disasters

Chilean Miners Were Trapped In A Mine The Size Of The Burj Khalifa

It’s been almost four years since 33 Chilean miners were trapped below the surface of the earth for 69 days. A story published this week by The New Yorker reveals some additional stunning details about their harrowing rescue, and some astounding new information about the mine itself.


DARPA's Robotics Challenge Finals Just Got A Whole Lot Harder

DARPA just announced the details of the final round of its years-long Robotics Challenge, and boy do they sound difficult. Not only will all the robots have to work wirelessly and without human intervention, the course must be completed all at once. If a robot falls and can’t get it up, it’s done.


Earthquake Early Warning Systems Save Lives, So Why Doesn't The US Have One?

Here’s something you might not know about the 6.4 magnitude earthquake near the Pacific Coast of Mexico on May 8: By the time it hit Mexico City, 270km away, people there already knew it was coming. They were ready — thanks to their advanced warning system. So why doesn’t the US have one?


Natural Disasters, Locks, Tires: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

On this week’s What’s Ruining Our Cities: Locks are the key to Paris’s downfall and tires are popping up in the most unexpected places in Detroit. Plus, a new exhibition is focused exclusively on ruined cities — and the designers that work to save them.


Take A Drone-Guided Tour Of The Abandoned Fukushima Exclusion Zone

Over three years after the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, the town of Tokioma near the Fukushima nuclear power plant remains abandoned. Or, more specifically, the radioactive soil beneath Tokioma remains too dangerous for humans to return home. Drones, on the other hand, have an easier time getting around.


A Timelapse Of All The Earthquakes From This Record-Breaking April

Didn’t it seem to you that the ground was exceptionally shaky last month? That there were reports on big earthquakes happening somewhere pretty much every week? It wasn’t just your imagination: April produced a higher-than-normal number of moderate-to-large earthquakes, and you can see it for yourself.


There's A Disney World For Disasters That Trains Emergency Responders

The main attraction in Kansas’s Crisis City, a disaster simulation zone, is a giant pile of rubble. It isn’t easy, you know, to make rubble that is 1) structurally sound enough for trainees to crawl over safely and 2) structurally unsound enough to simulate a real disaster.


This Disaster Housing Is Made From Cardboard And Coke Crates

You’d think that after winning the Pritzker Prize, one of the highest awards in design, most architects would sit back and coast on their accolades. What did Japanese architect Shigeru Ban do? He built these beautiful cardboard houses for typhoon refugees.


Fukushima Could Make Japan A Leader In Nuclear Cleanup Tech

The idea that a nuclear disaster could actually drive innovation is definitely a new way to look at Japan’s ongoing Fukushima debacle. But a new report from the AP does just that, suggesting that the long-term cleanup effort that Japan now faces will make it a world leader in decommissioning nuclear plants.


Your Phone's Wi-Fi Hotspot Could Act As An SOS Beacon In A Disaster

Trapped under rubble, unable to move following a natural disaster, it would be easy to assume the worst. But soon the Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone may be able to help raise alarm — acting as an SOS beacon to guide rescuers your way.