A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hits Myanmar just south of the ancient city of Bagan, a major tourist destination. The quake, which struck at a depth of 84 kilometres, swayed high-rise buildings in the Thai capital of Bangkok.
A strong earthquake in mountainous central Italy kills at least 38 people. The quake causes serious damage to a number of towns and villages, but did not seem to have hit heavily populated areas.
Governor Brown declares a state of emergency as a rapidly spreading fire raging east of Los Angeles forces the evacuation of more than 82,000 people. Despite the efforts of 1,250 firefighters with more on the way, the fire has not been contained.
Emergency workers rescue more than seven thousand residents stranded in homes and cars during the flood. Rescue crews work through the night and into the day.
Ukrainian health officials fear a major polio outbreak, after it is announced that the disease has paralyzed two children in the south-western region of Trans-Carpathia. Many Ukrainian children are not vaccinated, and less than 14% of one year children have been immunized against polio. Officials have launched a national immunization campaign that will embrace all children up to ten years old. Parent:
The vaccinations are much more dangerous than the illnesses that they treat. Nobody knows how the vaccines were stored or if the expiration dates were changed.
Health experts say anti-immunization activists and parents, some of whom include local doctors, are flat-out wrong, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the vaccines used in Ukraine:
(They believe) that a child should build up his or her immunity in a natural environment, that the immune system should work itself out by being exposed to illnesses. They don’t understand how serious these diseases are.
The quake with a magnitude of 8.3, centered about 144 miles (232 km) north-west of the capital, Santiago, kills least five people and causes flooding in coastal areas, and triggers tsunami waves up to 4.5 meters high (15 feet). Officials say it was at the depth of about ten km (six miles). One million people have been evacuated from their homes along the coast.
The country’s government orders people to stay at home after flooding kills four people and damages parts of the capital. Those close to the coast and on hill tops have been asked to move to a safer place as heavy rains are forecast for the next six days. An unknown number of people have been injured and the authorities say they are deploying extra health staff. All operations in the country’s main referral hospital have been cancelled because the theater has been flooded. Emergency accommodation for the homeless has been set up at the national football stadium. The government has requested everyone except schoolchildren taking exams and essential workers to stay at home, although the order is being widely disregarded.
Three firefighters have been killed and many more injured in more than 17 forest fires across Ecuador. Authorities have offered rewards of up to $50,000 for information on suspected arsonists, and about ten people have so far been arrested. People in the worst affected areas are have been leaving their homes in case the fires should get worse. The summer heat and lack of rain has made the situation even more hazardous. President Correa says he has contacted Venezuelan authorities, who will send helicopters, and he will also ask Brazil, Colombia and Peru for support.
At least 1,872 patients have tested positive with Dengue Fever in New Delhi, of which seven have died. State-run hospitals in the country’s capital are overrun. Authorities say they have ordered hundreds of additional beds to accommodate the surge of patients in government hospitals, which provide free treatment. They also mandated private hospitals to not turn away anyone requiring admission. The capital’s chief minister makes a surprise checks at crowded wards after national media runs the story of a six-year-old boy who died from a suspected case of the illness. Several city hospitals, his father said, refused treatment to his child, citing a shortage of beds. A seven-year-old boy also died for want of treatment. police say that his parents then killed themselves by jumping from the roof of their rented four-story house. City spokesperson:
There is a sense of panic. People insist on hospitalization even if symptoms are mild.
A flash flood in Hildale, Utah, kills eight people and leaves five others missing. The victims are mothers and small children, the youngest child is about four years old. Most of the people who live in the community are members of the Warren Jeffs polygamist sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). The flood started with heavy rains in the canyons above and the rush of water was so intense it washed two vehicles several hundred yards downstream. Governor Herbert:
I am heartbroken…[The state is offering] its full resources to the town to aid with the search and rescue effort.
An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the richter scale strikes off the coast of Queensland about 110km east of Fraser Island at 1.38pm. Following this, there is another quake of 5.2 magnitude at 2.46pm in the same area as the first earthquake and then finally an aftershock measuring 3 at 4.30pm. There is no tsunami alert and there is no damage to property or life. The tremor is felt from Bundaberg to the Gold Coast. It is the strongest quake to hit Queensland since 1918.
A earthquake of 4.3 magnitude strikes in Fontana,California. The quake was felt over a wide area of the Inland Empire and eastern Los Angeles County. In the past 10 days, there has been one earthquake of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.
The Japanese government has requested 350,000 people in the storm’s direct path to evacuate, due to maximum storm gusts of 126 kilometers per hour. Two people have died and 39 people have been injured, and domestic flight have been grounded due to torrential rain and high winds.
