Today in disaster resilience (13 December 2019)


Please find below links to recent news about some aspects of disaster resilience…

Recent emergencies/disaster

Australia fires: blazes ‘too big to put out’ as 140 bushfires rage in NSW and Queensland

Namibia – 1 Dead After Flash Floods in Northern and Central Areas

New Zealand – Flooding Prompts State of Emergency in Canterbury Region

Uganda – at Least 16 Killed in Floods and Landslides in Western Region

Flooding causes extreme destruction in South Sudan: IOM

White Island volcano erupts in Bay of Plenty: 5 dead, 8 missing, 31 in hospital

Malaysia – Hundreds Evacuated After Floods in Johor

Philippines – Thousands Displaced by Floods in North

Sri Lanka – 6 Dead, Thousands Displaced as Heavy Rain Continues

Rwanda – Dozens Homeless After Heavy Rain Triggers Landslides in Musanze

Somalia – Homes Destroyed as Tropical Cyclone Pawan

Colombia – Thousands Hit by Floods in Nariño Department

South Africa – Hundreds Rescued From Floods in Gauteng

Lebanon and Israel – Flash Floods Cause Travel Chaos

More than 720 homes lost in NSW fires as Sydney told to brace for huge losses

Malaysia – 300 Evacuate After Floods in Sabah

Madagascar – Floods and Wind Damage After Tropical Cyclone Belna Makes Landfall

Ecuador – Deadly Floods and Landslides in Morona-Santiago Province

Maldives – Heavy Rain Causes Floods in Malé

Volcanic activity worldwide 12 Dec 2019: Etna volcano, Fuego, Popocatépetl, Dukono, Reventador


Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Nagano is first prefecture in Japan to declare a climate emergency

Victoria Falls dries to a trickle after worst drought in a century

Leading scientists condemn political inaction on climate change as Australia ‘literally burns’

New research examines climate change’s role in 2018 extreme weather events

Earth’s frozen ‘water towers’ threatened by warming, population growth, report says

Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective

Greenland ice losses rising faster than expected

Historic American towns have endured wars, storms. What about sea rise?

Sea Level Science Grapples with Uncertainty and Usability

‘Sydney is angry’: Protesters march to demand urgent action on climate change

Now Australian cities are choking on smoke, will we finally talk about climate change?

“Climatic-affective atmospheres”: A conceptual tool for affective scholarship in a changing climate

Climate Analytics suggests Australia has reneged on a pledge to make deeper emissions cuts

On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people to be flooded each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to sea level rise

“There’s been this increasing dawning of awareness among many Americans that climate change is actually starting to harm people here and now”

People are waking up to the climate crisis, but two sobering reports this week are a reminder of the enormity of the problem

Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective Report


Disaster risk reduction

How to live with mega-fires? Portugal’s feral forests may hold the secret

Study suggests Cascadia can trigger quakes on the northern San Andreas, California

Indian Ocean Dipole: What is it and why is it linked to floods and bushfires?

Flash flooding is a serious threat in the UK – here’s how scientists are tackling its prediction

Meteorological conditions leading to the 2015 Salgar flash flood: lessons for vulnerable regions in tropical complex terrain

A benefit–cost analysis of floodplain land acquisition for US flood damage reduction

New study compares floodplain protection today to predicted future flood losses

To prevent increasingly massive wildfires we need to rethink our approach to forest management

A Tiny Leak Led to a Massive, Unexpected Collapse at Kilauea Volcano

Conserving the Floodplains Could Save Billions of Dollars, Researchers say

Damaging Rains From Hurricanes Can Be More Intense After Winds Subside

Hazard map articles should describe the development of a volcanic hazard map or set of volcanic hazard maps

Scientists Scramble to Collect Data After Ridgecrest Earthquakes


Emergency management

Government’s role in supporting community–led approaches to recovery

Briefing Mozambique’s post-cyclone problems multiply

‘Smells like it’s time to go to work’: American firefighters arrive in Sydney

White Island erupts: Why were tourists allowed on unsettled island?

Why White Island erupted and why there was no warning

As Australia bush fires rage, country offers lessons for the wildfire-prone western U.S.

New Zealand helicopter pilot describes horror of volcano rescue

Hunger deepening in South Sudan as floods follow drought and unresolved conflict

Despite Warning Of 2nd Eruption, Police Will Try To Recover Bodies On White Island


Disaster education, communications and engagement

Policy Perspectives on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing

A new database for detecting floods in real-time on a global scale using Twitter


Sociology and disasters

Capturing Bonding, Bridging, and Linking Social Capital through Publicly Available Data

How a small British town used social connections to make residents happier and healthier

The historical context of injustice, discrimination and inequality experienced through social structures that cause harm to certain people  informs today’s risk


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I am a Principal at Water Technology Pty Ltd, an Australian-based coastal, environment and natural hazards company - see I specialise in the community aspects of disaster risk reduction and emergency management. Samples of my research and projects can be accessed at Check out my latest book 'Disaster Education, Communication and Engagement' at I am also a published fiction writer specialising in short stories and poems - see

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