Archive for July, 2013

Quebec Oil Train Disaster – It Could Happen in Your Town

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The train explosion involving a 73-car crude oil unit train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on July 6 serves as a sobering example of what can happen in your town.

The train’s oil was being transported from the Bakken Oil Region in North Dakota to New Brunswick to be refined. The incident occurred just 10 miles from the Maine border.

Rail shipments of crude oil are on the increase because of limited pipeline capacity in the Bakken region and in Canada. Unit trains carrying crude oil are traversing urban areas across the United States and Canada because our cities were connected years ago by railroads. In some cases, unit trains are blocking off entire portions of some urban areas because they can only unload so many cars at a time. (more…)

India Floods in Uttarakhand-Natural or Man-Made?

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Author: Jackie Covington, Emergency Management Associate, IEM

Many people are overwhelmed when such an extreme disaster like the June 2013 flooding in Uttarakhand, India happens. The scale of destruction is huge and thousands remain stranded in parts of northern India as they wait to be rescued from Uttarakhand where at least 5,000 people may have died due to the heavier than normal June monsoon rains. At least 12,000 people have been evacuated. The priority right now is for the continuation of rescue efforts. The devastation is the result of extreme heavy rainfall and landslides. Could this be the disaster that was waiting to happen? Many questions are being asked and remain to be answered, such as was there adequate response and evacuation planning? What if anything was done in advance to mitigate against such flooding and destruction of this magnitude?

Uttarakhand-India-Flood (more…)