Posts Tagged ‘disasters’

Japan: families sue over failure to warn of volcano eruption

“Twelve people from five families of those killed in the 2014 eruption of Mount Ontake are set to sue the state and the Nagano Prefectural Government, demanding a total of 150 million yen in compensation, it has been learned.” The suit will argue that the Japan Meteorological Agency failed to raise the alert level for the volcano despite an increase in temblors, “partly on the grounds that the temblors were not accompanied by crustal movements.” [Mainichi]

Regulating Louisiana’s “Cajun Navy”?

Louisiana’s natural disaster has brought forward, among innumerable other acts of spontaneous social solidarity, the daring rescue exploits of the spontaneously self-organized “Cajun Navy.” [Kevin Boyd, The Hayride] Now, according to The Advocate of Baton Rouge, “Jonathan Perry, a Republican state senator is working on legislation that could require training, certificates and a permit fee for citizen-rescuers…”

Following a public outcry, Perry posted this Facebook video intended, he says, to correct misreporting: his proposals are meant to provide more freedom for volunteers rather than less.

I’m trying to give Perry’s explanation a charitable reading — I guess he hopes something like a TSA preclear process will give police or authorities more confidence than they now have in letting licensed/approved amateurs past barricades and perimeters. But it’s pretty easy for me to imagine that this will change the incentives in a future emergency so as to give the police/authorities reason to be more aggressive in creating and enforcing barriers/perimeters than they currently are. After all, they’ll have the new option of letting only approved permit holders through, which may well seem safer and more controlled to them than letting everyone through. So, to me, it just seems like a really bad idea even if we accept that as his premise. More: Rod Dreher.

Environment roundup

N.J. court: loss of ocean view in dune condemnation

New Jersey’s highest court ruled that a Harvey Cedars couple do not have to be compensated for the loss of an ocean view, as distinct from the loss of actual land, after the government condemned a strip of their beachfront for a dune restoration project. Relevant factor: the dune restoration is believed to have saved the couple’s home when Hurricane Sandy hit, and that benefit could properly be offset from the taking. [MaryAnn Spoto, Star-Ledger; earlier; edited/corrected to reflect comment]

More from reader TD in comments: “The reporter absolutely got it wrong. The court agreed the loss of a view could be a taking, but that it needed to be offset by the benefit incurred because the dune would presumably prevent future flooding. The lower courts had not allowed for the offset.”

“Feds Require Magicians To Make Disaster Plans For Their Bunnies”

Inspired in part by Hurricane Katrina, a new federal regulation requires commercial animal handlers to develop disaster contingency plans for their animals. Because working with even a single animal can put you under the rules, a magician in Missouri is now mulling how to assess what potential disasters may pose risks for his rabbit, what “materials, resources, and training needs” may be necessary to prepare for them, and how best to “identify a chain of command” given that it’s just him and the rabbit. [J.D. Tuccille, Reason]

Hurricane Sandy, meet Mighty Wind

A Houston-based trial lawyer has some grandiose plans for snagging New York storm-insurance cases: Steve Mostyn “indicates his firm should be able to take on more than $1 billion in disputed claims — or half of all the Sandy litigation.” That’s assuming clients sign on, of course. One who did was a swim club owner from Pound Ridge who was frustrated dealing with New York lawyers and quickly signed a contract with Mostyn’s firm: “It is worth the 40 percent just for someone to listen to my story and be kind to me,” she said. [Austin American-Statesman]

Federal flood insurance: the Sandy next time

“After disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, the natural inclination is to do everything possible to help people struggling to rebuild their homes, businesses and lives. But over the next couple of years, those good intentions will lead to a lot of foolish, even dangerous, decisions that will encourage people to rebuild in harm’s way.” [USA Today editorial via Ira Stoll]