emergency, according an airline official. All 153 people on board,
including six crew members, and at least 10 on the ground were killed when the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 slammed into a two-story residential building in Lagos, officials said. And more are feared dead. Read More.

LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigeria saw its worst air crash in nearly two decades when a passenger airliner slammed into a densely-populated neighborhood in the country's largest city, killing 153 on the plane and more on the ground, despite efforts in recent years to improve air safety and global recognition of the efforts.

Aviation experts say it is too early to tell the cause of Sunday's crash of the Dana Air MD-83, but they hope Nigeria will continue reforms it started after a series of fatal crashes more than five years ago. Read more.

Tornado Touches Down in the Hamptons

The twister began at around 8:15 p.m. as a waterspout near the mouth of the James River, according to the National Weather Service. It hit land near Chesapeake Avenue and traveled 3-1/2 miles through downtown Hampton before dissipating at Spratley Gifted Center. Click herefor the full article, pictures, and perosnal testimonies.

Growing Sinkhole Threatens Neighborhood

Man-made disaster? A home in Windermere has a sinkhole growing in its backyard. Starting at around 34 feet, the sinkhole is currently estimated to be about 100 feet by 100 feet. According to BayNews9, the ever growing hole is larger than an NBA basketball court. It is feared that the sinkhole will swallow the home.

"In nature, sinkholes collapse fairly rarely but it seems to happen more and more in developed areas because people redirect storm water and it sets them off," the research geologist explained.

Tornados in the Heartland

Entire Month's Worth of Tornadoes Strike in One Day - In what may be the biggest daily tornado outbreak on record for March, an entire month's worth of twisters struck in a single day. Click here to see photos.

Photos from day 2 of tornados across the Heartlands. Storm death toll rises - A public affairs officer with the Kentucky State Police says three people have died and at least 75 people have been injured by storms in the northeastern Kentucky city of West Liberty, bringing the national death toll from this week's storms to over 30.