The Pittsburgh woman who lost her sedan to a sinkhole on Tuesday is not alone, as this slideshow reveals. Whether that’s comforting or disconcerting is for her to decide.
"This is a miracle from God"
A girl thought to have died in the Indian Ocean tsunami has been reunited with her family after being found alive nearly a decade later, her parents said Friday.
Raudhatul Jannah was just four when she was swept away as the disaster struck Indonesia on Boxing Day in 2004. After a month, her relatives assumed she was among the more than 230,000 killed. But in June, her brother spotted someone who appeared to be his long-lost sister walking down the street, according to German news agency DPA.
“This is a miracle from God,” her mother told DPA.
Thunderstorms and huge downpours are forecast for the next three days, forcing rescuers to race against the clock
As rescuers continue to sift through the rubble left by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck southwestern China’s Yunnan province on Saturday, heavy rain and landslides are slowing down rescue efforts and the delivery of desperately needed supplies to survivors — with worse weather to come.
Thunderstorms and torrential downpours are forecast over the next three days for Ludian County, one of the worst affected areas, forcing thousands of troops, police and other aid workers to race against time.
The death toll in what local officials say is the most destructive earthquake to strike the mountainous area in years is now 398, with 1,801 injured, China’s official news agency Xinhua reports. Over 411 aftershocks have also been recorded, some as high as 4.9 magnitude.
Around 80,000 homes have been destroyed, and 124,000 others seriously damaged, the Yunnan Civil Affairs Bureau said on its website. And though some 230,000 people have been evacuated, thousands more remain threatened by aftershocks, landslides and floods. A lake has formed near the Hongshiyan hydropower station and is rising at one meter per hour, engulfing homes, forcing further evacuations, and threatening several power stations downstream, the South China Morning Post reports.
Collapsed infrastructure means that many survivors have yet to be reached. “The blocked roads and the continuous downpours have made some disaster areas inaccessible for heavy relief vehicles,” Liu Jianhua, a local party official, told Xinhua.
A volunteer teacher in Longjiang Village, Huang Min, told the Post that the situation was desperate. “We’re in desperate need of food, water, tents and electricity,” Huang said.
Yunnan province is prone to earthquakes. A series of tremblors in 2012 killed 81 and injured over 800.
Infrastructure and buildings in remote area of Yunnan province left in ruins after huge temblor
Update: Aug. 6, 10:05 a.m. ET
At least 589 people were killed after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit a rural area of Yunnan province on Aug. 3, causing several buildings to collapse. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was less than a mile below the ground.
Six decades after a massive earthquake struck in northwestern Iran, killing more than 12,000 people, LIFE.com remembers the disaster with a series of powerful pictures by the great Paul Schutzer.
Few people on Earth are as familiar with earthquakes as the citizens of Iran. Crisscrossed by a number of major fault lines and almost perpetually subject to large and small—and, of course, occasionally devastating—quakes, the country has suffered some of the deadliest temblors ever to strike on land, including many that have killed hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands of people.
One of the worst quakes ever to strike Iran erupted from a large fault in the country’s northwestern Qazvin Province in September 1962. Measuring more than 7 on the Richter Scale, the Buin Zahra earthquake caused catastrophic damage and killed more than 12,000 men, women and children. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed, and countless livestock, a key source of both food and income in the region, were lost. While not as lethal as other Iranian earthquakes across the centuries—some of which left five and even ten times as many people dead—the Sept. 1, 1962, Bou’in-Zahra quake was nevertheless a shattering event.
Here, six decades later, LIFE.com remembers the disaster and its terrible aftermath. In photographs that, at times, are as intimate as they are powerful, LIFE’s Paul Schutzer chronicled the the quake’s destruction, capturing the fear and despair—as well as the towering fortitude—of survivors who, incredibly, were already working to rebuild amid the ruins, even as they mourned their dead.
Schutzer, LIFE told its readers in the September 21, 1962, issue of the magazine—in which some of the photos here first appeared—”had jetted from Paris to Iran as soon as the extent of the disaster became known.” Once there, he “found the countryside alive with dazed groups of wounded and hungry—and came upon eternally tragic scenes of disaster.”
He met a devoted and tireless Iranian physician, Dr. Rahmani, and set out with him to try to reach a tiny mountain village that had been cut off from outside help. Wearing a bandana against the dust and inescapable smell of death, Schutzer rode on a pile of shrouds for the dead they knew they would find. As darkness fell, the journey grew perilous.
“The cliffs,” wrote Schutzer, “had split with the quake and spit huge boulders into our path. Some still clung to the cliffs above. Our headlights attracted survivors like moths. We threw them food and blankets and went on. Now and then. we stopped to allow Dr. Rahmani to treat wound or bind up a broken rib.”
Paul Schutzer (at right, covering the Iran quake) was no stranger to intense reporting of momentous events. Still in his early thirties in 1962, he had covered the violence-plagued journeys of the Freedom Riders in the American South; the construction of the Berlin Wall; John F. Kennedy’s heady run for the White House in 1960, and the “Camelot” White House after JFK won.
