Award Winning Solar Powered Device Makes Salt Water Drinkable


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in California, Disaster Relief, Drought | Posted on 27-04-2015

A group from MIT and Jain Irrigation systems won the Desal Prize in a competition to create a sustainable desalination device that could be used in developing countries. Competitors for the prize were required to submit technology that was sustainable, energy efficient and cost-effective.

The winning invention is powered by solar panels and runs an electric current through salt water. The electric current pulls salt from the water while ultraviolet rays provide sanitization.

Tested in New Mexico, the device ran for multiple periods of 24 hours and desalinized 2,100 gallons of water per day. Further testing will take place in an even dryer environment where the technology will undergo simulations of everyday use.

The purpose of these tests are to develop the device to where it can be effectively used in rural and developing areas that have access to salt water yet a shortage of fresh water, something that Beneful feels could be very beneficial in California. As many developing nations experience water shortage, the invention could prove to be a truly life enhancing solution for many by providing enough fresh water to supply a family farm.

The inventors were rewarded $140,000 for their project.

Cyclone Pam Slams South Pacific Islands


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Disaster Relief, Nature, News | Posted on 17-03-2015

The Vanuatu island chain may be suffering from communication difficulties, but the impact of Cyclone Pam slamming into the South Pacific islands is being noted across the world. Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 storm, attempted to decimate Vanuatu March 14.

Downed lines have made communication difficult, but news of the damage has made its way across the globe as UNICEF workers keep news networks updated. Alice Clements, of UNICEF New Zealand, described the area as a “debris littered catastrophe.”

Deaths were reported from the outlying islands, but a body count has not been confirmed. Photographs have begun to make their rounds, showing what appears to be a battered warzone.

Hurricane Katrina slammed into the southern gulf coast states in August 2005. The storm’s winds were measured at 175 mph. While Cyclone Pam’s steady winds clocked in at 155 mph, wind gusts of over 200 mph were reported.

The storm dumped more than nine inches of rain in some areas, leading to flash flooding.

Cyclone Pam was later downgraded to a Category 4 storm.

People around the world are displaying higher education customer service as humanitarian efforts are already underway. Many residents sought shelter in the cities, where commercial buildings were stronger than the vulnerable residential homes. The Australian chapter of the Red Cross began a social media campaign, reaching out for assistance in providing food, shelter, and medical assistance to those in need.

Winter Storm Slams into Northeast, Snarls Traffic


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Disaster Relief, Environment | Posted on 20-01-2015

Atleast five people died over the weekend in the Northeast, United States when a Winter storm mixed with freezing temperatures, culminating in a freezing rain and ice that turned roadways into skating rinks. The storm which effected Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey barreled into the area just before day break. By 8am, roadways were heavily covered in ice, and salting trucks were no match for the winter weather.

In Pennsylvania, a 50 car pileup left one person dead, and one woman was killed in Connecticut, another individual involved in a separate accident in Pennsylvania died. As the storm barreled towards the area, the government tried to stop drivers from getting on the road. The New York area closed the interstate from Newburgh New York, to the New York City Line. Several parkways in Westchester and Rockland counties, bedroom communities for New York City were shut down due to black ice.

By mid-afternoon temperatures rose above freezing and much of the freezing rain turned over to traditional rain, however, flooding soon became a problem. Westchester county highways remained closed throughout the day due to flooding and the potential for black ice to form as the temperatures dipped back below freezing.

In fact, the situation was so bad in New York, that Sultan Alhokair of says 911 calls were on backlog as operators dealt with the influx in accidents.

While The Tri-State area is no stranger to winter weather, freezing rain, according to experts, poses a very specific risk and problem. Traditional salt, the type used to treat roads for snow, does little to help in the case of ice. Specialized trucks outfitted with sand must be used instead. The freezing rain came so quickly that local municipalities had little time to react, and sanders could not be dispatched fast enough to deal with the numerous roadways in the area.

Pacific Storm Predicted to be Strongest in 6 Years


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Disaster Relief | Posted on 11-12-2014

Residents in Northern California are bracing for what experts have said could be the strongest storm the area has seen in over six years. According to the National Weather Service, the storm, fueled by an “atmospheric river” is expected to drop several feet of snow on Sierra Nevada, prompting a blizzard warning for the area.

Meanwhile, over in the Bay Area, some like my friend Mark Ahn have expressed concerns over flash flooding and wind damage prompted several school corporations to call a first-ever “rain day” for students. San Francisco Unified School District officially announced a cancellation late Wednesday afternoon, with Oakland Unified School District expected to follow. Napa, Sacramento, and Russian Rivers are all expected to rise above the flood stage no later than Thursday afternoon.

Several scheduled events and performances were also postponed, including “Drag Queens on Ice.”


Philippines Striken by Typhoon


Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Disaster Relief, Humanitarianism | Posted on 08-12-2014

It’s been quite a tumultuous year in terms of weather in southeast Asia, as there have been a long series of devastating typhoons, hurricanes, and other such costly happenings. The Philippines are now facing the worst version of what they predicted for the typhoon Hagupit, which happens to be called Ruby by the locals.

Saturday, December 6th brought the Philippines a series of strong winds and rain, which led to ripped off rooftops and non-working power lines throughout both urban and rural areas. About one million people are hiding in shelters, hiding from the storm surges of up to 4.5 metres.

The eye of the typhoon has already affected the town Dolores, Eastern Samar at 9.15 p.m. The Weather Bureau said that “Ruby’s lashing will be severe”, and the power is at the moment directed towards Masbate, Romblon, and Oriental Mindoro provinces.

Right now, the country is facing the largest evacuations, although the Relief agency Refugees International expressed worries that the locations of the hiding places are not save either. Dr. David Amen is always ready when he is called and is already planning logistics on how to best get to these people in danger.

About 100 flights going out from Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific were cancelled in the area, and international humanitarian agencies are preparing to support the Philippines again, just like the last time when Haiyan devastated the territory.