YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsDisasters


September 16, 2013 | By Jenny Deam and Michael Muskal
BOULDER, Colo. - Chinook helicopters swooped into isolated Colorado mountain areas Monday morning to rescue scores of flood victims as emergency officials described the state's mammoth disaster scene: 4,500 square miles of the Front Range - a swath the size of Connecticut. In an operation one official said was "believed to be the largest airlift rescue since Hurricane Katrina," the Colorado National Guard air fleet mobilized as soon as the weather cleared, loading its choppers with dazed and weary residents, including children wearing backpacks, the elderly and pet dogs straining at leashes.
September 11, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Americans will return Wednesday to the grim task of commemorating the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history, the day Islamist fundamentalists seized four airliners and killed nearly 3,000 people in a disaster known simply as 9/11. Every year since then, the nation has mourned the victims of the Al Qaeda attacks, which felled both towers of New York's World Trade Center as well as the Pentagon. A fourth jetliner crashed into a Pennsylvania field when passengers tried to retake control from the hijackers.
August 29, 2013 | By Jenny Deam
MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - Bree Jensen remembers the terror of that knock on the door in the early morning hours of June 24, 2012. A sheriff's deputy said the Waldo Canyon wildfire was close and getting closer. Everyone in town was ordered to flee. She can still see the sickly orange glow in the sky two days later as the fire topped a nearby ridge and roared into a Colorado Springs neighborhood, killing two people and destroying 347 homes. Nearly 19,000 acres of pretty mountain forest were eventually turned to charred rubble.
August 19, 2013 | By Craig Mackey
On Aug. 7, the head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority called for federal disaster relief to address the consequences of water scarcity in the Colorado River system. On Friday, the Bureau of Reclamation announced it would be forced to cut the flow of water into Lake Mead in 2014 to a historic low. Dominoes may now fall from California to Washington, D.C. A nearly century-old body of agreements and legal decisions known as the Law of the River regulates water distribution from the Colorado River among seven states and Mexico.
August 7, 2013 | By E.E. Lewis
In recent weeks the catastrophic crash of a Spanish passenger train, the lethal derailment on a French commuter line, the crash landing of a Boeing 777 in San Francisco and the deadly inferno caused by a runaway train in Canada have increased concerns about the safety of modern technology. The causes of disasters are varied, multiple and often intertwined. The French derailment appears to have been caused by a metal clip that joined two rails - one of thousands on the rail system - working loose.
August 4, 2013
It has been less than six weeks since the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark law that for five decades has protected this country's most basic democratic right. But it is already clear that the decision was a disaster. Freed of the obligation to seek federal approval before making changes in their election practices, some states have moved to introduce or restore policies that will make it harder for racial minorities to vote or will dilute their political influence.
July 25, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
Discovery's Science Channel will premiere its first original scripted feature on Saturday, Nov. 16, when it airs "The Challenger Disaster," starring Academy Award-winner William Hurt. A trailer for the film was shown Thursday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Hurt plays U.S. physicist Richard Feynman, who worked tirelessly to discover what was behind the tragic space shuttle Challenger Disaster of 1986, which killed all seven of the craft's crew members, including the teacher Christa McAuliffe.
July 16, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
The train engineer on duty during the July 6 Canadian rail disaster that killed at least 50 people and incinerated the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic is devastated and in seclusion, his lawyer told Canadian journalists Tuesday. Tom Harding, who was the sole Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway employee assigned to the doomed train at the time of the derailment and explosion, was put on unpaid leave by the rail company while investigators determine the cause of the worst train accident in the country in 150 years.
July 12, 2013 | By Kate Mather, This post has been corrected, as noted below.
SAN FRANCISCO - The staff at Stanford Hospital conducted a disaster drill a few weeks ago, a routine reminder for doctors and nurses on what to do if patients started pouring in. Those skills were put to the test Saturday afternoon, when the Palo Alto medical center and its children's hospital took in 55 patients from the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport. The hospital was notified about a “potential mass casualty occurrence” about noon, roughly 30 minutes after the Boeing 777 slammed into the runway, said Dr. Robert Norris, Stanford's chief of emergency medicine.
July 12, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - With a folksy smile and razor-sharp political instincts, Janet Napolitano managed to wrestle the federal government's third largest and arguably most dysfunctional U.S. department into relative shape during her 4 1/2 years as secretary of Homeland Security. She thus gives up one vast but troubled empire for another when she leaves Washington to take over as president of the University of California system in September. As head of a department cobbled together from 22 disparate agencies and departments after the Sept.
Los Angeles Times Articles