Taxonomy term

flood

Benchmarks: May 31, 1889: Johnstown flood kills thousands

“It seemed to me as if all the destructive elements of the Creator had been turned loose at once in that awful current of water.” That’s how Col. Elias Unger, president of the corporation that maintained a dam and resort property called the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, described the water unleashed on the afternoon of May 31, 1889, when a dam at the club broke 23 kilometers above Johnstown, Pa. A little more than an hour later, a wall of water reached the town. In all, more than 2,200 people died in what is known as the Johnstown Flood.

02 May 2011

Hazardous Living: Preparing for the storm of the century

They’re calling it “California’s Other Big One” — the giant storm that could drop more than two meters of rain on California and cause massive flooding, landslides, levee failures and general catastrophic chaos. It’s probably not that hard to imagine this year for water-weary Californians who have been hit hard by heavy rains and subsequent floods and landslides since early winter.

21 Jan 2011

Impossible Odds, Irrepressible Hope: Pakistan's water woes and the science that can solve them

Most residents of developed countries don’t think about their water running out or worry about their water leading to the death of their children. In Pakistan, those are distinct possibilities.

05 Oct 2010

Fire and ice produced Eyjafjalla's explosion

When an Icelandic volcano with a nearly unpronounceable name erupted after 200 years of quiet in March, it was little more than a curiosity. But when it erupted again in April — this time spewing huge clouds of ash as high as 11 kilometers into the stratosphere, quickly choking airways across Europe and costing airlines billions of dollars — it captured the world’s attention. As the ashfall decreased and airlines resumed normal routes this week, the headlines began to fade.

23 Apr 2010

Hazardous Living: Iceland afire

When Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano began erupting March 20, few people expected it to wind up wreaking havoc on the world’s travel. Yet that’s what it has done, as the eruption has ramped up in the last few days and is now spewing steam and ash several kilometers into the air. The winds over the North Atlantic have blown the ash cloud over Northern Europe, grounding tens of thousands of flights for myriad reasons, not the least of which is that ash can clog jet engines, causing them to fail.

16 Apr 2010

June 9, 1938: Huang He Diversion: Largest Act of Environmental Warfare in History

By Nate Burgess

The Huang He (Yellow River) has been called “China’s Sorrow.” The name pays tribute to the millions killed by the river’s churning, muddy waters in a long history of dramatic diversions and massive floods. One of the most notable recent events in the river’s troubled history occurred in June 1938, when the Nationalist Chinese Army diverted the river to block invading Japanese troops. In both number of deaths and geographic scale, this event was the largest act of environmental warfare in modern history.

09 Jun 2009

Benchmarks: September 21, 1938: The great New England Hurricane strikes

After a disappointing golf outing (the wind made it impossible to drive a golf ball anywhere but straight up), golf pro Raymond Dennehy and his friends returned to the clubhouse of the seaside Kittansett Golf Club in Marion, Mass. Dennehy noticed something wrong: The incoming tide was much higher than normal. In fact, the ocean rose so high that it cut off the club’s grounds from the rest of the state. Then a car floated by./  As water filled the clubhouse, Dennehy took his German shepherd and ran to his car. He drove to the highest point on the golf course and waited. Sitting in the parked car with water around his ankles, Dennehy watched the two-story yacht club collapse under the weight of the rising water. Cottages crumpled. Panicked golf caddies climbed an oak tree to escape the rising sea.  
 
21 Sep 2008

Gustav and the rising waters

Right now, Hurricane Gustav is lashing the Gulf Coast with its Category-2 (177 kph/110-mph) winds. Around 11 a.m. this morning, the hurricane made landfall, slamming into the coast about 110 kilometers to the southwest of New Orleans instead of driving straight into the city.

01 Sep 2008

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