Disaster Warning

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The Disaster Warning Network combines detection, analysis, and warning
technologies into an "inIormation delivery system" that provides a maximum
number oI people a maximum amount oI early warning time through a maximum
number oI warning devices.
The Disaster Warning Network is a real time early
warning communication system Ior disasters as they are actually occurring along
the surIace oI the earth. The Disaster Warning Network will NOT predict
disasters, it will NOT prevent disasters, and it will NOT lessen the magnitude or
Irequency oI disasters.

The Disaster Warning Network will greatly reduce the number oI deaths, injuries,
and property damages due to disasters. It will NOT eliminate them. The Disaster
Warning Network will operate on the principle that a Iew minutes or even a Iew
seconds oI early warning in advance oI a disaster can be utilized wisely and
eIIectively by most people to help them avoid or mitigate the eIIects oI these

The Disaster Warning Network will direct early
warnings to only those speciIic areas that are expected to be impacted by a disaster
that is actually occurring. It will NOT "Broadcast" warnings to large geographic
areas and cause Ialse alarms to those not in danger and create low conIidence
levels in the accuracy oI warnings.

The Disaster Warning Network will send its signals through a wide variety oI
commonly used electronic devices embedded with microprocessor
receiver/controllers to provide early warnings that will allow both human and
automated responses during natural disasters. Decades old technology oI siren and
radio/TV alerts do not adequately reach most who really need early warnings.

The Disaster Warning Network will operate on the principle that all disasters travel
along the surIace oI the earth at relatively slows speeds compared to the
transmission speed oI an electronic warning signal (light speed). Real time
Detection, Analysis, and light speed Warnings will provide a maximum oI warning
time in advance oI disasters.

The Disaster Warning Network will utilize existing technologies and will not
require any new science to be developed.


"The time has come to create an eIIective early warning system Ior disasters"
By John Flanagan, The Disaster Warning Network, Inc.

WHAT IF - you are in your home, workplace,
shopping in a market, asleep in your bed, in a car or public transportation, or
watching television, and
O An earthquake occurs in your area
O A tornado or violent wind storm is heading your way
O A severe lightning storm is nearing your location
O A tanker truck or rail car loaded with a toxic liquid overturns near you and
the deadly Iumes are heading your way
O A Tsunami has started 500 kilometers away and is going to impact the beach
near your location
ARE YOU likely to receive any kind oI eIIective early warning that could save
your liIe Irom the eIIects oI these disasters ?
The simple and oIten tragic answer is NO. And now we have the chance to make
a change.

FACTS - Billions oI dollars are properly spent each
year Ior necessary mitigation responses by police, Iire, military, and emergency
personnel to save lives and property Irom the damaging eIIects oI both natural and
manmade disasters. The vast majority oI these eIIorts are all directed to reducing
the impact on people and property ,1907 a disaster has occurred. These eIIorts are
eIIective and have great real value.

Until this time however, very little eIIort is made to mitigate disasters beIore their
impact. All Iirst responders` claim the Iirst Iew minutes aIter a disaster are the most
important time to reduce the impact on people and property. Correct inIormation
and Iast response are oI utmost importance when responding to disasters aIter they

We know Irom experience the last Iew minutes beIore the impact oI a disaster is
also oI utmost importance to reduce the eIIects on people and property. It is the last
Iew minutes beIore disaster impact when actions can be taken to avoid or lessen
eIIects. Duck, cover, escape, hide, move, close up, slow, and stop, are some oI the
many responses we can take when conIronted by disasters. Coal mine canaries,
Church & Temple bells, air raid sirens, and smoke alarms, set the early warning
standards Ior past generations. They were eIIective Ior their time and now it is time
to create a truly eIIective early warning system Ior the 21st century.

Technology has changed - We now enjoy a convergence oI enabling technologies
allowing eIIective early warnings Ior almost all kinds oI natural and manmade
disasters. This intersection oI existing technologies now makes it possible to
receive warnings and respond to these disasters beIore their impact in a highly
eIIective manner to dramatically reduce their impact on our lives.

