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30 December 2009

Munich Re's list of the largest disasters of 2009

The reinsurance giant Munich Re releases annual statistics on the losses from natural catastrophes each year. They released the data for 2009 yesterday, presumably banking on the balance of probabilities that there would be no more major events in the three days left of the year. The release is available here: resultsThe news for 2009 is good, with no disasters causing mass (i.e. >10,000) fatalities. There list of the …


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16 December 2009

Ten years ago today – the Vargas landslide disaster

Today is the tenth anniversary of probably the greatest landslide disaster in living memory – the 1999 Vargas landslide catastrophe in Venezuela. On 14th-16th December 1999 a coastal storm in Vargas triggered multiple debris flows that swept onto the densely populated river deltas below. It is estimated that 30,000 people died. The USGS summary of the event, which remains the best starting place to understand the disaster, is here, which …


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27 November 2008

Presentation on the Wenchuan (Sichuan) earthquake

Tomorrow (Friday) I am giving a talk at Hazards Day in Manchester for AS/A2 students (year 12 and Year 13 in the UK system). The topic is the hazards associated with the Wenchuan (Sichuan) Earthquake in China. I have uploaded the file below: on authorSTREAM by Dr_Dave This talk will be repeated at an event in London on Thursday 4th December.


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12 May 2008

Landslides from the 12th May 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

12th May @ 07:27 UT: News reports this morning are suggesting that there has been a large, shallow earthquake in Sichuan Province, China. Initial estimates from the USGS are that this was a M = 7.5 (NB this has now been corrected to MW=7.9) event located at just 10 km, although clearly this will need updating. If so, it is reasonable to assume that this earthquake will have triggered large …


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