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from Photographers' Blog:

Chile’s tsunami: a victim and his ghost

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“I made the wrong decision,” was the first thing Emilio Gutierrez told me the first time we met. That was the day I took a photograph of him carrying his dog, just two days after the tsunami. I didn’t get to know him well enough then to even learn his name.

A combination photo shows Emilio Gutierrez, who lost his father and son during a tsunami brought by the February 2010 earthquake, (top) carrying his son's dog after rescuing it from the ruins of his home in Constitucion, March 10, 2010, and (bottom) holding his 2-month-old baby, Emilia, at his home in Putu town, near Constitucion February 25, 2011. Gutierrez continues to search for 4-year-old Jose who disappeared in a huge wave spawned by the tsunami last year. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Minutes after the earthquake in his hometown of Constitucion on February 27, 2010, Emilio made the decision to escape the looming waves with his family by boat upriver, away from the river's mouth. In the dark of night and the panic of the moment his father and son, Emilito Jose, were the first to climb into the boat. But before the rest of the family could follow them the mooring ropes snapped and they were dragged away by the current.

Emilio trusted his father’s experience and was sure that they would be fine. Together with his mother and wife, Sofia, he climbed into their other boat and headed upriver. “The noise was like helicopters hovering above us.” That was the noise of the advancing first wave as it destroyed everything in its path.

Emilio Gutierrez (R) and his wife Sofia Monsalves stand with their baby daughter Emilia in front of a drawing that Emilio did of the boat in which they escaped the tsunami caused by the 2010 earthquake, in their home in Constitucion February 25, 2011. Their son Emilito Jose went missing in the disaster and was never found. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

The boat overturned and they found themselves in the water, swimming through pieces of wood and giving it all they could to reach the bank. “Mom begged me to leave her in the river. She couldn’t swim anymore and just wanted to rest. I thought about leaving her to help Sofia, but I thought, she is young and Mom is old. I began thinking, if I had to choose between saving Sofia or Emilito Jose I would save him.” As we talked, a year after the disaster, next to us Sofia lowered her head in silence.

from George Chen:

Japan, in danger and opportunity

earthquake

By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.

You might consider yourself very smart, powerful or perhaps wealthy, but after watching live coverage on TV of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Friday afternoon, what was your reaction? We're all nobodies in the face of the forces of nature.

On Friday afternoon before the earthquake, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index showed unexpected signs of recovery but the rebound was unfortunately short-lived. Immediately following the news alert about Japan's worst earthquake in decades, stock markets from Hong Kong to Shanghai all retreated quickly.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Merlot on the go?

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BELARUS/

Blog Guy, like many of your readers I'm looking for a new and interesting career. I like to drive, I like retail work, and I enjoy making people happy. Any ideas?

I may have just the thing. How would you like to drive a van around and stop to sell wine to people?

from Oddly Enough Blog:

There were no floats? I didn’t notice!

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BRAZIL/

Okay, it seems a large fire swept through Rio de Janeiro's Carnival center this week, "destroying thousands of costumes and floats and throwing preparations for Brazil's annual festival of hedonism into chaos."

BRAZIL-CARNIVAL/I know this is a serious thing. They work pretty hard all year long on that stuff, and Carnival starts in three weeks.

from Photographers' Blog:

Adrees Latif wins ICP Infinity Award for Photojournalism

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Marooned flood victims looking to escape grab the side bars of a hovering Army helicopter which arrived to distribute food supplies in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province August 7, 2010.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Pakistan chief photographer Adrees Latif has won the prestigious ICP Infinity Award in Photojournalism for his outstanding coverage of last year’s Pakistan floods. Working under the most difficult of conditions he led the Reuters pictures team to tell the story from every possible angle. His images were published daily across international front pages, bringing attention to the enormity of the catastrophe from its early stages. Latif’s work has received numerous industry accolades including the Pulitzer prize for Breaking News Photography in 2008.

