Yellowstone National Park has been hastily evacuated as fear of the Yellowstone Caldera’s eruption is deemed to be approaching sooner than previously expected. Researchers on-site claim that the 640,000 year-old super volcano has exhibited a sudden spike of activity which indicates that it could erupt in as little as two weeks. The explosion caused by the volcano would very well throw all of United States into a 200 year long volcanic winter, with ash blotting out the sun, and pyroclastic flow irreparably damaging the surrounding ecosystem.
There are few places on earth less hospitable than the village of St. Kilda on the island of Hirta off the coast of Scotland. And yet somehow for thousands of years people lived on the wind-blown island.
Although surrounded by fish-laden ocean waters, the villagers refused to eat the fish believing that it made God angry, sending dozens of ships to the bottom of the sea. Instead St. Kildans ate sea birds (garrets, puffins, and petrels mainly) supplemented by the occasional sheep and whatever crop could be grown whether it was barley, corn, or potatoes.
Reaching the island was so difficult that a unique communication system was created, called the “St. Kilda mailboat.” Islanders would carve boat-shaped pieces of wood, place a message inside, attach an air-filled sheep bladder and float them in the ocean in the hopes that messages would be received. Two-thirds of the messages reached people, although usually by way of Long Island in the Hebrides or Norway.
Already hindered by natural features, population growth on the island was further reduced by tragedy. For decades, a well-meaning midwife killed dozens of infants when she used a poisonous paste made of bird droppings on the umbilical cords of newborns.
As the 20th century dawned the future for St. Kildans seemed bleak. Norman John Gillies was born into this environment in 1925. He was named for his uncles, two more residents who were claimed by the rough seas. By the time of Mr. Gillies birth there were less than 40 resident in the island village.
The beginning of the end for the residents of St. Kilda was February 1930, which is when tragedy also struck Mr. Gillies’ family. His mother, pregnant for the second time, was suffering from appendicitis and contacted a passing ship to send help. A month later, she was transported to Glasgow where she was hospitalized until May. After giving birth to to a daughter, both died within two weeks.
In August 1930 recognizing that the situation was untenable, the government evacuated the island - all 36 residents. Only a few would ever see their home again. St. Kilda was designated for use as by conservationists and the military.
Mr. Gillies would return four times between 1976 and 2005 either by boat (which still took 8-12 hours) or helicopter for various anniversaries of the evacuation. Norman John Gillies passed away on September 29, 2013 at the age of 88. The only surviving resident from the St. Kilda’s evacuation is Mr. Gillies cousin, Rachel Johnson, who is 91.
(Image of Norman John Gillies as infant with his parents John Gillies and Mary MacQueen circa 1926. In 1930 Mrs. Gillies and her newborn daughter would die in a Glasgow hospital. Norman John did not know he had a sister until 1991, courtesy of www.theislandtapes.com)
A train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in southern West Virginia on Monday, sending at least one into the Kanawha River, igniting at least 14 tankers and sparking a house fire, officials said.
One person was being treated for potential inhalation issues, but no other injuries were reported, according to a news release from CSX, the train
company. Nearby residents were told to evacuate as state emergency
response and environmental officials headed to the scene about 30 miles
southeast of Charleston. (AP)
(Photos by Marcus Constantino/REUTERS (2), Steve Keenan, The Register-Herald/AP Photo, John Raby/AP Photo)
The citizens of the island of Kiribati are planning for a worst-case climate change scenario: The Pacific island nation will likely sink underneath the sea in 20 to 85 years.
In a record deal, the country has purchased a 20-square-kilometer chunk of forest on the Fijian island of Vanau Levu for $8.8 million in case it needs to evacuate some of the 103,000 residents due to rising sea levels. Though the islands are separated by over 2,000 kilometers, the people of Kiribati may have no choice but to move if large stretches of their homeland are swallowed by the ocean.
An English mother tearfully waves goodbye to her children as they are evacuated to the countryside from London’s Paddington Station. The evacuation of civilians in Britain during the war was designed to save civilians in Britain, particularly children, from the risks associated with aerial bombings of cities by moving them to areas thought to be less at risk. Operation Pied Piper, which began on 1 September 1939, officially relocated more than 3.5 million people. Further waves of official evacuation and re-evacuation occurred from the South and East coast in June 1940, when a seaborne invasion was expected, and from affected cities after the Blitz began in September 1940. Hundreds of thousands of British children were relocated to the countryside, or even overseas to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other remote destinations. London, England, U.K. April 1942. Image taken by Bert Hardy.
A wide swath of the Philippines, including the capital Manila, braced Friday for a dangerously erratic and powerful typhoon approaching from the Pacific, about a year after the country was lashed by Typhoon Haiyan that left more than 7,300 people dead.
Typhoon Hagupit — Filipino for “smash” — strengthened overnight with its sustained winds intensifying to 215 kilometers (134 miles) per hour and gusts of 250 kph (155 mph). The local weather agency PAGASA’s forecasts show the typhoon may hit Eastern Samar province late Saturday or early Sunday.
But a forecast by the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii said Hagupit (pronounced HA’-goo-pit) may veer northward after making landfall and possibly threaten Manila, which has population of more than 12 million people. (AP)
(Photos by Paul Cinco/AP, Reuters, NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response/AP)
With North Vietnamese troops advancing on Saigon, President Ford and his advisers made plans to evacuate remaining American personnel in the city. He ordered the final evacuation to take place on April 29, 1975.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger advised U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin in Saigon to continue evacuating Americans and South Vietnamese allies at Tan Son Nhut airport if possible. Due to damage from shelling military transport plans could not land on the runways so the focus shifted to helicopter evacuation. Over the course of 16 hours helicopters removed U.S. and South Vietnamese personnel from the roof of the American embassy.