A phenomenally talented and sensitive photographer, Schutzer brought a profoundly humane sensibility to his work, whether he was shooting a visit to India by President Eisenhower in the late 1950s, documenting the toll of America’s deepening involvement in Vietnam in the early ’60s or bringing the glamor and hedonism of the Cannes Film Festival home to millions of LIFE’s readers—many of whom would never in their lives get the chance to set foot on the French Riviera.
In a June 1967 issue of LIFE, shortly after the 36-year-old Schutzer was killed covering the Six-Day War in the Middle East, the magazine’s long-time managing editor, George P. Hunt, paid tribute to his friend and colleague this way:
Remember, for a moment, some of the stories he did and the events he covered—the Berlin Wall, the Iranian earthquake, the Algerian War, Eastern Europe with that memorable portraiture of life there, a delightful characterization of the Italian man, his coverage of Nixon jeered and assaulted in Venezuela, or John F. Kennedy through his campaign, the fury of Hurricane Audrey hen it battered Louisiana, the Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, the scaling of the North wall of the Eiger. He went into Cuba to cover the Castro crisis, into Lebanon with the Marines and again with the marines in Vietnam, from where he returned with an unforgettable story about them and Doc Lucier, the Navy corpsman.
Paul got around. His was a full life, but he made it even fuller by an inner drive to probe with taste and dignity into the effect of events upon people. Many photographers do this, but Paul’s special fascination with his fellow man, and his understanding of him, made his work exceptional.
“To probe with taste and dignity into the effect of events upon people.” At heart, that’s not a bad distillation of the practice of journalism as a profession and, for people like Paul Schutzer, a passionate vocation. The photographs he made in Iran in 1962 rank among the very greatest of his too-short career, and seeing them again, all these years later, reminds us of the courage and compassion—the taste and dignity—that were hallmarks of his work.
Eight people have been rescued so far
Search teams continue to dig through the mud from a landslide that buried a village in western India on Wednesday as the death toll has reached 66, officials said Friday.
The evening landslide crashed into the small village of Malin, taking its approximately 150 residents by surprise, the BBC reported. Workers have managed to reach the central part of the village, but no survivors have been recovered in the past 48 hours.
The torrential rain that caused the disaster continues to hamper rescue efforts, said officials, despite the attempts of the 250 disaster response workers and 100 ambulances on the scene. The eight villagers thus far rescued are receiving treatment at a government hospital 60 kilometers away.
India’s monsoon season runs from June to September.
“Given the magnitude of the storm, it’s really a miracle that no one sustained more serious injuries,” Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo told the Associated Press.
A storm that swept through the Boston area Sunday night hit the coastal city of about 53,000 people, leaving felled trees, shattered windows and rattled residents.
Hundreds of people have been displaced in the northeast part of the state
It took thousands of firefighters Saturday and Sunday to battle a wildfire raging east of Washington state’s Cascade Mountains. The four-blaze Carlton Complex fire destroyed about 100 homes and displaced hundreds of people.
The weekend inferno is the latest in a series of fires that have plagued the drought-ravaged west coast this summer. Area residents hope that forecasts for cooler weather this week will help quell the siege of flames, the Associated Press reports.
The biggest temblor clocked in at 4.3 on the Richter scale
Oklahoma was rocked by seven small earthquakes in a span of about 14 hours over the weekend, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Three quakes hit between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, centered in the areas of Guthrie, Jones and Langston, and ranging between 2.6 and 2.9 in magnitude. They followed four larger temblors earlier on Saturday, including one near Langston shortly after noon that clocked in at 4.3 on the Richter scale.
Fire will always be a part of the natural order of things -- something to keep in mind if we insist on living among the flames.
In November 1961, scorching Santa Ana winds fueled a fire that claimed nearly 500 homes in one of California’s wealthiest communities. LIFE magazine covered the “Bel Air Fire” and reported on residents of the neighborhood — Maureen 0’Hara, Fred MacMurray, Richard Nixon, Zsa Zsa Gabor (seen here with legendary LIFE editor, Dick Stolley) — dealing with the threat from, and the aftermath of, the flames. The article, “A Tragedy Trimmed in Mink,” describes the destruction of the ritzy neighborhood: “It was probably the poshest exodus since the fall of the czars sent the Russian nobles fleeing.”
Well before Bel Air housed the rich and famous, however, it was a chaparral-filled foothill and canyon along the Santa Monica Mountains. The smoky air and frequent fires in the Los Angeles basin reportedly astounded Spanish settlers. But fire is hardly an unmitigated disaster for environments in the American West, and environmental scientists understand the importance of wildfires, seeing them as natural and as necessary as rain.
Humans, of course, often choose to live in fire-prone landscapes. Countless post-WWII suburbs were developed on land once considered impossibly remote and isolated. Rather than distancing themselves from nature, suburbanites sought to live within it — but in a muted way.
Fire will always be a part of the natural order — something to keep in mind if we insist on living among the flames.
Jameson Karns, a former firefighter, is a doctoral student at UC Berkeley’s History of Science Department, where he studies Fire Science.