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Emergency preparedness moments to remember
Bandon boat damage
By Julie Black
March 11, 2011 – Japan earthquake and tsunami
March 11, 2014, marks the three year anniversary of the Tohoku 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent disabling of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. This earthquake is the most powerful ever recorded in Japan and it killed more than 15,600 people. (MCEER) NASA provided images from space demonstrating the massive changes to Japan’s coast. (NASA’s Earth Observatory) The USGS discussed some of the many valuable lessons learned from this earthquake. (USGS)
March 11, 2004 – Madrid train bombings
A total of ten bombs exploded nearly simultaneously on four separate trains killing 191 people and injuring more than 1,800. The bombings occurred three days before Spain’s general elections in 2004. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
April 18, 1906 – San Francisco earthquake
The San Francisco earthquake resulted from a 296 mile rupture of the San Andeas fault. Although devastating, it is best known for the lessons learned and resulting scientific advances, many of which remain standard today. (USGS)
April 19, 1995 – Oklahoma City bombing
168 people died when explosives inside a rental truck parked in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building were detonated in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The site of the attack is now a memorial where visitors may remember the victims, survivors and rescue workers, and learn the impact of violence. (Oklahoma National Memorial & Museum)
April 20, 2010 – Deep Water Horizon oil spill
The Deep Water Horizon oil rig sunk after an explosion and subsequent fire spilling up to 700,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast. Response efforts continue today. (
May 18, 1980 – Mount St. Helens eruption
“Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!” Those were the last words of David Johnson, a survey volcanologist, and the first true warning to the rest of us that the moment had come. I grew up in Vancouver, Wash., so the eruption of Mount St. Helens is one disaster I remember vividly and from direct personal experience. Inches of ash covered my neighborhood streets, which is amazing since the eruption blew toward the north. One of the three visitor centers, Johnson Ridge Observatory, exists now near where David Johnson camped. (
May 22, 2011 – Joplin tornado

An EF-5 tornado ravaged Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011, killing an estimated 157 people. It has been called the deadliest tornado since modern recordkeeping began in 1950. It is the seventh deadliest in U.S. history. It was one of 1,691 tornadoes reported across the country in 2011. (NOAA)

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