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Earthquakes and Tsunamis Can Happen at Any Time: How to Survive Both

Earthquakes and Tsunamis Can Happen at Any Time: How to Survive Both

It’s now been one week since an earthquake and tsunami devastated the island nation of Japan. Last Friday, rescue teams, humanitarian workers, and air medical crews from multiple countries immediately mobilized to assist with the relief effort. Our thoughts continue to be with the displaced and injured victims and their families.

Over 16,000 people have been killed or are still missing, over 500,000 still staying in shelters, as government and military agencies, humanitarian organizations like the International Red Cross, and even private air operators continue to respond to the crisis.

Japan is one of the most earthquake and tsunami-prepared places in the world. Yet, no one saw the devastation coming until it was too late.

Earthquakes are, unfortunately, a routine occurrence. They give little or no warning, and can cause catastrophic damage in seconds. Therefore, knowing what to do instinctively is very important. The next 9.0 magnitude earthquake could take a number of years, or it could happen tomorrow.

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Many Aircraft Assisting with Rescue Missions in Japan; May Assist with Nuclear Crisis

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The earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday have, together, proven to be one of the worst natural disasters of our time. Over 10,000 people in Japan are already believed to have been killed since Friday. Millions of people are without heating or power as they try to deal with the loss of their homes and loved ones. Up to 450,000 people are staying in temporary shelters.

Temperatures at night are still freezing in Japan. Roads, rails, and all kinds of ports, including airports, have been washed away or become inoperable/inaccessible. Japanese television shows citizens speaking of low supplies of water, food, milk, and medicine.

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Doctors Say Girl Needs Air Ambulance for U.S. Operation

WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tennessee reports that the adoptive family of an Armenian girl is in need of an air ambulance flight to the United States for a critical operation. Getting an air ambulance could be the young girl’s only chance to survive.

Karine Hardin, an Armenian orphan who the Hardin family has just completed adopting after a two year long battle with red tape, has a congenital disorder called Spina Bifida. The cerebral shunt that she lives with to drain excess fluid from her brain has recently become infected, and she must undergo surgery by this Sunday to survive.

The infection occurred while she was waiting for her adoption to be finalized, after the process was delayed by the U.S. Embassy, according to the Hardin family. She has been staying at a hospital in her home country for the past 11 days, but the underfunded facility does not even have enough resources to provide her with adequate fluid or nutrition to help her get stronger.

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Eurocopter’s 2011 “Golden Hour” Award Honors International Air Rescue Team

Today, the winners of Eurocopter’s 2011 “Golden Hour” Award were honored at a ceremony in Orlando, Florida. The Golden Hour Award recognizes those who advance the use of helicopters in the air medical transport industry, either through their contributions over time or a specific activity.

This year, the award went to the latter, a heroic international air medical crew made up of Captain Daniel Aufdenblatten and rescue specialist/mountain guide Richard Lehner from Air Zermatt in Switzerland, and the late Captain Sabin Basnyat, who had been the chief pilot of Fishtail Air in Nepal.

The team successfully used a long-line to rescue climbers from Annapurna I, the 10th highest mountain in the world.

On April 29th of last year, Aufdenblatten, Basnyat, and Lehner rescued a team of Spanish mountain climbers who were stranded high atop a steep area of Mount Annapurna, one of the world’s tallest mountains. The climbers were stuck at a precarious altitude of 22,800 feet, on a mountain 26,550 feet tall at its highest elevation.

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FAA Hit with New Suit Following 2008 Medical Helicopter Crash

FAA Hit with New Suit Following 2008 Medical Helicopter Crash

According to a new story from the Washington Post, the mother of a teenage girl killed in the 2008 crash of a Maryland State Police medical helicopter has come forward to join other parties in suing the FAA over the incident. Her suit claims that inattentive air traffic controllers were largely to blame for her daughter’s death, as well as the deaths of three others who were on board at the time of the accident. The mother, Stephanie Younger, claims that the controllers were negligent and unresponsive, and failed to guide the pilot of the medical chopper safely in bad weather conditions.

Younger filed the lawsuit, which does not cite monetary damages, on Monday in U.S. District Court. It follows four other suits filed since 2010 against the Federal Aviation Administration in connection with the crash of the Maryland State Police helicopter “Trooper 2.” The Baltimore Sun reported that Younger’s suit will, most likely, be the final suit lodged against the FAA regarding the 2008 accident.

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