August 2012 Current Events: Disasters & Science News
Here are the key events in Science and Disasters news for the month of August 2012.
Rover Lands on Mars (Aug. 5): A plutonium-powered rover named Curiosity successfully lands on Mars. Larger than earlier rovers, Curiosity will spend two years examining the land, looking for evidence that conditions on Mars are fit for life. NASA celebrates the mission with a post-landing news conference. Associate Administrator for NASA's science mission directorate, John M. Grunsfeld says, "There are many out in the community who say NASA has lost its way, that we don't know how to explore. I want you to look around tonight, at those folks with the blue shirts and think about what we've achieved."
Floods Submerge Manila (Aug. 7): Floods from torrential rains submerge Manila, capital of the Philippines, and its suburbs. More than 50 people are killed in the storms and flooding. At least 250,000 are evacuated in the worst flood the area has seen since 2009 when two storms killed more than 900 people.
West Nile Claims Lives of Nearly Two Dozen (Aug. 24): Health officials in Texas confirm that 640 people have been infected with West Nile. Twenty three people have died from the virus. The outbreak is most severe in Dallas County, but the virus has spread across Texas and into other parts of the country. With ten deaths and over 200 people sick, Dallas County now has more West Nile-related infections and deaths than any other county in the United States. The mayor of Dallas has declared a state of emergency. To combat the outbreak, low-flying planes and trucks have sprayed pesticides throughout Dallas to kill adult mosquitos.
Hurricane Isaac Hits the Gulf Coast (Aug. 29): Exactly seven years after Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Isaac hits the same area. Declared a Category 1, Isaac's winds roar at 80 miles per hour and the hurricane moves slowly across the region, but it lacks the strength of Katrina. Around 3,000 people evacuate Plaquemines Parish, an area 95 miles from New Orleans. In Louisiana, more than 600,000 residents lose power, but the city of New Orleans avoids any major damage.