Strict building codes saved lives in powerful Chile earthquake (CNN)

More than 2,500 homes sustained serious structural damage in the region around the northern port city of Iquique, the mayor of Alto Hospicio, Ramon Galleguillos, told reporters. Most of the homes were built with poor workmanship through government subsidies, Galleguillos said. Alto Hospicio is about a mile from Iquique, 60 miles southeast from the epicenter…

Death toll rises to 8 in Wash. mudslide (USA Today)

ARLINGTON, Wash. — Eight people are now confirmed dead after a massive landslide slammed into homes Saturday near Oso, Wash., authorities said Sunday. Snohomish County sheriff’s Lt. Rob Palmer said four more bodies were discovered late Sunday. Earlier in the day, authorities said one body had been found on the debris field. Three people were confirmed dead Saturday.…

Gas leak kills one, sickens 19 at NY mall

NY DAILY NEWS—A faulty heating system is being blamed for triggering a carbon monoxide leak Saturday that killed a manager of a popular Long Island eatery and sickened 19 other people. The Legal Sea Food restaurant at the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station remained closed Sunday and tables bore half-eaten meals left by diners forced…

Tornado Summit in Oklahoma

NEWSON6—Weather experts from around the country are in Oklahoma for the annual National Tornado Summit. About 1,100 participants from 24 states are here, hoping to learn from past tragedies. They’re talking about ways to better protect lives and better prepare for a tornado outbreak. They’ll also looking at ways to better recover when a disaster does…

NPR Reporter Carrie Kahn Talks About The Politics of Disaster

USD—On Thursday, February 6, 2013, National Public Radio Mexico City correspondant Carrie Kahn spoke with University of San Diego students about her work over the last decade reporting on disasters and disaster relief efforts in the United States, Mexico and Haiti. Kahn’s  work on reporting disasters includes stories on Hurricanes Wilma, Rita, and Katrina in 2005, as well…

Fears as Fukushima Radiation Arrives from Japan This Year

BLOOMBERG—Seaborne radiation from Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant will wash up on the West Coast of the U.S. this year. That’s raising concerns among some Americans including the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area city of Fairfax, which passed a resolution on Dec. 6 calling for more testing of coastal seafood. At the same time, oceanographers and radiological scientists…

Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano erupts

BBC—Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano erupted three times over the weekend, sending huge clouds of ash and smoke into the sky, authorities said. Two moderate explosions on Saturday were followed by a third of greater size. Local reports say the blast created a column of ash of about 8kms (5 miles) above the volcano, which is located in Penipe…

Deadly Mudslides & Flooding in Philippines

Accuweather.com—Days of heavy rainfall caused by a tropical low have resulted in numerous mudslides and widespread flooding across the southern Philippines. Echoing the deadly mudslides of 2009, nearly 340,000 people have been affected by the recent flooding, at least 26 people have died, and 11 more remain missing as rain continues to fall across the region, according…

Challenger Disaster 28 Years Later

CBS—Today marks 28 years since the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida—73 seconds into flight—killing all seven on board on Jan. 28, 1986 after a booster engine failed. Many watched on live TV hoping to see Christa McAuliffe become the first teacher in space. Read more here.