SpeciIic Necessary Elements are required to meet the Prime Directive Ior an
eIIective Early Warning System.
All oI these elements must be in place and work in combination:

The primary delivery method Ior warning signals must be wireless (R/F), point to
O Transmission oI early warnings must be done by the most reliable method possible
during disasters.
O Landlines (Public Switched Network) do not have real time capacity or robustness
required Ior directed real time warnings to large numbers oI users during disasters.
O Internet related (Ethernet) systems are subject to overload, power Iailures, and signiIicant
latency (delays) during disasters.
Receiving devices must be always capable of receiving early warning transmissions.
O Receiving devices must always be capable oI receiving a signal to initiate immediate
mitigation response.
O R/F signal must have priority access over other transmissions with priority overrides and
short burst packets.
O Receivers must have battery power capability during times oI power interruptions.
System must include a wide variety of receiving devices capable of generating both human
and automated responses.
O DiIIerent disasters require diIIerent levels and types oI responses.
O Some disasters such as earthquakes have very short warning times requiring completely
automated responses between sensors, activators, and a hierarchy oI controlling
computers to properly mitigate damages without human intervention.
O Human responses need to be backed up with pre-programmed responses Irom devices to
act on their behalI when human responses are not available, reliable, or eIIective. E.g.
people sleep, may be unavailable, Iorget responses, or simply ignore warnings.
System must perform real time data collection and pattern analysis for all types of natural
and manmade disasters to enable effective early warnings for all potential threats.
This creates an 'All Hazard Warning¨ capability to:
O Provide a single delivery source and prevent duplication oI hazard warning devices Ior
O Standardize responses Ior more eIIective human interIace.
O Allow more eIIicient allocation oI resources and lower overall network costs and costs to
System must eliminate false warnings.
O Elimination oI Ialse warnings maximizes authenticity oI warnings when received.
O EIIective warnings require those warned to have a high degree oI belieI that their liIe
and/or property are in danger so that warnings are not ignored. When warned, they
O Warnings must be sent only to those users in actual danger Irom a disaster event in
System must eliminate failed warnings.
O Early warnings must always be given when needed. II imminent danger exists a warning
must always be sent. An eIIective early warning system requires users to have a high
degree oI certainty that warnings will always be issued when danger is present.
O This requires the Iollowing system capabilities:
O Real time knowledge oI the magnitude, location, speed, and direction, oI all disaster
O Real time knowledge oI location inIormation (long/lat) Ior all system users.
O Every type oI hazard must be analyzed
O Real time processing capability must be available to determine all users, and only those
users, in actual danger Irom a disaster event beIore impact to users.

IN SUMMARY - The eIIective early warning system oI the 21st century must utilize speciIic
existing technologies in combination, and as a single network, in order to efficiently
aggregate sensed data and users.

The central technologies to be utilized are in place and available today.
O REMOTE SENSING - Real Time remote sensing must be done Ior all hazard events to
determine magnitude, location, speed, and direction, oI disasters as they are occurring.
O GEOGRAPHIC LOCALIZATION - Real Time geographic location determination
(long/lat) oI each user must be done to determine who should receive warnings.
O GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) - Real Time geographic inIormation
(attributes) Ior each user must be done to determine who should receive early warnings
and determine proper mitigation activities.
O PERVASIVE COMPUTING - In place embedded R/F controllers (intelligence at the
periphery) must enable a wide variety oI electrical devices to receive early warnings and
create both human and automated responses.
O PERVASIVE COMMUNICATIONS - Point to multi-point wireless data communications
must be ready all the time, everywhere, to everything; and thus to everyone.


THE PAST The past is the Ioundation we use to build Ior the Iuture. Every century has had its
deIining icons signiIying early warning systems. Mine canaries are in the distant past. For the last
century, the cutting edge technologies were represented by 'air raid sirens¨ and smoke alarm

Fire and smoke alarm systems were created in the early 1970`s Irom research and eIIorts created
by the Apollo moon program. Early semiconductor technology enabled inexpensive particulate
and heat sensors to be placed in widespread usage in all commercial, business, public, and private
structures. These systems operate automatically to detect the presence oI smoke or Iire when it is
in the very early stages. They are trusted devices. The enjoy UNIVERSAL USAGE because oI
their success in reducing death and property damages, these systems are universally mandated by
legislative and insurance requirements.

Cities require smoke and Iire alarm systems because they save lives and reduce Iirst responder
costs. Insurance companies require them because they reduce damages to property and lower
claim costs. All commercial entities require them because oI liability issues Ior Iailure to properly
protect occupants.