After destroying several homes with the potential to spread to at least 50 more homes, a fast moving wildfire jumps the 15 freeway setting over 20 vehicles on fire as it advances through the Cajon Pass. At this time more than 3,500 are burning and the 15 freeway has been completely shut down. Multiple casualties have been reported. Spokesman:
Seventy to 80 vehicles were left on the pavement, some without keys. The agency was trying to get the vehicles out of the fire’s path, but officers were awaiting tow trucks from the Victorville area.
A 28 page report by a panel led by Dame Stocking says the World Health Organisation unable to handle public health emergencies judging from its performance in the Ebola epidemic. The report suggests fault in WHO’s financial preparedness, reliance on diplomacy, and lack of decisive actions by director general Chan. Furthermore, the report recommends regional and country representatives to play a more active role in pushing their governments to take immediate action to epidemics; this is in response to WHO’s delayed declaration of an Ebola crisis only after the death of 1,000 people.
WHO does not currently possess the capacity or organisational culture to deliver a full emergency public health response.
WHO accepts the report’s criticism and prepares improvements to its workforce and financial reserves. Medecins Sans Frontieres Dr. Liu:
The question is how will this translate into real action on the ground in future outbreaks?
Rockfalls at Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu, caused by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake on Borneo Island, leave more than 160 people stranded on the peak, with some injured, according to officials. Forty people are reported missing. Sabah state tourism minister:
It’s very tricky now. We can’t land a helicopter up there because visibility is so bad, but the people can’t come down on their own because the main route is now impassable.
80 hours after the quake, a French search and rescue team finds twenty-eight-year-old Rishi Khanal under the rubble on the outskirts of Kathmandu after more than 10 hours of digging. The team uses specialized gear that detects signs of life. Khanal appears to have a broken leg. Doctor:
It seems he survived by sheer willpower.
A 7.9 magnitude earthquake strikes in Nepal only 2km below the earth’s surface. At least two are dead with many more injured. Tremors are felt as far away as Delhi. Reporter:
Massive tremors have been felt here in Delhi and several other parts of India. You can see pictures of our Delhi studios, where the windows rattled and everything shook for a very long time, for a minute perhaps or longer.
We don’t know about the casualties, we are flooded with calls.
We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home & in Nepal.
U.S. sends disaster team and promises $1 million in aid to help Nepal and surrounding areas recover from the devastating earthquake. Secretary of State Kerry:
We are working closely with the government of Nepal to provide assistance and support. Ambassador Bodde has issued a disaster declaration in order to immediately release an initial $1 million for humanitarian assistance. USAID is preparing to deploy a Disaster Assistance Response Team and is activating an Urban Search and Rescue Team to accompany disaster experts and assist with assessments of the situation.
An undersea earthquake hits off Taiwan’s coast, causing an electrical transformer to explode and starting a house fire in Taipei. One elderly man is killed due to the fire. No other deaths and no significant damage are reported. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center:
. . . [a] destructive Pacific-wide tsunami was not expected.
AER issues rules to regulate fracking, and monitor and prevent earthquakes in the province. Alberta has the third proven crude oil reserve in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. All oil producers must show the impact of fracking, and implement a monitoring and response program. Jim Ellis, AER’s CEO:
While these seismic events have not impacted public safety, it is our job to take this precautionary step to ensure energy resources in this area are developed in a safe and responsible manner.
All 486 South African goldmine workers are found safe after being trapped in a mine. The cause was a fire 2,300 meters below the mine’s surface. Before finding the total 486 South African President Zuma:
I urge all South Africans to keep the miners in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult period.
An Italian Ferry, the Norman Atlantic, catches fire in the Adriatic Sea, on route from Patras in western Greece to the eastern Italian city of Ancona.. Italian and Greek forces are involved in the rescue operation to save over 400 passengers and crew members. The fire begins at approximately 6:00 a.m. Passengers phone Greek television stations with live reports of the event. One passenger states:
They tried to lower some boats, but not all of us could get in. There is no co-ordination. It’s dark, the bottom of the vessel is on fire. We are on the bridge, we can see a boat approaching … we opened some boxes and got some life vests. We are trying to save ourselves.
‘Cyclone Nargis’ crosses the south of Myanmar and ravages the Ayeyarwady Delta region. Official figures estimate 84,500 fatalities and 53,800 missing people. The Burmese government, fearing the political ramifications of a high death toll, stops tallying lost lives after a point, leaving hundreds of thousands unaccounted for.