natural disasters

Yakima Valley Emergency Management Office

If a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Washington state, people in the central and eastern parts of the state would not be the hardest hit, but survival would not be a walk in the park either. That’s why emergency organizers east of the Cascade Mountains are preparing to handle that kind of disaster. 

Tsunami warning sirens wailed up and down the Washington coast Thursday. Students, businesses and medical workers drilled for an earthquake and tsunami as part of an annual event called "The Great Shakeout."

Niranjan Shrestha / Associated Press

Lawrence Pintak, dean of WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, reports from neighboring Pakistan that the earthquake creates special dangers for Nepal’s children.

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“The babies are safe.” That was the good news that greeted me Saturday after a 24 hour flight from Seattle to South Asia. While I was in the air, Nepal had been devastated by the earthquake.

“The babies” were the kids at a Kathmandu orphanage where my 20-year old daughter volunteered last fall. She had planned to go back this month. Luckily she didn’t.

Altaf Qadri / Associated Press

Around the world this weekend, all eyes were on Nepal. But nowhere more so than on the Indian sub-continent. Lawrence Pintak reports from Islamabad.

Oregon lawmakers are turning their attention to earthquake and tsunami preparedness.

Oregon State University

Winter storms off the Oregon and Washington coastlines are expected to bring a new wave of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Scientists say objects are already washing ashore – with potentially invasive organisms riding along.

We're Staying In Oso, But Every Day We Say Goodbye

Sep 26, 2014
Aileen Imperial / KCTS

Ron Thompson was known as the mayor of Steelhead Drive. He and his wife Gail Thompson lost their home and many neighbors in the Oso landslide. But they’ve decided to stay in Oso, and start over in a new home just four miles from the old one. They find hope in rebuilding their community while striving to find meaning in the disaster.

Read the Thompsons' story on Medium. 

In Oso, Being Mayor Is Now A Full-Time Job

Sep 23, 2014
Aileen Imperial / KCTS

Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin grew up in this small town, like his father and his father before him. Though he moved away when he was younger, Rankin felt he had to move back. The town, he says, is something you can't get out of your soul.

KUOW and KCTS 9 collaborated to produce this series.

After Oso, Reborn From Water And Mud

Sep 22, 2014
Stacey Jenkins / KCTS

Robin Youngblood cherished the nature around her home in Oso’s Steelhead Haven. When the landslide struck, she and a visiting friend were talking about a deer they had just seen. After the disaster, she left the Oso area. But something called her back. Now she lives a stone’s throw from state Route 530, a few miles east of the slide. You can hear that story below.

Aero Icarus / Flickr

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines plans to launch five more jets Friday to evacuate American vacationers from Los Cabos, Mexico. A hurricane slammed the resort area at the beginning of this week. Since then, there have been reports of looting, no water and electricity, and food shortages. Airlifts to get stranded tourists out of there started Wednesday and ramped up Thursday. Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Halley Knigge greeted the first wave of arrivals in Los Angeles.

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