When smoke or Iire is detected, these systems automatically perIorm a wide variety oI
predetermined actions. /p~
SSome oI these actions are designed to create a human response and include:
O Create a loud audible warning Ior all in danger to hear.
O Turn on public address systems to inIorm those in possible danger.
O Turn on emergency lighting and exit signs.
Other predetermined actions designed to create an automated response include:
O Turn on sprinkler systems.
O Open emergency exits.
O Unlock and open Iire-Iighting equipment storage cabinets.
O NotiIication oI 911 and local Iire-Iighting emergency response units.
O Automated control oI elevators and air-conditioning systems.
Some oI these actions require a human response and others operate automatically without the
need Ior human intervention. All actions occur because we understand that the possibility oI Iire
cannot be eliminated, and we know that pre-planning, Iast detection and early warnings can
eliminate unnecessary loss oI lives and property. And Iinally, Iire and smoke alarm systems are
limited to the structures they are designed to protect. The Disaster Warning System oI the
21st Century will provide early warning protection Irom most oI the hazards and unpredictable
excesses oI our physical environment on the earth and its atmosphere.

THE FUTURE - The Disaster Warning System oI the 21st Century will utilize the smoke and
Iire alarm analogy, but is much diIIerent in size, scope, and beneIicial eIIects. As in smoke and
Iire alarm systems, the new system will be everywhere around us and always ready to trigger
predetermined actions in a timely manner to save our lives and reduce damages to our property.
The Disaster Warning System oI the 21st Century will be an everyday Iact oI liIe Ior every
person. And, it will be Ior all types oI natural and manmade disasters. The system will be
ubiquitous, transparent, and always available to protect our lives and property. It will also be
reliable and worthy oI our trust.

DISASTERS - The natural disasters that will be detected include
tornadoes, earthquakes, lightning storms, Iloods, and tsunamis.
Manmade disasters such as chemical spills, biological releases, terror
actions, and nuclear accidents will also be detected.

alarm systems in our buildings, it will utilize a wide variety oI sensing
and detection technologies to determine the presence, in real time, oI
natural or manmade disasters in the outside world. It will analyze the
inIormation about the disasters and send early warning signals over a
network oI distributed transmitters to exactly those selected areas and to
exactly those selected users in actual danger Irom an existing disaster.

To achieve maximum eIIectiveness the new system will beneIit Irom the
'network eIIects¨ oI very large scale. The system will communicate
highly time critical and totally scalable inIormation about the
surrounding physical environment at all times and to everyone who has
been determined to have need and can beneIit Irom the early warning

ACTIONS - The early warning signals will be received by a wide
variety oI common commercial and consumer electronic devices
embedded with network receiver/controller chips to receive the warning
signals and cause human or automated pre-programmed responses to
mitigate the eIIects oI the disasters.

Many diIIerent types oI mitigation response actions will be initiated by
the early warning signals Irom the Disaster Warning System oI the 21st
Century. A Iew oI the many types oI actions that will occur are shown
Audible warning alarms will be initiated. Warnings will be received on
cell phones, pagers, televisions, radios, computers, Iire/smoke alarms,
and any other type oI common communication device. The audible
warnings will advise the type oI action necessary to minimize danger.
Warnings and instructions will be issued on public address systems.
Automated pre-programmed actions will be initiated. Any type oI
audible warning device that is in an oII position will be turned on and the
volume turned up to receive audible early warnings during all types oI
disasters. Gas, Iuel, and utility lines to buildings will be controlled to
prevent Iires or explosions.
Emergency lighting and generators will be initiated to prevent panic and
allow movement to lighted and opened exits.
Basement shelters in apartment buildings, and reinIorced block shelters
in mobile home parks will be opened to allow shelter during tornadoes
and severe storms.
Computer networks, servers, and all electronic equipment will be
controlled during earthquakes and lightning storms to prevent data losses
and damaged equipment.
Elevators will be controlled to prevent danger to occupants.
Utility transmission inIrastructure will be controlled to prevent natural
gas Ilares, water losses, and transIormer losses.
Transportation controls will be implemented to slow or stop traIIic
during an earthquake and to keep traIIic oII and Irom under bridges and
overpasses during earthquakes.
Transportation controls will be initiated to control traIIic Ilows to speed
emergency rescue eIIorts.
The disaster warning system oI the 21st century will have the capability
to continuously track all warning receivers equipped with a unique
identiIication code. This will allow the network to know the exact
geographic position and geographic inIormation Ior every early warning
receiver so equipped. /p~

