June 2011 Current Events: Disasters & Science News
Here are the key events in Science and Disasters news for the month of June 2011.
Tornadoes Continue to Strike in the U.S. (June 1): In the first tornadic activity in three years, seven twisters touch down in Massachusetts. Four people are killed and 200 more are injured. Three tornadoes hit Springfield, Mass., and destroy several buildings.
Drug Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer (June 4): A new study finds that Exemestane, a drug already used to prevent breast cancer from reoccurring, also reduces the risk of getting the disease in the first place. This provides a new option for women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
Toxic E. Coli Outbreak Linked to German Sprouts (June 5): A deadly E. coli outbreak in Germany has been linked to domestic sprouts. The farm, in northern Germany, where the sprouts are grown has been shut down. This rare strain of toxic E. coli causes bloody diarrhea and in extreme cases acute kidney failure and death. With more than 2,600 sickened, the death toll rises to at least 45.
Two New Drugs Slow Down Advanced Melanoma (June 5): Ipilimumab and Vemurafenib are two new drugs that are prolonging the lives of people with advanced melanoma. The finding is the most progress researchers have made against the deadly skin cancer in decades. The drugs do not cure melanoma, but can extend the lifespan from two to several months for people with advanced melanoma. The drugs combat the disease in new ways. Vemurafenib attacks a specific genetic mutation that accelerates tumor growth. Ipilimumab unleashes the body's immune system to fight the disease.
Flooding in Iowa Forces Hundreds to Flee (June 6): Due to record snow and rainfall earlier this year, flooding continues to be a problem in the Midwest. The Missouri River breaches a levee on the Missouri state border causing flooding. Six hundred people who live on the south side of Hamburg, Iowa are ordered to evacuate their homes within 24 hours. (June 13:) The Missouri River continues to rise, rupturing two levees and sending flood waters toward small communities in Missouri and Iowa. The breaches have been expected and evacuations are already underway. The Missouri River, which has already caused flooding from Montana to Missouri, is expected to remain at flood levels for at least the next two months.
Wildfires Rage Through East Arizona (June 11): Two fires in Arizona merge into one runaway 600-square-mile blaze that continues to elude over 4,000 firefighters. Investigators believe that the fires were likely started by an unattended campfire. Thousands of residents leave their homes for evacuation centers. The Wallow Fire, named after the Bear Wallow Wilderness in the Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests, continues to burn despite the number of firefighters and an estimated $15 million spent. (June 14:) The Wallow Fire still burns through east Arizona and neighboring New Mexico, becoming the largest fire in Arizona's history. The fire destroys more than 538,000 acres, surpassing the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire which burned through 468,000 acres. The Wallow Fire has destroyed 32 homes, 4 commercial buidlings, and 36 outbuildings.
New Mexico Wildfire Burns Near Nuclear Facility (June 30): In northern New Mexico, the Las Conchas wildfire becomes the largest in the state's history, burning through almost 103,000 acres. Firefighters keep the fire from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a nuclear research facility. The laboratory sits on a 36-square-mile property and remains closed while the fire rages near the property's boundaries. Burning since June 26, the fire is only 3% contained.