Reuters blog archive

from Photographers' Blog:

Remembering Lockerbie


Reuters Sports Editor, Pictures, Greg Bos recalls covering the 1988 Lockerbie bombing in the following question and answer session.

What role were you in when the bombing happened?
I was working on the Reuters pictures desk at the time, but was also part of the rotation system we had - where photographers could go out and cover picture assignments.

How did you hear about it?
I was at home nursing a bad cold, when staff photographer colleague Nick Didlick called and asked if I could get up to Scotland asap. The company had arranged for a private plane to fly me and two text journalists from Stansted Airport to Carlisle on the Scottish border in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, Nick and fellow staffer Rob Taggert drove to Lockerbie through the night in the pool car with all the darkroom equipment. We arrived at Carlisle Airport at around 4:00 or 5:00am and I was told to stay put because a media helicopter was due to go up at dawn for aerial shots. I was the designated pool photographer on the first morning. However, it was a very foggy morning and I could not see any of the wreckage or the large crater. I remember the aerial pictures from the first morning were unusable. I was terribly disappointed after spending several hours in a freezing cold helicopter with blocked sinuses.

How long did you stay at the site?
I stayed at Lockerbie over the Christmas holiday period - about two weeks. Nick and Rob left before me, and I was later joined by staff photographer colleague Russell Boyce. We were housed in a hotel just off the main highway. They had planned to close for the holidays, but stayed open to accommodate Reuters staff and several other journalists covering the story. Everyday we would go up to the main crash site out of town and take pictures from a small church yard across the road. I recall it was very cold standing there for hours, snapping off a few frames at a time, or when something happened. The large crater was either off limits to media for awhile, or did not produce any new imagery. I was lucky - having the color camera in hand - when I captured the rescue workers carrying a body bag and walking past the wreckage of the cockpit fuselage. I believe at the time most of the other photographers were shooting black and white film. This image was published on many front newspaper pages in the UK and around the world.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Mud, manure and pedicure…


Hey Marcia, I'm goin' over for my weekly pedicure. I'm on the cell.

Oh Lonnie, ya think they'll be open today?

Why? Is this Labor Day or something?

No Lonnie, but I was wonderin', did ya read about the flooding we had?

Ya know, I DID notice I'm standin' knee-deep in muddy waste water in our bedroom, honey.

Boy, nothin' gets past you, Hotshot. I was thinkin' ya might wanna stay home and help save our stuff?

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Well here’s your problem right here, ma’am!


Ring ring ring...

"Hello? Is this the police? I want to come down to the station to report a stolen car..."

"Your call is important to us. Currently our office is being overrun by hundreds of venomous snakes, so please expect to be bitten a few times and maybe die."

from India Insight:

Quake-prone Kathmandu awaits the next big one


Walking through the maze of narrow, crowded lanes of Kathmandu's old city is, at the best of times, a harrowing experience.

Motorcycles, rickshaws and cars squeeze their way through the tiny, winding streets lined with dilapidated medieval buildings, Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas.

from Global News Journal:

A month after quake, gratitude turns to impatience


A month after an earthquake killed nearly 300 people in Italy, the initial goodwill towards authorities for their swift handling of the disaster appears to be giving way to anger as survivors face an uncertain wait for promised funds and the prospect of a long summer in tents.

Italy's government is promising to start providing the thousands made homeless in the central Italian region of Abruzzo with new, furnished houses by September -- in what would be record speed anywhere. But continued aftershocks, rain and chilly temperatures have made life increasingly difficult for survivors in tents, which left-leaning newspapers have seized upon to issue long accounts of the "nightmare" of life in the 170 tent camps.

from Global News Journal:

PLAYING WITH FIRE — Life in the shadow of an erupting volcano


    You're having breakfast and the earth starts to shudder. Outside, a column of volcanic ash soars miles into the air. Is this the big one that sends millions of tonnes of ash and molten rock crashing down to vaporize what is left of a volcano-ravaged town?
    With Chile's Chaiten volcano in deepest Patagonia still erupting 9 months after stirring to life for the first time in thousands of years, ripping a hole through the middle of the picturesque town in its shadow, residents like mechanic Cesar Barria Umanzor are running the gauntlet daily.
    Looking at the devastation wrought by the volcano when it erupted last May sending ash 20 miles (32 km) into the stratosphere, you don't have to be a volcano expert to realize the town is a write-off -- especially given true experts warn the volcano's cone could continue to collapse as it did last month, potentially smothering the remains of the town.
    With the volcano 6 miles (10 km) from the town, residents reckon they would have around 7 minutes to get out of the way if there is a major eruption. But where to? With the road out in places, that leaves jumping into the sea or a scramble uphill along a scree track.
    Houses swept off their foundations as a torrent of ash redrew the course of a river last year lie buried up to their rafters in debris at haphazard angles.  Children's toys are strewn abandoned in the dirt months on.
    The government has decided to move the town wholesale 6 miles up the road. But not everyone will move.
    "I'm not afraid. I want to stay here. I built this house from scratch. I started out with one nail, denied my kids candy when they were young to pay for it, and now the government just want me to walk away? Well I won't," Umanzor said.
    He and his family are among a few dozen die-hard residents who vow to stay put, despite the fact there is no running water and no electricity.
    With no cars to fix, Umanzor is instead using his time to work on energy self-sufficiency. He has a diesel generator, but the authorities will only give fuel to emergency services.
    So he has connected a series of tractor batteries to a transformer to generate current and is now using hoses to connect a homemade water-wheel to a nearby stream to recharge them. Those batteries kept my laptop going. To read more, click on

from Photographers' Blog:

Covering the quake: Audio slideshow

David Gray recounts his experience covering the earthquake that devastated Sichuan province, China.

from Global News Journal:

Myanmar: Bloggers discuss cyclone disaster

Mong Palatino is South East Asia editor of Global Voices, which monitors citizen media in the developing world. Thomson Reuters is not responsible for the content of this post — the views are the author’s alone.

Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar last weekend which devastated five regions. State-run media reported that more than 22,000 people are found dead with another 41,000 missing. Hundreds of thousands are now homeless. The following is a collection of quotes from regional bloggers about the devastation.

from Photographers' Blog:

Shouting into the wind


Before I start please spare a thought for the thousands who died when Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar and the thousands more affected by it, who have lost loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods.

For a news pictures editor in charge of Asia yesterday was a tough day. The death toll was rising steadily as the enormity of the tragedy slowly unfolded and we worked hard at getting pictures from staff and stringers. Handout pictures from pressure groups were scrutinized and checked for usage rights usage and potential bias. We had staff waiting at airports to speak to tourists who may have had images of the scene as the cyclone struck.

from India Insight:

Does India care about the tragedy in Myanmar?

I was a little shocked this morning to realise how little coverage the terrible tragedy in Myanmar has received from India's major newspapers.

People stand next to an advertisement tower that had fallen on a street in Yangon May 6, 2008, after Cyclone Nargis slammed into Myanmar's main city on Saturday. REUTERS/StringerLatest official estimates suggest 22,500 people have died and another 41,000 are missing in India's eastern neighbour -- a death toll comparable to Sri Lanka's experience in the 2004 tsunami, and one that could easily rise further.