May 4, 2016 | 0 comments

More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa — a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The temperature during summer in the already very hot Middle East and North Africa will increase more than two times faster compared to the average global warming. This means that during hot days temperatures south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. As a result, the number of climate refugees could increase dramatically in future:

April 18, 2016 | 0 comments

The Spanish Red Cross says as many as 100,000 people may need assistance in the area of Ecuador devastated by a magnitude-7.8 earthquake that killed at least 350 people and injured thousands. The group says in a statement that there is no official estimate yet on the number of affected people but it estimates that between 70,000 and 100,000 will need some kind of help. It says that 3,000 to 5,000 people need temporary housing after the quake flattened homes. Spain's Red Cross says it is helping the Ecuadorean Red Cross evaluate need for the coastal area devastated by the quake. More at

April 18, 2016 | 0 comments

The U.S. military joined relief efforts Monday in southern Japan for areas devastated by two powerful earthquakes as local rescuers combed through debris looking for 10 people still reported missing. Authorities said at least 42 people had died and nearly 1,100 were injured in the two quakes that hit the region near Kumamoto city late Thursday and early Sunday. Rescuers were redoubling search efforts on the southern island of Kyushu, where many areas were cut off by landslides and road and bridge damage. Forecasts for heavy rains, which would make land and collapsed buildings even more unstable, added to the urgency. More at

April 18, 2016 | 0 comments

Japan and Ecuador have both been devastated by powerful earthquakes in recent days, but there is no evidence of a link between these events on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean. At least 42 people are now confirmed dead in south-west Japan, after the area was rocked by a magnitude 6.2 quake on Thursday night and a magnitude 7.0 quake in the early hours of Saturday morning. Thirty-two hours later, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit the north-west coast of Ecuador at 7 pm local time on Saturday, killing at least 272 people. Although it is tempting to draw a connection, Phil Cummins of the Australian National University in Canberra says the timing of events is coincidental. “It’s difficult to see any relation because Japan and Ecuador are very distant from each other, and even though these earthquakes have done a lot of damage, they weren’t actually that big on the grand scheme of things. “Things happen at random – you can get clusters of earthquakes that might appear connected but actually they aren’t.” More at

April 15, 2016 | 0 comments

Digital archives track the evacuation patterns of 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake victims between the time the earthquake and tsunami struck. The Tokyo Metropolitan University researchers who created the digital archives say they will make use of the archive to analyze evacuation behaviors — encouraging people, for instance, to avoid overestimating evacuation sites and head to higher ground: