Natural Disasters

After tsunami, fishermen struggle against tide of tourism in Thailand

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THUNG WA, Thailand (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After the tsunami pounded Thailand’s Andaman Sea coast a decade ago, the ethnic Moklen fishing communities that have lived here for generations buried their dead, fought off land grabs to rebuild their homes, and - surprisingly - sighed in relief.

Ten years on, tsunami survivors in Indonesia hope to move on

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - A decade after a 10-metre (32-foot) tsunami washed away two of her three children, her home and business, Salawati is finally getting her life back on track in Indonesia's western-most Banda Aceh province.

Lava creeps within mile of Hawaii shopping center

PAHOA, Hawaii - A stream of molten lava from an erupting volcano on Hawaii's Big Island crept to within a mile of the only grocery store and gas station in the village of Pahoa on Wednesday as it neared a highway link with the rest of the island.

U.S., Environment, 17 Dec 2014

Sentencing reform clouds California's inmate firefighting corps

LOS ANGELES - Battling one of California's first major wildfires of the year, Kevin Black suddenly realized the only way to keep from being engulfed by flames roaring up a hillside toward his team was to finish the buffer line they were hacking through drought-parched brush.

U.S., 17 Dec 2014

Pacific storm triggers tornado, mudslides, floods in Southern California

LOS ANGELES - A Pacific storm pounded Southern California with heavy rain and high winds on Friday, triggering a small tornado, flash floods and mudslides that prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes, damaged dozens of others and disrupted passenger rail services along the coast. | Video

Environment, U.S., 13 Dec 2014

Early warnings need to be 'accessible, understandable' to work: experts

KATHMANDU, Nepal (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Creating effective early warning systems about worsening flooding and landslide threats in South Asia's mountains will require involving local communities and using non-technical languages, experts say.

Environment, 12 Dec 2014

Peru's melting glaciers a deadly threat as temperatures rise

CARHUAZ, Peru - High in the Peruvian Andes, the glacier-fed lake Laguna 513 brims with meltwater atop a populated valley in a region prone to earthquakes. Scientists warn that if a giant chunk of ice from the Hualcan glacier breaks off it could trigger a tsunami-like wave in Laguna 513 and send a lethal torrent of water cascading down the valley.

Environment, 11 Dec 2014

Maoist rebels pose new threat to Philippine typhoon relief mission

MANILA - Philippine rescue teams were struggling on Wednesday to reach upland communities on an eastern island which took the brunt of a typhoon at the weekend amid security fears in an area known as a hotbed of Maoist insurgents.

World, 10 Dec 2014

Japan weather bureau declares first El Nino in five years

TOKYO - Japan's weather bureau said on Wednesday that an El Nino weather pattern, which can trigger drought in some parts of the world while causing flooding in others, had emerged during the summer for the first time in five years and was likely to continue into winter.

Environment, Japan, 10 Dec 2014

Philippine rescuers struggle to reach villages after typhoon 'folded homes like paper'

DOLORES, Philippines - Philippine emergency workers were struggling on Tuesday to reach coastal villages on an island hardest hit by a typhoon where thousands of homes have been wrecked by powerful winds and a storm surge rising three to four meters (10 to 13 feet). | Video

Environment, World, 09 Dec 2014

China economic reforms may result in $14.4 trillion GDP, growth at 6 percent – Asia Society report

Sweeping economic reform initiated by China President Xi Jinping in November 2013 marked a turning point for the world's second biggest economy. If implemented fully, China's potential GDP growth can be sustained at 6 percent through 2020. One risk: Falling short of that growth rate could result in growth at half that projection, or worse, leading to a new economic crisis, according to a new study.