natural disasters

Vertical Tsunami Shelters Will Help People Get To Higher Ground, Fast

The threat of a tsunami is a very real thing for much of the Pacific coastline, yet many cities in the US haven’t taken specific infrastructural measures to ensure their residents are safe when they happen. A new building in Washington will have the first purpose-built tsunami shelter in the country, offering accessible safety in a second-story room.


Facebook Now Lets You Log Your Safety After Natural Disasters

There’s a growing trend of social media being used in the aftermath of natural disasters for information sharing — but Facebook is now working to formalise it. It’s launched a service which allows people to register themselves as safe when large-scale disasters occur.


Using goTenna's Pocket Antenna To Send Texts Without Mobile Service

Inspired by the downed mobile towers and utility outages of Hurricane Sandy, the folks at goTenna wanted a way to keep smartphones connected even when the grid fails. What they came up with is a pocket-sized handheld antenna that lets users send texts and location info without mobile service. And we got to see a prototype in action.


Murders, Tsunamis, Bus Singing: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

Why were so many people shot in Chicago last weekend? Does today’s earthquake in Japan mean another Fukushima meltdown? And why does Winnipeg want to fine people $US100 for singing in public? These are the questions we address in this week’s edition of What’s Ruining Our Cities.


Watch A Tornado Destroy A Children's Playground

Video: This is sad. Security camera footage shows a children’s playground in Tupelo, Mississippi being destroyed by a tornado. It’s not like the playground is some sort of impenetrable fortress but the winds of the twister monster pretty much levels it in minutes.


This Drone Footage Showing The Aftermath Of A Fire Is Heartbreaking

Video: A fire in Valparaíso, Chile has destroyed more than 2500 homes, left 11,000 people homeless and killed at least 15 people. It’s an unfathomable tragedy that has destroyed an entire community. This drone footage from Skyfilms attempts to show the extent of the damage caused by the fire’s wrath. It looks like a set of an apocalyptic movie, only it’s real people and real lives on the ground.


The Largest Earthquake In U.S. History Happened 50 Years Ago Today

At 5:42 a.m. on March 27, 1964, a 9.2-magnitude earthquake erupted 78 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska. The earthquake remains the most powerful earthquake to strike North America, and the second-largest earthquake ever measured.


Offshore Wind Farms Might Save Us From Hurricanes

In the match-up of wind turbine versus hurricane, our bets have traditionally been with the hurricane. But think about it this way: wind turbines are designed to suck energy out of wind. What if they could suck out so much energy that hurricanes like Katrina or Sandy never form in the first place — with the potentially destructive storm instead spun directly into electricity? That’s the win-win situation posited in a new study from Stanford and University of Delaware researchers.


Supervolcanoes Are Even Scarier Than We Thought

Do you have a cute and cuddly stuffed animal near you? If not, you might want to find one because what you’re about to read will scare you silly. And not the good kind of silly either. We’re talking The-End-Is-Coming sort of silly.


Typhoon Haiyan Even Looks Terrifying From 35,400 Kilometres Away

Haiyan was probably the strongest recorded typhoon to ever make landfall when it crashed through the Philippines on November 8 — and it looks just as intimidating from 35,400km away.