April 2011 Current Events: Disasters & Science News

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

World News | U.S. News

Here are the key events in Science and Disasters news for the month of April 2011.

  • Gunman Opens Fire at Former School in Brazil (April 7): A 23-year-old former student returns to his public elementary school and begins firing, killing at least 12 children before shooting himself in the head. It is the worst school shooting Brazil has ever seen.

  • Aftershocks Continue to Rattle Japan (April 11): A second earthquake in five days hits Japan, this one a 6.6 magnitude. A tsunami warning is issued, but later canceled. The earthquakes are seen as aftershocks, coming just a month after the area was hit by the earthquake and tsunami that have killed over 13,000 people and led to disaster at the Daiichi nuclear power plant.

  • Japan Equates Nuclear Incident with Chernobyl (April 12): Japan raises its assessment of the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to Level 7, the worst rating on the international scale, putting the disaster on par with the 1986 Chernobyl explosion. Developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency along with countries who use nuclear energy, the scale defines level 7 as a nuclear accident that involves "widespread health and environmental effects" and the "external release of a significant fraction of the reactor core inventory."

  • Series of Tornadoes Devastate Southern States (April 27): In one of the worst U.S. tornado seasons, 137 reported tornadoes sweep through the south, killing nearly 300 people in six states. Most of the fatalities occur in Alabama.

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