Nepal Earthquake

The death toll following the earthquake in Nepal has risen to over 4300 and still rising. United Nations says that eight million people have been affected, and over a million need food aid. I’m not a religious person, pray if you wish (no sarcasm meant) but it’s more practical to send donation via relevant bodies.

Earthquake & tsunami strike Japan

Japan was hit by a massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake this afternoon, which trigger a tsunami up to 10 metres high. Video shows the three-metres wave hitting Sendai. Tsunami alerts have also been issued in other Pacific countries.

The tremor hit at 1446 local time, 130km off Japan’s Pacific coast. It’s the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the country. The death toll stands at 26 at the time of writing, with many feared missing.

[Update] Over 1300 confirmed dead, death toll could exceed 10000. You can make a donation to Red Cross Japan via Google’s Crisis Response project.

Record snow in Gangwon, South Korea

South Korea’s Gangwon Province was blanketed by more than a metre of snow earlier this week, the heaviest snowfall in the northeastern province in a century.

Record snow in Gangwon, South Korea

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Guatemala sinkhole & Tropical Storm Agatha

A giant sinkhole appeared in Guatemala City on May 30…

Guatemala sinkhole, giant crater caused by Tropical Storm Agatha

A sinkhole is a natural depression in the surface topography caused by the removal of soil or bedrock, often both, by water [via wiki]. And it seems like Guatemala’s topography is particularly prone to the phenomenon in extremity.

[Update] Check out a short video showing the forming process of a giant sinkhole.

The crater is linked with the Tropical Storm Agatha which hit Central America. Guatemala was hit hardest with 90+ deaths. 100,000+ have been evacuated and many are living in temporary shelters. The president has called for help from international communities. Check your local news to see how you can help.

Photo by Paulo Raquec, released via Guatemalan Government’s Flickr.

Taiwan badly hit by Typhoon Morakot

Taiwan suffered their worst flood in 50 years after being struck by Typhoon Morakot last week. At least 65 are confirmed dead, with hundreds still missing.

Kaohsiung County was the worst hit area; a deadly mudslide buried Hsiaolin Village and nearby neighbourhood, with over 600 villagers feared dead.

Philippines and China were also affected by the typhoon; while Japan was hit by tropical storm Etau at the same period. Death toll includes 23 in the Philippines, 13 in Japan and six in China [according to Guardian].

Morakot hit Taiwan late night on August 7 and caused 14+ hours of havoc before leaving for China; but heavy rain continued to pour, which caused massive flood (and landslide, mudflow etc.) particularly in southern Taiwan.

Taiwanese are no strangers to typhoon; but rescue effort appeared to be short-handed because of the unexpected scale of devastation. God bless.