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An article in The Lancet argues that earthquakes are particularly devastating when compared with other natural disasters. Earthquakes "frequently affect populous urban areas with poor structural standards" and they impair emergency responders. Shifting tectonic plates killed more than 780,000 people in the last decade. (more)

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Are we a nation of brothers who come to the aid of each other? Or are we just a crowd of folks out for ourselves? Why have a country if we don't use it to help each other?

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While New York City escaped the worst of Tropical Storm Irene, much of Vermont did not. The state saw bridges washed away, roads battered and power lines downed in the midst of what officials say is the worst flooding in more than 80 years. (more)

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The National Resources Defense Council has given us a view from above on extreme temperature, smog and allergen pollution, drought and flood vulnerability in the United States for select periods over the last two decades. (more)

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New details are emerging that indicate the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan is far worse than previously known, with three of the four affected reactors experiencing full meltdowns. Meanwhile, in the U.S., massive flooding along the Missouri River has put Nebraska's two nuclear plants, both near Omaha, on alert.

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Scientists fear that farm chemicals carried from fields into the Mississippi River by this spring's record floods will create the largest "dead zone" the Gulf of Mexico has seen since measurements were first taken in 1985. (more)

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