September 22, 2011 |
The threat of a government shutdown intensified as the House surprised its Republican leadership and rejected a bill to fund the government that required cuts in programs to pay for aid for victims of Hurricane Irene and other disasters. The legislation was narrowly defeated Wednesday after a tense afternoon of vote counting. Conservatives voted against the bill because they thought its spending level was too high, and Democrats rejected it because of the requirement for cuts. The spending bill is needed to keep the government running through Nov. 18; current spending authority stops at the end of September.
September 11, 1996 |
Hurricane Hortense lashed Puerto Rico with punishing winds and torrents of rain Tuesday, killing eight people as it snapped trees and power lines, swelled rivers and collapsed hillsides. Half the dead were children, including an 8-year-old girl swept from her father's arms as her 13-year-old sister drowned.
January 8, 1997 |
The first thought that passed through Robin Midkiff's mind as she entered her flood-ravaged home was, she admits, a ludicrous one. "I just thought: My God, I can't let anyone see my house this way," said Midkiff, 33. "This is not the way I keep my house. It looked like a giant washing machine had just churned everything up." The Midkiffs were visibly shaken Tuesday as they picked through the rubble of their belongings, looking for something salvageable.
January 3, 1994 |
After that nightmare voyage 33 years ago, Ivan Kolokov stopped shaving. The skin on his face kept peeling off with the razor. Nikolai Zateyev, his shipmate, lay in bed 18 months while doctors replaced his bone marrow and blood. Both sailors consider themselves lucky when they remember Boris Korchilov. Korchilov was a blue-eyed, 20-year-old ladies' man. Before the voyage he was playing volleyball and flirting.
June 11, 2000 |
In the village of Debanaag, no rain fell for three long, hot years. The livestock--250 cows, goats and donkeys--died one by one, and the herdsmen and their families for whom the animals were the main sustenance faced hunger, then starvation. With her only child weak and sick, Ardo Sulub, 30, set off on foot on a 100-mile trek across the arid range land of southern Ethiopia in search of food and medical assistance. For 15 days, the ethnic Somali woman says, she walked in withering, dusty heat.
November 20, 1989 |
Buck Alvin Helm, the gritty longshoreman who had become the symbol of survival from the massive Oct. 17 Bay Area earthquake, died unexpectedly Saturday without being able to publicly tell his amazing story. A funeral will be held Tuesday afternoon in his home of Weaverville. Helm, 58, died at 7:30 p.m. Saturday of "respiratory failure" after his condition abruptly worsened, a spokesman for Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland said Sunday.
April 24, 1986 |
President Reagan approved federal disaster assistance Wednesday for the tornado-stricken area of Sweetwater, Tex., where one person was killed, 92 were injured and more than 500 homes were left uninhabitable last Saturday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was directed to provide eligible disaster victims with temporary housing and disaster relief grants.
December 20, 1995 |
The most comprehensive study yet to appear on casualties in the Northridge earthquake has concluded that both deaths and injuries were more numerous than the official tallies by the state Office of Emergency Services and coroners in Los Angeles and Ventura counties indicate. An article on the study, appearing in a lengthy publication on the quake released last week by the state Division of Mines and Geology, found that 72 deaths were attributable to the magnitude 6.
April 16, 2013 |
If the highest goal of fiscal reform is to reduce spending and better the lives of Americans, here's an idea that fits the bill: Improve the way the federal government responds to the growing number of natural disasters. Natural disasters have become increasingly costly to the United States, both in terms of the toll they take on American communities and in the direct costs of mounting a federal response. The federal government spent about $150 billion on relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, and has so far committed about $60 billion for Superstorm Sandy.