8 million in need of humanitarian aid in Nepal

8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Nepal after a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook the country on April 25th, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (UN OCHA).

Key numbers in need of aid. Source: UN OCHA

Key numbers in need of aid.
Source: UN OCHA

Click on the image below for a link to how best to donate towards aid efforts in Nepal.

More information:
[1] http://www.unocha.org/nepal

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Disaster Charter activated for Villarrica volcano

 

A Red Alert has been declared in southern Chile after an eruption at Villarrica Volcano this morning.

Over two thousand people were evacuated from Pucon, and another thousand from Panguipulli, two communities close to the volcano.

While no one has been harmed in the eruption, the situation will continue to be monitored for any further eruption. The ash from the volcano could also pose a hazard to health. Meteorologists currently expect the ash cloud to be blown south and across remote parts of Argentina.

disaster_charterThe Disaster Charter is an agreement between international satellite and remote sensing agencies to provide free access to data and resources to help mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.

The Charter can be activated by any national disaster management authority. The activation for Villarrica was requested by the  Chilean agency responsible for civil protection (ONEMI, Oficina Nacional de Emergencia del Ministerio del Interior y Seguridad Pública).

For updates of the ongoing activity check the latest status reports from ONEMI, Chile. Also, follow #Villarrica on twitter for social media updates and more images of the current activity.

Haiti – An engineering disaster

The 2010 earthquake in Haiti was one of the greatest seismic tragedies of the last few decades. The magnitude 7 struck late in the afternoon with an epicentre just west the capital Port-au-Prince on 12th January 2010.

The earthquake caused major damage in the capital and surrounding regions leaving a death toll estimated between 100,000 and 316,000. Most of these deaths occurred due to the collapse of buildings and other infrastructure.

TED Fellow Peter Haas explains why Haiti was not a natural disaster but a disaster of engineering in his TED talk, linked below.

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Annual Disaster Losses

Annual Disaster Losses

Global damage from extreme weather and other natural disasters is set to break the $200 billion a year mark!

The cause behind this trend is a complex combination of many factors including increased population and urban migration, better economies, increased vulnerability and climate change.

The Risk equation is: Risk = Vulnerability x Hazard

We must act to reduce our vulnerability to natural hazards if we are to minimise our losses from these events.