The disasters of 2012


Summary

Transcript from SBS World News Australia Radio.

南宁桑拿

It was a terrible start to 2012 when a cruise ship sank off the coast of Italy in January.

The Costa Concordia was at the start of seven-day Mediterranean cruise with more than 4000 people on board from 60 countries.

Disaster struck when the ship ran aground off coastline off Giglio (jill-lee-oh) on January the 13th.

The ship flooded leading to the deaths of 32 people.

It was one of many man-made and natural disasters that occurred in 2012.

LISTEN: Peggy Giakoumelos reports

Australians arriving home after surviving the Italian cruise ship disaster described scenes of chaos and panic.

Melbourne woman Michelle Barraclough (BARA-cluf) said she and her family had to struggle for places on a life boat.

She said more than 200 people were attempting to get on life boats designed for just 100, which were operated by crew who didn’t know how to control the boats

“It was just craziness they didn’t tell us anything. Everybody was just literally screaming and they wouldn’t calm down and every time they asked for silence so they could hear the radio they’d just keep screaming and it was just total chaos.”

Captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino (sket-een-oh) was placed under house arrest for alleged manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all passengers were evacuated.

Another major search and rescue operation was launched off the north-east coast of Papua New Guinea after a ferry sank in February.

There were more than 300 people onboard the M-V Rabaul Queen which the P-N-G government says claimed the lives of at least 161 people.

A number of merchant ships in the area responded to a distress call, abandoning their own voyages to pick up survivors from the ocean.

Australia’s Maritime Rescue Authority’s Carly Lusk says the quick response helped save many lives.

“It’s been a wonderful response from vessels in the area. As soon as we put out the broadcast to shipping we had numerous responses from merchant vessels. They’ve all proceeded to the location and they’re rescuing survivors from the water. Now these are commercial vessels who have stopped their voyages, proceeded to the location and are committed to staying there to save the lives of people in danger so we’re very happy with the response we’ve received. These people are doing a wonderful job.”

In July around 100 people lost their lives when they went to scoop up fuel from an overturned fuel tanker in southern Nigeria.

They burned to death after the vehicle caught fire.

2012 also saw serious weather-related disasters in parts of the world.

Thousands of market vendors in Fiji lost their livelihoods due to floods in March and April.

Fiji was hit again late in the year by Cyclone Evan, which also caused widespread destruction, and some deaths, in Samoa.

Flash floods also hit parts of southern Russia, killing more than 130 people and affecting around 13-thousand.

In July heavy monsoon rain and flooding resulted in the deaths of an estimated 120 people in India and Bangladesh, with six-million people forced to flee their homes.

World Vision spokesman Kunal Shah says while communities struggled to cope with the flooding they also felt a sense of resignation about the inevitability of floods in their region.

“People are in distress, no doubt. But in this region the flooding keeps happening because of the heavy rains. So there is some kind of a numbness in the community, that is my personal feeling. The people, when we talk to them, we saw them on roads. And they said “oh this keeps happening every year”. But then it’s very sad that it keeps happening but people have become kind of resilient to this flooding.”

In the United States and Canada, Superstorm Sandy claimed more than 110 lives, after killing at least 60 people in the Caribbean, where Haiti and Cuba were hit particularly hard.

Forecasters said it was the largest storm to hit the mainland in modern U-S history.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the response of the people of his city

I” don’t think it’s any secret, but Super Storm Sandy hit us very hard. It was a storm of historic intensity. But New Yorkers are resilient and we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support from people eager to volunteer, donate and help out.”

In early December, Typhoon Bopha (bo-fah) slammed into the southern Philippines, toppling trees and blowing away thousands of homes with 210-kilometre per hour gusts.

More than 1000 people were reportedly killed.

One young resident of the island of Mindanao, (min-dun-OW), Julius Julien Rebukas, told the B-B-C several members of his family were killed in flash flooding.

“(with translation) My father is in the hospital. My mum and older brother were swept away by the floodwater. That was the last time I saw them. My mum said to me ‘I love you’.”

Twin earthquakes rocked Iran’s northwest in August killing 250 people and injuring thousands more and a powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

Residents across Victoria were shaken by the state’s biggest earthquake in decades, when a 5.3 magnitude quake struck in June.

The ability of seismologists to predict earthquake activity came under attack in Italy in 2012 with the conviction of six scientists and a government official over a deadly earthquake that hit the central town of L’Aquila (la-KEE-la) three years ago.

The seismologists were found guilty of manslaughter for underestimating the severity of the earthquake, which claimed over 300 lives and left thousands homeless.

The secretary of science policy at the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Bob Williamson, says that it’s simply not possible to accurately predict when and where an earthquake will occur.

“The scientific ability is just not with us yet to offer those predictions. If there ever was anything that’s going to put absolute terror in the hearts of scientists who were asked to advise government this is it. I can understand that people at L’Aquila will be very angry. They will be very upset. People were killed. Property was destroyed. But to blame the scientists is really quite ridiculous.”