An Army helicopter drops relief supplies to flood victims in Pakistan's Rajanpur district in Punjab province August 15, 2010.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Resident Ikramulla, 37, stands near a pen where he lost a handful of water buffalos to floods in Nowshera, located in Pakistan's northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province August 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Residents being evacuated through flood waters dodge an army truck carrying relief supplies for flood victims in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province August 11, 2010.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Flood victims crowd the back of a trailer while evacuating to higher grounds in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province August 11, 2010.   REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Adrees recounts how he took the award-winning image of marooned flood victims grasping on to an army helicopter as they tried to escape.

from Photographers' Blog:

My date with Yasi

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So, I was sitting on a plane flying from Sydney to a town called “Townsville” before I had a moment to consider that I was going north to intercept a huge cyclone, try and hide somewhere in the middle of it and stick my head up and start shooting as soon as it passed over me. In the end I was fully equipped, located and psyched to deal with a storm “roughly the size of Italy” but it was cyclone Yasi that blinked first.

When the decision was made to go I had 60 minutes before leaving for the airport. Photographers talk about a “go bag” or how they have a permanent disaster kit next to the front door or that they’re such legends, who have covered an untold number of natural disasters, everything they need is burned on their memory. I have a list. I have a number of lists but I still stand in the middle of the lounge room asking my wife what I have forgotten. She always comes up with something. Surprisingly, the flight (the very last one to this impending natural disaster before the destination airport closed) was packed. On it were a few other media types but also a bunch of paramedics, emergency workers and prison guards all going for the same reason.

from Photographers' Blog:

Always on alert among 17,000 islands

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A google map shows Indonesia.  REUTERS/Google

Monday, October 25, 2010.

As I sat in Jakarta’s traffic for five hours, trying to rescue my daughter stranded at her school after the worst floods in Indonesia’s capital for years, I thought about how serious a volcanic eruption at Mount Merapi in Java could become. It was coming at a bad time – Jakarta-based staff photographer Beawiharta was also stuck in the jam trying to get to the airport to shoot it. Then I got a call from regional pictures editor Paul Barker. He told me there had been a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia. Wow!!!

I read on a local disaster monitoring agency via my Blackberry that it was a quake on the Mentawai islands, off the western coast of Sumatra. Being a photojournalist and editor for a news agency, I have to act fast. I contacted a stringer who lives in Padang, West Sumatra, the nearest town to the epicenter, and residents in the Mentawai region.

from Our Take on Your Take:

In the shadow of Mount Merapi

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Workers clear trees that had fallen due to lava flows after Mount Merapi volcano erupted at Kuning River, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on November 5, 2010. Your View/Sigid Kurniawan

A cow killed by ash cloud heat from an eruption of Mount Merapi volcano is seen at Argomulyo village in Indonesia's Sleman district of the Indonesia Central Java province November 5, 2010. Your View/Sigid Kurniawan

Soldiers carry a body from Argomulyo village in Indonesia's Sleman district of Central Java province November 5, 2010. Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupted with renewed ferocity on Friday, killing another 54 people and blanketing the surrounding area with ash. Ten days of eruptions have now killed nearly 100 people and forced the evacuation of more than 75,000. Your View/Sigid Kurniawan

These three images from Indonesia of the devastation caused by Mount Merapi's volcanic eruptions stand out in the way they capture the scale of the disaster and how it has affected the livelihood of people on the island.

View this week's Your View showcase here.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

You still have your tonsils, Ms. Clinton?

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hillary event 490

Hey, Buddy! You on the other end of the walkie-talkie! So this is your first time setting up an overseas event for Secretary Clinton? I'm sure it'll go fine. What's your name?

I'm Lamar... This is a VERY bad connection, but we'll make it work. Right now, Secretary Clinton and a local businessman are having their "Who can open their mouth the widest?" competition, you copy?

from Oddly Enough Blog:

What the hell have those kids done now?

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Blog Guy, it's been two whole months since you've seen a sign of the approaching Apocalypse. Isn't it about time to lower the threat level for your readers?

craters 490

Hardly. If anything, it's time to raise it. I don't know if you've spotted the trend, but Earth has been caving in rapidly this year, with craters and sinkholes appearing from nowhere, overnight. Suddenly, the surface of our planet looks like the face of a teenager on a French fry diet.

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