AAs we know, the Iirst Iew minutes aIter a disaster are so crucial Ior
Iirst responders. These early warnings will signiIicantly improve
response times and provide a very important 'head start¨. For emergency
response personnel such as rescue, Iire, police, and ambulance personnel,
this will allow much quicker and more accurate Iirst response eIIorts and
Iurther reduce disaster impacts on lives and property. The early warnings
will reduce response times and oIten allow emergency response eIIorts to
start in an area even beIore the disaster has occurred in that area.
As with Iire and smoke alarm systems oI today, the beneIicial social and
economic eIIects oI the early warnings will result in legislative and
insurance mandates Ior widespread usage in the Iollowing types oI
O Homes, Schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.
O Businesses, industries, and utilities.
O Municipal and governmental inIrastructure and public locations.


The Disaster Warning System oI the 21st Century will allow pre-
planning, Iast detection, and early warnings Ior all types oI natural and
manmade disasters. These early warnings will be directed to selected
areas and selected receivers, through a ubiquitous variety oI receivers,
allowing an unlimited variety oI mitigation responses to protect lives and

Disasters cause much unnecessary death, injury, and property damage in
every country in the world that could be signiIicantly mitigated with
eIIective early warnings. Quick adoption and usage oI this new Disaster
Warning System will signiIicantly reduce these eIIects and add much
value to all oI our lives.
A Ilow chart oI the proposed Disaster Early Warning System oI the 21st
century is shown below.
Additional inIormation may be obtained Irom two US patents:
Patent # 5,910,763 June 8, 1999 'Area Warning System Ior
Earthquakes and other Natural Disasters¨
Patent # 6,169,476 January 2, 2001 'Early Warning System Ior
Natural and Manmade Disasters¨

D|saster Management
Genera| Þreparedness
The main characteristics oI a major disaster are that irrespective oI the origin, aIter
a little while the scene is the same:
* total chaos all around
* lack oI utilities which we have always taken Ior granted
* no relieI and rescue teams Ior several days
* lack oI medical Iacilities
Thus, the suIIerings are not just due to the disaster, but, post-disaster, many more
people die and suIIer because oI:
1. lack oI Iood, shelter
2. lack oI medical attention
3. hygiene issues causing health hazards
The nature oI disaster might only change the sequence oI events that`s all.
Hence, it is important to have the Iollowing precautions/preparations done iI your
neighbourhood is prone to any oI the disasters. While preparing, remember, aIter a
major disaster it might be atleast 3 to 5 days, beIore the Iirst signs oI relieI is
visible. All your preparations should be done with this in mind. Its not just
important to survive the immediate disaster, but, you need to be able to sustain
yourselI Ior next several days all on your own maybe, without any utilities etc.
First and Ioremost, remember, aIter a disaster, you might not have stores open.
Everything might be closed down. Hence, its important that you have all the liIe-
saving material with you well in advance.
Here is a list oI items that you should have with you, which can help you stay
without utilities Ior a Iew days:

* Non-perishable Iood to last you several days. These should be something,
which do not require cooking, have high shelI-liIe, without need Ior reIrigeration
or other special conditions, and, preIerably take lesser space to store so that you
can store adequate amount Ior a Iew days. These include: canned Iood items, dry-
Iruits, high protein biscuits etc.
* Drinking water to last you several days.
* Some blankets etc. to keep you warm, in case houses are damaged. Remember,
there might not be electricity and/or gas-connections to provide you heating.
* A supply oI your medicines Ior several days.
* Flashlight which operates on batteries. It might help you navigate your way in
darkness, iI electrical system has Iailed
* A battery operated radio. It might be your only source oI inIormation.
* Some spare batteries to run your Ilashlight/torch and the radio
* II you use cordless phones, have a regular phone also connected. Cordless
phones need electrical power to operate. In case oI electrical Iailures, the cordless
phones might not work.

In addition, you should have the Iollowing items:
1. First Aid box, to take care oI minor injuries (Ior yourselI, your Iamily
members, and/or even unknown persons who might be injured)
2. Good, comIortable long-boots. With roads damaged, and, too much debris
everywhere, you could be on your Ieet Ior next several days. A pair oI good long-
boots would be very helpIul.
3. The Iuel-tank oI your vehicle should always be above the HalI-Mark. The
petrol pumps (gas-stations) might either be non-operational, or, might have long
queues. In case, an evacuation is required, the last thing you want to do is get
stuck in a huge serpentine queue at the petrol pump.

