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Powerful Earthquake Hits Japan, and Officials Warn of Aftershocks : 01-01-2024

Japan has been hit by 155 earthquakes since Monday including a 7.6-magnitude jolt and another over 6, news agency AFP reported, citing the country's meteorological office. The major earthquake triggered tsunami waves over a metre high, damaging homes and sparking a major fire that wreaked destruction overnight. Powerful earthquake has struck central Japan, killing several people, destroying buildings, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and prompting residents in some coastal areas to flee to higher ground.

The Chennai Flood 2023 : The Cyclone Michaung devastating impact

On December 4, cyclone Michaung reached peak intensity as it approached the coast of Tamil Nadu with wind speed 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph), equivalent to a high-end tropical storm. On December 5, the storm made landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, weakening as it moved inland. The cyclonic storm finally weakened to a depression over central Andhra Pradesh by 6th December, 2023. Heavy rain and strong winds battered the coastal areas in AP & Tamilnadu. Persistent rains caused widespread flooding and inundation in Chennai City and rivers including Cooum and major lakes overflowed in Chennai causing further water logging in the low lying areas along the banks. At least 17 people were killed, and more than 41,000 people were evacuated and temporarily relocated, including 32,158 in Tamil Nadu and 9,500 in Andhra Pradesh Chennai International Airport was forced to close its operations on December 4 due to flooding both in the apron and runways, with flights being diverted or cancelled . The flight operations resumed the next day after the water receded. Schools and offices were closed, Southern Railways and East Coast Railways re-directed and cancelled several trains. Several businesses and industries in Chennai were impacted adversely as operations were ceased due to power shortages, flooding and damage to equipments.

The Uttarkashi Tunnel Tragedy:

On 12 November 2023, a section of the under construction Silkyara Bend–Barkot tunnel in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, India, caved in trapping 41 workers inside. The state government launched Operation Zindagi ("life") to save the trapped workers by employing all disaster response agencies. Search & Rescue operations were immediately carried out by several government agencies including NDRF, SDRF, the Indian Army Corps of Engineers, and Project Shivalik Team of the Border Roads Organisation . Numerous private resources were utilized in the rescue efforts as well, including Australian tunneling experts Arnold Dix and Chris Cooper. The initial attempts at a rescue got complicated due to kinds of debris created in the collapse. The government finally brought in banned "Rat-Hole” miners who were able to use manual mining methods to get an access of the trapped workers through a pipe. All 41 workers were finally rescued including 5 from Bihar on 28th November, 2023. They were trapped inside the tunnel from 12-28 December, 2023(16 days). The collapse turned out to be an eye-opener for safety of all tunnels across the country, and it also triggered a safety audit of other tunnels in the area. It is regarded as an exemplary rescue operation which reminded about San Jose copper mine tragedy of Chile in 2010 in which due to mine’s cave in , 33 workers got trapped for 69 days finally rescued through especially designed capsule developed and deployed by NASA. That way, this Uttrakhand tunnel rescue stands out in rescuing people in the minimum time employing maximum resources.

Uttarakhand Flash Flood and Landslide:August 2023

Heavy rainfall is being experienced in almost all areas of North India, which has caused a series of flash flood and landslide events and associated devastation across the region. The overall death toll is surging to 91 in the nearly 50 incidents of landslides and dozens of flash floods in the hilly region so far, and more than 1,000 roads remain unusable. Several people got isolated in different areas due to the serious disruption of infrastructure and communication.

Odisha Train Accident : 288 Dead, Over 1000 Injured In Horrific Train Crash -June 2, 2023 -

The 12841 Coromandel Express was travelling from Shalimar railway station, West Bengal to Chennai, Tamil Nadu on the "up main line" at the Bahanaga Bazar railway station in the state of Odisha. Around the same time, the Bengaluru–Howrah SF Express was travelling in the opposite direction from Bangalore, Karnataka to Howrah, West Bengal on the adjacent "down main line". Both trains, not scheduled to stop at the railway station and having received a "green signal" indicating it was safe to proceed along the main line, were at their highest permitted speed of 128 km/h (80 mph). At about 19:00 IST (13:30 GMT), the Coromandel Express was supposed to continue straight on the up main line but was wrongly switched to the parallel up loop line at full speed where it collided with a waiting goods train, laden with iron ore. Because of the high impact speed, 21 coaches of the train were derailed from the main line.The goods train did not derail or move. The Bengaluru–Howrah Express had nearly cleared the Coromandel Express but three of the derailed coaches from the Coromandel Express careened into the adjacent track and whiplashed the tail end of the Bengaluru–Howrah Express crossing the station at the same time. Two unreserved coaches and the brake van of the Bengaluru–Howrah Express were derailed. The remainder of the train, which included the engine and 20 coaches, left with its passengers and continued to Balasore, where a further damaged coach was detached. The remaining 19 coaches then continued their journey to the train's destination of Howrah. It was reported that the reserved compartments of the Bengaluru–Howrah Express sustained no passenger fatalities or injuries.

At least 68 killed in Nepal’s worst airplane crash in 30 years:

At least 68 people were killed Sunday when an aircraft went down near the city of Pokhara in central Nepal, a government official said, the country’s deadliest plane crash in more than 30 years. Seventy-two people – four crew members and 68 passengers – were on board the ATR 72 plane operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airlines when it crashed, Yeti Airlines spokesman Sudarshan Bartaula said. Thirty-seven were men, 25 were women, three were children and three were infants, Nepal’s civil aviation authority reported. Sunday’s incident was the third-deadliest crash in the Himalayan nation’s history, according to data from the Aviation Safety Network. The only incidents in which more people were killed took place in July and September 1992. Those crashes involved aircraft run by Thai Airways and Pakistan International airlines and left 113 and 167 people dead, respectively.

February 6, 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake news:

• More than 4,300 people have been killed and thousands injured after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria early Monday, according to officials and agencies. Emergency rescue teams said many buildings were damaged or destroyed and that people were trapped under the rubble. • Thousands of buildings collapsed in both countries and aid agencies are particularly worried about northwestern Syria, where more than 4 million people were already relying on humanitarian assistance. • The quake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years, struck 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey's Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the US Geological Survey said.