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September 2015 Current Events: Disasters & Science News

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Here are the key events in science and disasters news for the month of September 2015.

  • New Pre-Human Species Is Revealed (Sept. 10): Scientists announce the discovery of a new pre-human species, Homo naledi, found in 2013, at Rising Star Cave outside Johannesburg, South Africa. The discovery introduces a new pre-human species of hominid that existed 2.5 million to 2.8 million years ago. More than 1,550 bone fragments have been found deep within a chamber, suggesting that the species buried its dead, a ritual previously believed to have been unique to humans.

  • Homo Naledi reconstructed in 2015
    Homo naledi, presented in South Africa, Sept. 2015
    Source: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

  • Millions Evacuated after Earthquake in Chile (Sept. 16): An 8.3 magnitude earthquake hits Chile, killing at least five people and causing one million people to evacuate. It is the largest earthquake the country has seen in years. After the earthquake hits, a Tsunami alert is issued for Chile as well as Peru, New Zealand, Hawaii, and California.

  • Multiple Massive Wildfires Rage in California (Sept. 17): Three wildfires are burning in California. The Valley Fire has burned through 73,000 acres in Lake and Napa Counties, killing one person, destroying 600 houses, and forcing thousands of people to evacuate. The Butte Fire, burning in Amador and Calaveras Counties, has destroyed more than 450 buildings and made its way through 70,000 acres. Finally, the Rough Fire, the state's largest fire, has burned more than 140,000 acres and threatens to destroy some of the biggest and oldest trees in the world. Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Lake, Napa, Amador and Calaveras Counties.

  • 2015 California Wildfires
    Fires burn near San Andreas, Calif., Sept. 2015
    Source: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

  • Hundreds Killed in Stampede During Pilgrimage (Sept. 23): While making a pilgrimage, at least 717 people are killed during a stampede near Mecca, Saudi Arabia. More than 800 people are injured. The incident occurs during one of the holiest Islamic events, Eid al-Adha.