Natural Disasters

Thousands evacuated after volcano erupts in southern Chile

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SANTIAGO - Volcano Villarrica in southern Chile erupted in the early hours of Tuesday, sending a plume of ash and lava high into the sky, and forcing the evacuation of nearby communities. | Video

Dutch government says sorry for gas field causing quakes

AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government apologized on Monday for ignoring risks posed by earthquakes caused by production of natural gas in the northern province of Groningen.

Youth-led disaster alerts protect Sri Lankan tsunami village - TRFN

PERALIYA, Sri Lanka (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When the Indian Ocean tsunami swept ashore on Dec. 26, 2004, Supunsara Methmani was just eight years old. But the memories are still fresh in her mind.

World, 02 Mar 2015

France's Hollande promises Philippine storm survivors a climate deal

GUIUAN, Philippines - French President Francois Hollande on Friday met victims of the biggest-ever typhoon to make landfall and promised them he would secure an international agreement to limit climate change. | Video

Fukushima operator finds new source of radiation leak into sea

TOKYO - The operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Tuesday it had found a pool of highly contaminated water on the roof of a plant building and that it had probably leaked into the sea through a gutter when it rained.

Environment, 24 Feb 2015

Australia's northeast braces for double cyclone hit

SYDNEY - Two cyclones bearing down on northeastern Australia dramatically intensified on Thursday as emergency officials warned residents to take shelter on higher ground ahead of torrential rain and flooding, destructive winds and massive seas. | Video

Environment, 19 Feb 2015

Indian workers win $14 million in U.S. labor trafficking case

NEW ORLEANS - A New Orleans jury on Wednesday awarded $14 million to five Indian men who were lured to the United States and forced to work under inhumane conditions after Hurricane Katrina by a U.S. ship repair firm and its codefendants.

U.S., 18 Feb 2015

Water main break in Los Angeles submerges cars in parking lot

LOS ANGELES - Four cars in the parking lot of an apartment complex were submerged from flooding after an 89-year-old water main ruptured on Wednesday in the upscale Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood Hills, officials said.

U.S., 18 Feb 2015

New York court gives FEMA more time to help settle Sandy litigation

NEW YORK - A federal court in New York has indefinitely suspended a hearing over lawsuits that accuse insurers of doctoring reports on home damages caused by Hurricane Sandy after a government agency said it hoped to settle the litigation out of court.

Environment, 18 Feb 2015

Dutch gas field earthquake dangers ignored for decades: Safety Board

AMSTERDAM - Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp and the Dutch government ignored the danger of earthquakes caused by gas extraction at the massive Groningen gas field for decades, the Dutch Safety Board said on Wednesday.

Environment, 18 Feb 2015

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.