April 2013 Current Events: Disasters & Science News
Here are the key events in Science and Disasters news for the month of April 2013.
Lesser-Known Bird Flu Kills Two in China (Apr. 1): Two men in China die after contracting a type of lesser-known H7N9 strain of avian flu, also known as bird flu. The strain is Xinhua and has not previously been found in humans. A third person also has the strain and remains in critical condition. (Apr. 9): China officially confirms that the number of deaths from this strain of Bird Flu has climbed to nine. Officials also confirm that there are now 28 cases of this H7N9 virus. Despite the increase of cases, health officials urge people to remain calm because there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted between humans. Officials do advise that people stay away from live poultry. As a precaution, thousands of birds are slaughtered at Shanghai wholesale markets after the H7N9 strain is found in a pigeon.
Powerful Earthquake Kills 186 in China (Apr. 20): A strong earthquake strikes southwestern China. At least 186 people are killed and around 8,200 people are injured. The earthquake causes mountainsides to collapse. Available drinking water becomes a problem following the earthquake. Reports conflict on the magnitude of the earthquake. China's Earthquake Networks Center reports that the earthquake was a 7.0 magnitude, while the U.S. Geological Survey puts it at 6.6.
Bangladesh Factory Building Collapses, Killing Hundreds (Apr. 24): A large building containing several factories collapses, killing at least 377 people. Hundreds more are missing in the building's rubble. Known as Rana Plaza, the factories within the building make clothing for European and American retailers such as JC Penny, Cato Fashions, Benetton and others. Bangladesh is second only to China as the world's leading garment exporter. (Apr. 29): For five days, rescue teams work to find survivors in the debris. A fire breaks out within the rubble making rescue efforts even more difficult. National outrage spreads due to reports of Rana Plaza's poor condition prior to its collapse. Officers arrest the building's owner, Sohel Rana, who is found hiding near the border of India. When his capture is announced at the site of the collapsed building, the crowd gathered there cheers. Rana Plaza employed more than 3,000 people and the building's collapse is considered the deadliest accident in the garment industry's history.