What We’re Watching: Weekly Disaster Update

October 12, 2021 • By Matthew Woodall

Copernicus Sentinel captured this image of La Palma island and the ongoing eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, Oct. 10, 2021. (European Space Agency via Twitter @ESA_EO)

We know all too well that disaster can strike at any time, in any place in the world. Some disasters make headlines; others do not. Here at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), we keep an eye on the status of disasters worldwide and compile a list of the ones we’re tracking weekly, along with relevant disaster-related media coverage.

Here’s what we’re watching for the week of Oct. 11, 2021.

New or emerging disasters
Earthquake – Pakistan: A powerful and shallow 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Balochistan region of Pakistan near the town of Quetta on Oct. 6. Homes and other buildings in the region are constructed mainly from mud and other materials that aren’t earthquake-resistant, leading to the collapse of approximately 100 homes while people were sleeping. At least four people were killed in the collapse of a coal mine, while at least 19 more died as a result of the earthquake.

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10 Biggest Natural Disasters Of 2020 That Shook The World Costing Money & Lives

Curly Tales

by Natasha Monteiro December 29, 2020 69155 

The year 2020 is finally coming to an end and thank God for it.  From the most deadly virus ever known to mankind to forest fires and locust swarms,  2020 has sure been the year that our ancestors warned us about. The natural disasters in 2020 brought catastrophic results for millions across nations in 2020. They not only caused thousands of deaths but also tens of billions of dollars in losses. Here are some of the most destructive climate disasters of the year which led to damage worth millions.

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Weather-related disasters increase over past 50 years, causing more damage but fewer deaths


© 2021 World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Published 31 August 2021

Atlas of Mortality of Weather and Climate Extremes

Climate change leads to more extreme weather, but early warnings save lives

A disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard occurred every day on average over the past 50 years – killing 115 people and causing US$ 202 million in losses daily, according to a comprehensive new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The number of disasters has increased by a factor of five over the 50-year period, driven by climate change, more extreme weather and improved reporting. But, thanks to improved early warnings and disaster management, the number of deaths decreased almost three-fold.

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The Catholic Church is the Biggest Financial Power on Earth

Zubeida Jaffer / COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALIM

Pope Francis

Have you ever wondered how wealthy the church really is? In his book, ‘The Vatican Billions’, writer and philosopher Avro Manhattan gives us a glimpse of the true financial worth of the catholic church:

The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschildsof Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others.

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Laura Bates: witch hunts never stopped – now they’re online

The Guardian


The lurid accusations and arbitrary punishments meted out in centuries long gone are all too reminiscent of the way young women are harassed and blamed today

1678 engraving of the public hanging of witches in Scotland.
Disobedient bodies … a 1678 engraving of the public hanging of witches in Scotland. Photograph: The Granger Collection/Alamy
Laura Bates

Laura Bates Thu 28 Feb 2019

If you were tried for witchcraft in early modern Scotland, one of the surest ways to be convicted was to confess. Of course, you didn’t need to confess to be convicted, and confession wasn’t always voluntary. This problem led to a practice called “waking the witch”: a form of torture that involved depriving the accused of sleep for days on end, until they were so exhausted they would hallucinate and babble incoherently. These “ravings” would often later be used as evidence of guilt.

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Lawsuit: Famed Jesuit abused boy 1000 times aroundworld

In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 photo, Bobby Goldberg and his sister Debbie arrive at the office of his lawyer, Melissa Anderson, in Bannockburn, Ill. Goldberg has filed a lawsuit claiming he was abused more than 1,000 times in multiple states and countries by the late Donald McGuire, a prominent American Jesuit priest who had close ties to Mother Teresa. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

AP NEWS

By MICHAEL REZENDES, December 31, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — One day in May of 1970, an 11-year-old boy and his disabled sister were sitting on the curb outside a Chicago tavern, waiting for their mother to come out. When a priest with crinkly eyes and a ready smile happened by and offered the family a ride home, they could not have been happier.

The boy, Robert J. Goldberg, now 61, would pay dearly for the favor, enduring what he describes as years of psychological control and sexual abuse he suffered while working as a child valet for the late Rev. Donald J. McGuire. He remained in the Jesuit’s thrall for nearly 40 years, even volunteering to testify on McGuire’s behalf during criminal trials that ultimately resulted in a 25-year prison sentence for the priest.