So, now that you have taken care oI your Iood and shelter, one oI the most
important things is to maintain proper sanitary conditions. Toilet Ilush systems
might not work either due to lack oI water, or, due to breakage/damage to
plumbing pipes/Iittings etc. Thus, a lot oI people die due to outbreak oI diseases
associated with lack oI sanitary conditions. Lack oI water creates unhygienic
conditions, which result in outbreak oI such diseases. A simple technique can help
you ward-oII this situation.

You should have several (plastic/polythene) garbage-bags. Use these bags Ior
excretion inside it. The toilet paper can also be thrown inside the same bag. Once
it has been used a Iew times, close its mouth tightly, and, let it lie in a corner. As
long as it has been sealed properly at its mouth, there is little risk Irom it. Once the
relieI teams start coming in, and, utilities start returning back to normal, these bags
should be disposed oII. This is much saIer than excreting in the open. That would
be risky Ior you, as well as open-excretion would give rise to several sanitary

Some other precautions that you can take, which would make it easier Ior you/your
Iriends/relatives to control anxiety:

* Designate a person outside your area, who should be your contact point.
Instead oI all your Iriends and Iamily members trying to reach you (aIter the news
oI the disaster spreads) to enquire about you, you should maybe, inIorm just one
person outside the zone oI disaster. This one person should inIorm other Iriends
and relations. This serves three main purposes:
1. AIter a disaster, everybody is calling all their loved ones to enquire about
their well-being. This causes a severe burden on the communication system
which are not designed to handle everybody on the phone at the same time. Hence,
many oI your Iriends and relatives are not able to get through you and thus, their
anxiety about you keeps getting increased. Instead, iI it was pre-decided, they all
would call just one person who is outside the zone oI disaster, and, the
communication network there is not over-stretched.
2. The already over-stretched telecom network is saved some load. This
allows relieI agencies to use the available telecom bandwidth Ior rescue and relieI
3. Your own supply oI batteries etc. lasts longer, iI you receive Iewer calls
So, suppose, I grew up in city A, and, then, have moved to city B. Hence, most
oI my Iriends and relatives are in city A. Now, iI there is a disaster in city B, I
would call up just one oI my Iriends/relatives (pre-designated) in city A. All my
other Iriends and relatives would get in touch with this pre-designated person in
city A to enquire about me.
* Designate a meeting place Ior your entire Iamily. When a disaster occurs,
diIIerent members oI the Iamily could be at diIIerent places. Even iI all oI them
have survived, you all might be taken to diIIerent shelter-camps and/or medical
Iacilities. You don`t want you/your Iamily members running all around the town
locating each other. Hence, there should be a pre-designated place, where, all oI
you would meet/send your locations at the Iirst available opportunity. This pre-
designated place could be some Iriend/relative outside the immediate zone oI
disaster, say a Iriend`s place. Even iI you can not physically be there, you can
atleast call up and leave a message there about your location and/or well-being,
as soon as there is an opportunity.
* II you have a school-going child, arrange with someone to pick up the child
in case oI a disaster. With communication and transportation network having
broken down, this someone (which could be you-yourselI) has to be somebody in
the walking distance oI the school. This person can simply walk down to the
school, and, pick up the child. The school should be inIormed in advance about this
person being one oI the allowed guardians to pick up the child in case oI an

Once again, have phone numbers Ior your child`s Iriends` parents with you.
Instead oI everybody trying to call up the school, share inIormation among each
other. The number oI phone lines that a school would have would be too Iew
compared to the number oI parents trying to get inIormation about the saIety oI
their kids. Hence, iI a Iewer parents call up, and, can share inIormation among
each other, it would be helpIul.

Also, remember, with so many kids on their hands, the teachers and the school
staII would have their own anxiety. Hence, cooperate with the school, rather than
trying to complicate matters Ior them by insisting/questioning/rushing-in etc.
* The above is also true, iI you have an aged parent at home, and, there is
nobody at home to help them evacuate etc. during the time oI disaster. Please
enlist the help oI some neighbour to provide timely assistance to the aged and
Ieeble people.
* You should know the location oI the controls Ior your utilities, as well as how
to turn them on/oII specially, water, electricity, gas etc. Depending on the
situation, you might need to shut oII certain utilities. E.g. iI water lines are leaking,
and, water is pouring in, you might want to turn oII the water line. Or, iI electrical
wires are snapped, you might want to turn oII electricity supply. Usually, there are
several levels oI controls, e.g. Ior electricity, there might be switches to turns oII
supply Ior individual rooms, entire house, or, even entire neighbourhood.
Depending upon the exact risk-location and nature oI the risk, you might want to
turn oII at the appropriate location. E.g. iI the risk is only inside a house, turn oII
the supply Ior just that one house, rather than the entire neighbourhood.