Transcript from SBS World News Australia Radio.

上海性息网

It was a terrible start to 2012 when a cruise ship sank off the coast of Italy in January.

The Costa Concordia was at the start of seven-day Mediterranean cruise with more than 4000 people on board from 60 countries.

Disaster struck when the ship ran aground off coastline off Giglio (jill-lee-oh) on January the 13th.

The ship flooded leading to the deaths of 32 people.

It was one of many man-made and natural disasters that occurred in 2012.

LISTEN: Peggy Giakoumelos reports

Australians arriving home after surviving the Italian cruise ship disaster described scenes of chaos and panic.

Melbourne woman Michelle Barraclough (BARA-cluf) said she and her family had to struggle for places on a life boat.

She said more than 200 people were attempting to get on life boats designed for just 100, which were operated by crew who didn’t know how to control the boats

“It was just craziness they didn’t tell us anything. Everybody was just literally screaming and they wouldn’t calm down and every time they asked for silence so they could hear the radio they’d just keep screaming and it was just total chaos.”

Captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino (sket-een-oh) was placed under house arrest for alleged manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all passengers were evacuated.

Another major search and rescue operation was launched off the north-east coast of Papua New Guinea after a ferry sank in February.

There were more than 300 people onboard the M-V Rabaul Queen which the P-N-G government says claimed the lives of at least 161 people.

A number of merchant ships in the area responded to a distress call, abandoning their own voyages to pick up survivors from the ocean.

Australia’s Maritime Rescue Authority’s Carly Lusk says the quick response helped save many lives.

“It’s been a wonderful response from vessels in the area. As soon as we put out the broadcast to shipping we had numerous responses from merchant vessels. They’ve all proceeded to the location and they’re rescuing survivors from the water. Now these are commercial vessels who have stopped their voyages, proceeded to the location and are committed to staying there to save the lives of people in danger so we’re very happy with the response we’ve received. These people are doing a wonderful job.”

In July around 100 people lost their lives when they went to scoop up fuel from an overturned fuel tanker in southern Nigeria.

They burned to death after the vehicle caught fire.

2012 also saw serious weather-related disasters in parts of the world.

Thousands of market vendors in Fiji lost their livelihoods due to floods in March and April.

Fiji was hit again late in the year by Cyclone Evan, which also caused widespread destruction, and some deaths, in Samoa.

Flash floods also hit parts of southern Russia, killing more than 130 people and affecting around 13-thousand.

In July heavy monsoon rain and flooding resulted in the deaths of an estimated 120 people in India and Bangladesh, with six-million people forced to flee their homes.

World Vision spokesman Kunal Shah says while communities struggled to cope with the flooding they also felt a sense of resignation about the inevitability of floods in their region.

“People are in distress, no doubt. But in this region the flooding keeps happening because of the heavy rains. So there is some kind of a numbness in the community, that is my personal feeling. The people, when we talk to them, we saw them on roads. And they said “oh this keeps happening every year”. But then it’s very sad that it keeps happening but people have become kind of resilient to this flooding.”

In the United States and Canada, Superstorm Sandy claimed more than 110 lives, after killing at least 60 people in the Caribbean, where Haiti and Cuba were hit particularly hard.

Forecasters said it was the largest storm to hit the mainland in modern U-S history.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the response of the people of his city

I” don’t think it’s any secret, but Super Storm Sandy hit us very hard. It was a storm of historic intensity. But New Yorkers are resilient and we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support from people eager to volunteer, donate and help out.”

In early December, Typhoon Bopha (bo-fah) slammed into the southern Philippines, toppling trees and blowing away thousands of homes with 210-kilometre per hour gusts.

More than 1000 people were reportedly killed.

One young resident of the island of Mindanao, (min-dun-OW), Julius Julien Rebukas, told the B-B-C several members of his family were killed in flash flooding.

“(with translation) My father is in the hospital. My mum and older brother were swept away by the floodwater. That was the last time I saw them. My mum said to me ‘I love you’.”

Twin earthquakes rocked Iran’s northwest in August killing 250 people and injuring thousands more and a powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.

Residents across Victoria were shaken by the state’s biggest earthquake in decades, when a 5.3 magnitude quake struck in June.

The ability of seismologists to predict earthquake activity came under attack in Italy in 2012 with the conviction of six scientists and a government official over a deadly earthquake that hit the central town of L’Aquila (la-KEE-la) three years ago.

The seismologists were found guilty of manslaughter for underestimating the severity of the earthquake, which claimed over 300 lives and left thousands homeless.

The secretary of science policy at the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Bob Williamson, says that it’s simply not possible to accurately predict when and where an earthquake will occur.

“The scientific ability is just not with us yet to offer those predictions. If there ever was anything that’s going to put absolute terror in the hearts of scientists who were asked to advise government this is it. I can understand that people at L’Aquila will be very angry. They will be very upset. People were killed. Property was destroyed. But to blame the scientists is really quite ridiculous.”