May 30 – June 5, 2015
Flooding in Dunedin, New Zealand’s second largest city has shut down schools and submerged power stations, keeping 150 properties in the dark. The late fall flood, caused by severe rainfall left residents stranded in the face of road closures. A number of schools and businesses evacuated their students and customers. A combined human and natural disaster, meanwhile, is wreaking havoc in Accra, Ghana. A deluge there carried a factory’s fuel to a nearby fire. That triggered a tremendous explosion at a gas station that cut short the lives of 73 people. Tragically, they were there because the flooding had already forced them to abandon their homes. Fortunately this horrific event had survivors, but they were trapped in a shed behind a gas station.
In other news, a Chinese ferry carrying about 450 passengers sank in the Yangtze River this week. As far as investigators currently know, the cause of the disaster was inclement weather. There were very few survivors, with more than 300 missing and presumed dead. 103 bodies have been recovered at the time of writing. Some bodies were recovered, and the recovery effort continues with the ship having been recently salvaged. At the tail end of last year, 162 people died in the Java Sea, when a combination of terrible weather and (likely) human error brought down Air Asia flight 8501. Bad weather makes transportation infrastructure deadly.
Unfortunately, the tragic events we reported on are in no way a full reflection of what has been going on in the world. If you would like to see all of our headlines from the past week, please click here.