Now, that you are adequately prepared:
1. Do NOT panic at the time oI the disaster. Think clearly. II you are already
prepared by having mentally gone through your disaster preparedness several
times, you might just know what to do. And, iI you have already taken the
precautions you might have all the tools to deal with the situation.
2. Be prepared to stay in it Ior the long haul, rather than getting desperate and
loosing hope.
3. II possible, try to help others those who are weak, e.g. the aged, small
children, people with any special needs, those who are sick etc.

Once you have secured your own liIe, try to help others also depending on your
strength both physical and emotional. Just make sure not to put your own liIe
and saIety into jeopardy. You could help in one or more oI the Iollowing:

1. immediate help to the possible victims
2. search and rescue
3. record keeping (who is being sent to which hospital etc.) As soon as people
start coming to their senses, they would start looking Ior their near and dear ones.
A good record keeping system would allow people to know which oI their near-
and-dear ones have survived, and, where have they been taken (speciIic relieI
camps, treatment Iacilities etc.)
4. Crowd control so that people don`t risk themselves by trying to go near
damaged structures because, inspite oI their best oI intentions, they could cause
more damage to either themselves or others

Try to be on your own and pick up your lives as soon as its possible and saIe to do
so. Don`t depend on alms and doles to bail you out.

Medical and other help would be really limited. Don`t try to make too much noise
about minor stuII. Adjust and compromise. Let resources be used by those who
have greater need Ior it.

II it appears that it will take a long time Ior the liIe to return to normalcy, and, one
has to move (creating situations oI migration/reIugee etc.), try to move in with a
relative or Iriend Ior the duration, rather than relieI camps being run by various
relieI agencies. This will have several beneIits. The most notable being:

1. lesser burden on the relieI system
2. lesser concentration at one place, because, the places running the relieI centers
also get overburdened by the sudden increase in demand to support a much larger
number oI people
3. better sanitary and hygienic conditions
4. Most importantly: much less distressing psychologically and emotionally
Recent environmental disasters
Environmental disasters that occurred after 1anuary 2000
November 2006 - At least 23 people are killed in a mine in the south oI Poland,
consequential to a methane explosion. Only three people survive the mining
November 2006 - At least eight people are killed by a series oI tornadoes in North-
Carolina, USA. Considerable damage is done, and authorities Iear the death toll will
increase Iurther.
October 2006 - The Greek Isle oI Crete is subject to storms. Parts oI the isle are
Ilooded and dozens oI tourists are evacuated. A number oI houses Ilood and water is
pumped out by Iiremen. Aerial traIIic is complicated.
October 2006 - An earthquake oI 6,6 on the Richter schale hits Hawaii, causing
emergency measures to be taken. The location is relatively sparsely populated,
thereIore damages are limited. Honolulu experiences power outage, and 3000
people are evacuated Irom two beach hotels.
October 2006 - Typhoon Xangsane kills at least 16 people in Japan, and in China
another person is killed. Earlier, the typhoon caused the death oI 76 people in the
September 2006 - Explosion in a mine in southeast Ukraine kills at least 13 people,
and injures 36 people. The explosion is caused by a leak in a carbon-gastank.
September 2006 - Explosion in a Mittal Steel mine in Kazachstan kills 18 people.
The cause remains unknown, and 40 people are declared missing.
September 2006 Human rights organisation Christian Aid announces that the
continuing drought might cause a Iamine in AIghanistan that may kill millions oI

September 2006 A Iire in a waste treatment plant in Maastricht, The Netherlands,
causes smoke and smell nuisance.