But today, Goldberg says he has finally broken the hold McGuire once had on him. And he has begun to tell his story, in interviews with The Associated Press and in a lawsuit he filed Monday in California state court in San Francisco.

The lawsuit charges that McGuire, a globe-trotting Jesuit with ties to Saint Teresa of Calcutta, abused Goldberg “more than 1,000 times, in multiple states and countries,” during sojourns to spiritual retreats throughout the United States and Europe.

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Witch Hunts Today: Abuse of Women, Superstition and Murder Collide in India

More than 2,500 people have died because failed development in villages heightens gender inequality and tensions, experts say

Witch Hunts Today: Abuse of Women, Superstition and Murder Collide in India
Two women attacked in a witch hunt, Madhuben and Susilaben, stand in an alley ​in Dahod District, Gujarat, India. Credit: Seema Yasmin

Men circled the three women, their fists wrapped around thick iron pipes and wooden sticks. The women huddled on the ground at the center of their village in the western Indian state of Gujarat and whimpered as the crowd gathered. Two young men had died in the village, and the women were being called dakan, the Gujarati word for witch. They were accused of feasting on the young men’s souls.

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HIGH STAKES / was once the witch-burning capital of the world. Here’s why

Wax dolls being given to the devil.
Protection against Satan and his witch-y minions was a hot commodity in early modern Europe.

QUARTZ


By Gwynn Guilford

Published January 24, 2018

In 1572, the killings began. That year, authorities in the tiny settlement of St Maximin, in present-day Germany, charged a woman named Eva with using witchcraft to murder a child. Eva confessed under torture; she, along with two women she implicated, were burned at the stake.

The pace of prosecution picked up from there. By the mid-1590s, the territory had burned 500 people as witches—an astonishing feat, for a place that only had 2,200 residents to begin with.

Why is it that early modern Europe had such a fervor for witch hunting? Between 1400 to 1782, when Switzerland tried and executed Europe’s last supposed witch, between 40,000 and 60,000 people were put to death for witchcraft, according to historical consensus. The epicenter of the witch hunts was Europe’s German-speaking heartland, an area that makes up Germany, Switzerland, and northeastern France.

Conventional wisdom has chalked the killings up to a case of bad weather. Across Europe, weather suddenly got wetter and colder—a phenomenon known as the Little Ice Age that pelted villages with freak frosts, floods, hailstorms, and plagues of mice and caterpillars. Witch hunts tended to correspond with ecological disasters and crop failures, along with the accompanying problems of famine, inflation, and disease. When the going got tough, witches made for a convenient scapegoat.

But a recent economic study (pdf), which will soon be published in the The Economic Journal of the Royal Economic Society, proposes a different explanation for the witch hunts—one that can help us understand the way fears spread, and take hold, today.

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Six Great Heresies of the Middle Ages

WORLD HISTORY ENCYCLOPEDIA

by Joshua J. Mark
published on 01 July 2019

The medieval Church established its monopoly over the spiritual life of Europeans in the Early Middle Ages (c. 476-1000 CE) and consolidated that power throughout the High Middle Ages (1000-1300 CE) and Late Middle Ages (1300-1500 CE). Along the way, the Church became increasingly corrupt as clergy ignored the most basic tenets of Christianity to live lavishly on the tithes of the people. Parish priests became so synonymous with hypocrisy and sin that anti-clericalism was common throughout Europe well before the High Middle Ages and contributed to the development of alternative belief systems that the Church condemned as heresies.

Jan Hus Being Burnt at the Stake

There was little else the common people – or even the nobility – could do about clerical corruption because the Church held the keys to one’s eternal destination. One could only attain salvation and eternal life by following the precepts of the Church, and one’s alternative was an eternity in the torments of hell or a limited, but almost equally unpleasant, stay in the fires of purgatory where one’s sins were burnt away. Heaven, hell, and purgatory were regarded as absolute certainties after death and, since the Church made all the rules regarding where a soul would wind up, people were forced to accept the clergy’s atrocious behavior.

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