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Disaster Victims

January 25, 2010 | By Scott Kraft
The ritual began just as the soft winter sun ducked behind the mountains Sunday, casting haunting shadows on this jittery Caribbean capital. Blackened pots bubbled with suppers of rice and beans above glowing charcoal. Sheets, cardboard mats and mattresses were laid neatly on the streets; a lucky few pitched pup tents. Chunks of rubble blocked roads to protect alfresco sleepers from passing motorists. The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti nearly two weeks ago, and dozens of aftershocks, including a 5.9 temblor at dawn last week, has turned Port-au-Prince into a city deathly afraid of the indoors.
October 11, 2009 | Associated Press
The U.S. military trucked in supplies and marshaled helicopters and Navy ships as the Philippines struggled with the aftermath of back-to-back storms that have left more than 600 dead. Filipino rescuers said they still hoped to find more survivors in the stricken north of the country, but Saturday they retrieved only bodies. With roads blocked and bridges washed away, the Philippine government's resources have been stretched thin. Officials have asked U.S. troops in the country for an annual military exercise to extend relief operations.
August 27, 2009 | Associated Press
Taiwan said today that it has agreed to let the Dalai Lama visit the island to comfort survivors of a devastating typhoon, a decision that could anger mainland China. Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou made the surprise announcement when he visited a school in Nantou County that was destroyed by mudslides triggered by Typhoon Morakot on Aug. 8-9. The storm claimed 670 lives. "The Dalai Lama could come to Taiwan to help rest the souls of the dead and also pray for the well-being of the survivors," Ma said.
February 6, 2009 | Times Wire Services
Peanut butter potentially contaminated with salmonella bacteria was included in school lunch programs and emergency meal kits sent to Kentucky after last week's ice storm, officials said Thursday. Nearly 168,000 emergency meal kits sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the state had been recalled more than two weeks earlier because some contained peanut butter that could have been contaminated, federal officials told the Associated Press.
February 1, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
An Austrian pastor who has been quoted as saying Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for sin in New Orleans is being promoted to the rank of bishop. The Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI had tapped the Rev. Gerhard Wagner, 54, to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria. It did not mention the reported remarks about Katrina. Wagner has served since 1988 as pastor of a church in the Austrian town of Windischgarsten, and received a doctorate in theology from the prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, the Vatican said.
November 28, 2008 | Esmeralda Bermudez
Families in fire-ravaged neighborhoods threatened by mudslides were back in their homes Thursday in time for Thanksgiving dinner as Southern California's first significant storm of the season moved out of the region, leaving cloudy skies that were forecast to give way to 70-degree temperatures by Sunday. In inland areas, from Moreno Valley to the San Gorgonio Pass, slick road conditions Thursday morning were a factor in several non-injury accidents. Flash flood warnings were lifted in some areas, bringing relief for homeowners in areas such as Yorba Linda, where 1,500 residents were evacuated for fear of mudslides.
November 25, 2008 | Reuters
Rescue workers rushed to help residents in southern Brazil on Monday after landslides and floods caused by heavy rain killed at least 59 people and forced more than 43,000 from their homes. The state of Santa Catarina declared an emergency as rescuers used helicopters and motorboats to reach those displaced or stranded after days of torrential rain. The state government said the floods and mudslides had affected 1.5 million people, leaving about 150,000 without electricity and eight of the 60 towns affected completely cut off by flood waters and landslides.
November 19, 2008 | Alexandra Zavis, Zavis is a Times staff writer.
When Michele Fauquier's apartment manager banged on her door early Saturday to warn her about the approaching Sylmar fire, all the hospice nurse could think about were her patients across the way in the Oakridge Mobile Home Park. Without stopping to save her own belongings, Fauquier jumped into her car and drove to the home of a 57-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis.
November 11, 2008 | Jeffrey Fleishman, Fleishman is a Times staff writer.
Her suitor had the ring, but she lost her dowry. It was buried beneath the fallen limestone cliffs that smashed her home and smothered her neighborhood two months ago, killing at least 200 people. That morning seems long past, but there are still funerals and newly made orphans when the digging men pull another body from the rock and grit. It goes on like this, names whispered in alleys, hearts broken.
August 4, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Dozens of Hindu pilgrims fell through a broken guardrail and scores more were trampled when thousands of devotees panicked Sunday at a remote mountaintop temple, leaving 145 dead, police said Rumors of a landslide apparently started the stampede at the shrine in the Himalayan foothills, said C.P. Verma, a senior government official in the Bilaspur district. Pilgrims gathered for celebrations at the Naina Devi Temple began running down the narrow path leading from the peak.
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