September 2006 Illegally deposited waste Irom oil tanker Probo Koala causes and
environmental disaster at Ivory Coast. Seven people die Irom intoxication, and
another 40,000 people Iall ill. Oil residues contain toxic substances, such as
hydrogen sulphide (H
S). Eight people responsible Ior the disaster are arrested, and
environmental and transport ministers are replaced, Iollowed by a major clean-up

1uly 2006 Bombing oI an electricity plant during the Lebanon war causes a
leakage oI 25,000 tons oI crude oil Irom the Lebanese coast to the Mediterranean

1une 2006 Typhoon Ewiniar hits China, Korea and the Japanese islands and kills
at least 40 people. An enormous amount oI people needs to be evacuated, and many
homes are destroyed by storms and Iloods caused by heavy rains.
February 2006 - In Bosnia-Herzegovina 18 tons oI boiling hot oil pollute the River
Neretva in the south. The oil comes Irom a transIormator oI a power plant in
1anuary 2006 - Six tons oI diesel oil leak into the Yellow River in the province oI
Henan, China Irom a power plant and spreads towards the Bohai Sea. Fortunately,
not much damage is done to local shrimp Iishery, because shrimps are only present
in sediments during winter.

1anuary 2006 Food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti, caused by
extreme drought and civil war, results in a Iamine that victimizes 11 million
AIricans. In Kenya, at least 30 people die oI hunger.
December 2005 - Chinese authorities dump iron and aluminum into the Bei River
in the province oI Guangdong. It is carried out as a measure to prevent Iurther
spreading oI cadmium pollution caused earlier that month.
December 2005 - A Slovakian oil tanker containing 42 tons oI crude oil catches Iire
and sinks near Bulgaria in the Danube River. The accident causes a kilometre-wide
oil slick, and measures are taken to prevent Iurther oil spills.

November 2005 A Series oI explosions in a petrochemical plant in China pollutes
the River Songhua, and leaves the city oI Harbin without water Ior days. In total, the
benzene spill kills 5 people, injures another Iew dozen people, and results in the
evacuation oI tens oI thousands oI residents in the area.
October 2005 - A Iire in the east wing oI the prison complex in Schiphol, The
Netherlands, kills 11 people. The SaIety Counsel states that Iire damage could have
been prevented iI government services would have Iollowed Iire saIety regulation.
Fire tests indicate that a cigarette Iag caused the Iire.

October 2005 Hurricane Wilma hits parts oI Mexico and Cuba, results in
mudIlows, kills 62 people and causes over 20 million dollars damage.

October 2005 Earthquake in Kashmir, Pakistan kills over 80,000 people, and
leaves over 3.3 million homeless. Most people die during landslides caused by the
quake. Reconstruction is diIIicult, and a year later not all structures are repaired. An
estimated 66,000 people still do not have a home, and about 40,000 oI them stay in
reIugee camps.
September 2005 - Manure pollutes the River Linde in The Netherlands, between
Wolvega and De Blesse. Fish deaths are numerous, and surrounding cities
experience smell nuisance. It is suspected that a Iarmer in Noordwolde spilled
manure a Iew weeks earlier, because oI some problems with a liquid manure

September 2005 Typhoon Longwang kills 96 people at the Japanese coast; en
gradually diminishes to a tropical storm.

September 2005 Hurricane Rita strikes Louisiana, kills seven people directly, and
causes many more casualties during evacuations and Irom indirect consequences
(Iires, car crashes, illness, poisoning). Eventually, the oIIicial death toll is set on

August 2005 - Hurricane Katrina causes devastation in the American cities oI New
Orleans and Louisiana; beaches erode, more than 1,600 people die, and survivors
plunder stores and use violence against each other and against authorities.

1uly 2005 Typhoon Haitang strikes Taiwan and China. Heavy squalls and rains
cause 13 casualties, and at least 18 people are severely wounded.

1uly 2005 Large parts oI Bombay, India are Ilooded, causing more than 1,000

1une 2005 Severe monsoon rains in Gujarat, India cause Iloods, resulting in 123
deaths, and about 250,000 evacuees.

March 2005 An earthquake near Fukuoka, Japan hurts 70 people severely, and
causes light wounds on more than 1,000 people. The many aIter shocks result in the
evacuation oI a large number oI people.

2005 Extreme droughts result in Iailed maize harvest, Iollowed by Iamine in
Malawi, Southeast AIrica.

December 2004 - Tanker Selendang Ayu Irom Malaysia strands near the coast oI
Alaska, breaks in two, and leaks about 500,000 litres oI oil into the ocean.
December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake causes tsunami and subsequently kills
almost a quarter oI a million people (see environmental disasters).

October 2004 Earthquake in Chuetsu, Japan leaves 3,000 people injured, and
many more lose their homes.

March 2004 Tank car containing bromine tilts near Ekeren, causing a bromine
cloud to Iorm and leaking 6000 litres oI bromine to the sewers, subsequently
Ilowing into the River Schelde. About 3,000 people are evacuated, and a major
clean-up operation starts.

