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Strong, shallow undersea earthquake hits off eastern Indonesia; no injuries reported


JAKARTA, Indonesia – A strong, shallow earthquake shook the seas off eastern Indonesia on Wednesday, but did not cause major damage. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.1 quake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) and was

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Death toll from strong earthquake in southern China rises to 398, with more than 1,800 injured

August 5, 2014 Christopher Bodeen, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

KUNMING, China – Rescuers dug through shattered homes Monday looking for survivors of a strong earthquake in southern China’s Yunnan province as the death toll rose to at least 398 people, with more than 1,800 injured. About 12,000 homes collapsed

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Earthquake hits South Africa, 1 killed; buildings shake in Johannesburg and surrounding areas

August 5, 2014 Christopher Torchia, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – An earthquake shook buildings in Johannesburg and surrounding areas in South Africa’s most populous province on Tuesday. At least one person was killed and three were injured, medical staff said. The magnitude-5.3 quake was centred in

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Taiwan gas pipeline blasts kill 25, injure 267, leaving gouged streets filled with debris

August 1, 2014 Gladys Tsai, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan – Heavy machinery pulled vehicles from huge trenches gouged by explosions along an underground pipeline in Taiwan’s second-largest city that killed at least 25 people and injured 267. The series of five explosions from about midnight Thursday to

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Earthquake leaves 6 dead, 420 injured in Algeria


ALGIERS, Algeria – Algerian officials say six people are dead and 420 injured following an earthquake that shook Algiers Friday morning. Algeria’s health ministry says four of the victims died after jumping from windows in panic. Authorities say two more

Alex Vinden, Associate, Giffin Koerth
Feature Catastrophes

Lessons from a Disaster Zone

August 1, 2014 Alex Vinden, Associate, Giffin Koerth

Lessons learned on the ground from the EF2-rated tornado that touched down in Essa Township June 17 could prove of value to communities, responding agencies and insurers in future disasters.

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Judicial panel says utility’s former execs deserve criminal charges in Fukushima nuke crisis

July 31, 2014 Mari Yamaguchi, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TOKYO – A Japanese judicial panel has recommended that three former executives of the utility that operates the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant face criminal charges over their role in the disaster. A document released by the panel on Thursday showed

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Hundreds of damage claims possible after pipe break dumps 20 million gallons of water

July 31, 2014 Brian Melley and Michael R. Blood, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of cars submerged below murky water. A landmark basketball court, newly refurbished, showing signs of buckling. Soaked and stained carpets. An athletic track coated in mud. The cost of the damage hasn’t been pegged from the

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Strong earthquake shakes Mexico’s Gulf coast; no immediate reports of damage


VERACRUZ, Mexico – A strong earthquake shook much of eastern Mexico on Tuesday, but there were no reports of damage or injury. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.3 quake was centred in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, about

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U.S. Fukushima report tells nuke industry to think more often about worst case scenarios


WASHINGTON – A U.S. science advisory report says Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident offers a key lesson to the nation’s nuclear industry: Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios.  That means thinking about earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, solar storms,

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Oil train cars derail at Seattle rail yard; no spill, but some alarmed


SEATTLE – Nothing spilled when three tanker cars in an oil train derailed at rail yard in Seattle early Thursday, but it alarmed environmentalists. “This is a warning of how dangerous this could be,” said Kerry McHugh, communications director for

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No rating changes expected in wake of Malaysia Airlines crash

July 24, 2014 by Canadian Underwriter

A.M. Best reports in a new briefing that the total insurance loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 is not expected to result in any ratings actions. In issuing the briefing Wednesday, A.M. Best reports it believes the majority of the