October 2003 Large Iire in the south oI CaliIornia (US) causes 14 casualties.
Nearly 3,000 square kilometres oI Iorest is burned, along with more than 3,500

October 2003 A Iire in San Bernardino Mountains in CaliIornia (US) kills 6
people, and destroys nearly 1,000 homes. Nearly 400 square kilometre Iorest is lost.

August 2003 Extreme heat wave in Europe results in more than 2,000 casualties.
On some locations temperatures exceed 40

1une 2003 Iraqi civilians steal a number oI uranium containers Irom a nuclear
power plant, and rinse them out in rivers. The barrels are applied to store milk,
tomatoes and drinking water. Selling the barrels makes it extremely hard to trace
any (see environmental eIIects oI warIare).

1une 2003 Fire destroys nearly 350 square kilometres oI land in Santa Catalina
Mountains in Arizona (US). Approximately 340 homes are destroyed, and total
costs are about 24 million dollar.

December 2002 Oil tanker Tricolor collides with another ship near the coast oI
France. During the clean-up operation multiple accidents cause oil spills (see
environmental disasters).
November 2002 - LeIt-wing rebels Irom Colombia detonated 123 pipelines by
means oI dynamite. The amount oI oil leaking Irom the pipes is three times that
leaking Irom the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in 1989 (see environmental disasters).

November 2002 Storms cause some problems Ior tanker Prestige, resulting in
cracking oI the tanker, and a 170,000 litre oil spill that Ilows in the direction oI
Belgium and The Netherlands.
August 2002 - Chlorine gas is emitted Irom the Spolana chemical plant in Czechia,
near Prague. The direct cause appears to be Ilooding oI the River Elbe, causing
water damage that results in leaking storage tanks.
August 2002 - Forest Iires, exhaust Iumes, industrial discharge and coal and manure
burning cause a three kilometre thick blanket oI brown smoke over India, Myanmar,
South-China, large parts oI Southeast-Asia and the PaciIic. Smog contains mostly
soot, sulphur dioxide and greenhouse gases, and causes Iloods and crop Iailure,
among other eIIects.

1une 2002 Major Iorest Iire near Denver, Colorado (US) results in the evacuation
oI more than 5,000 people. The Iire starts as a small campIire and rapidly spreads
over more than 200 square kilometres because oI extreme drought. More than 40
million dollars oI damage repair is required.

1une 2002 Fire in Arizona burns more than 2,000 square kilometres oI Iorest, and
more than 30,000 people are evacuated.
October 2001 - Cyanide spill Irom a ruptures dam pollutes the Asuman River in the
west oI Ghana. Thousands oI cubic metres oI water containing cyanide and heavy
metals causes many Iish, brabs and birds to die, and drinking water in nearby cities
is polluted.

September 2001 Explosion at a nitrogen Iertilizer plant in Toulouse, France,
causes a big crater to Iorm, and thirty people are killed instantly. More than 10,000
people get hurt, and 40,000 people are leIt homeless. The plant is completely

September 2001 Terrorist attacks oI the World Trade Centre in the US cause
about 3,000 casualties, among which are many Iire Iighters. The event causes an
environmental disaster, as an atmospheric plume Iorms over lower Manhattan (see
environmental eIIects oI warIare).
March 2001 - The largest oil platIorm in the world, the P-36 oI Brazilian oil society
Petrobras, threatens to tilt over. One leg cracks and the platIorm moved 35 degress
Iorward. A series oI explosions kills two people, and another eight are missing.
Measures are taken to keep the hulk Irom tilting over completely.
1anuari 2001 - Oil tanker Jessica strands near the Galapagos Isles, about 1000
kilometres west oI Equador. An estimated 800 tons oI oil leaks into the sea, and
many seaguls and other sea birds die.

May 2000 Fireworks container explodes in Enschede, The Netherlands, kills 23
people, and injures 950 more people.

May 2000 Hard winds and extreme drought cause a major Iire in New Mexico
(US) Irom what started as a small controlled Iire. More than 190 square kilometres
oI Iorest Iully burned, and more than 400 Iamilies lost their homes in the Ilames.

1anuary 2000 About 100,000 m3 water with hydrogen cyanide Ilows Irom the
River Tisza to the Danube River, aIter a leak in a settling basin in Baia Mare (see
environmental disasters).

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