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Chile Rattled and Damaged by Powerful Earthquake: A Firsthand Impression

  • Maureen Valentine
  • 3 March 2010

At 3:30 in the morning on Saturday, 27 February, I was sitting at my dining room table in my home in central Santiago, Chile, with friends having some drinks… when something peculiar started to happen. My house started to shake. There was a split second when I thought “Am I crazy or is the table…

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Recovering from the Mudslides in Madeira, Portugal

  • Paula Ferreira
  • 25 February 2010

On the morning of Saturday, 20 February 2010, the south of Madeira Island was lashed by an incredible 52mm of rainfall in one hour (9:00 to 10:00). The consequence was a series of mudslides and floods that struck mainly in the capital city of Funchal, Ribeira Brava and several other smaller towns in the area….

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In Memory of Chrystel Cancel

  • whl.travel
  • 13 February 2010

On 8 February, the body of Chrystel Cancel was positively identified, nearly a month after the devastating earthquakes in Haiti levelled the Hotel Montana on top of her. She had only had just arrived in Port-au-Prince. We pay tribute to her here because she was a trusted part of our family. Chrystel Cancel grew up…

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Mudslides and Mayhem near Machu Picchu, Peru

  • Ethan Gelber
  • 2 February 2010

“The months January and February in Cusco are known for the rain,” said Raymond Scholten of Chaska Tours, an ecotourism and adventure tour operator – your whl.travel local connection – based in this famous city of southern Peru. “Everybody is prepared for the rain, but this year the amount broke all records. It rained endlessly for almost…

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Help Provide Shelter to the Million Homeless of Haiti

  • Ethan Gelber
  • 28 January 2010

As a follow-up to our blog post about how you can help Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, the most urgent plea at the moment is for temporary shelter for estimated one million homeless and displaced people. Information from people actively helping to direct donations to the right places have relayed a call made…

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How You Can Help Haiti in the Aftermath of the Earthquake

  • Ethan Gelber
  • 15 January 2010

The devastation and tragedy are heart-wrenching following the 7.3 earthquake that leveled most of Port-au-Price, Haiti. The dispiriting pictures and tales of loss reach to the depth of our sorrow, just as the living, breathing bodies pulled from the rubble are reason for quiet celebration. I watch in horror, helpless from my distant perch (Sydney,…

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Natural Disasters Pound Southeast Asia, Including Typhoon Ketsana

  • Diane Wuthrich and Ethan Gelber
  • 2 October 2009

It came as a triple whammy for which no one was prepared: Tuesday’s major undersea earthquake in the South Pacific triggered a devastating tsunami in Samoa and American Samoa; two pummelling tectonic shakedowns on the Indonesian island of Sumatra have produced heaps of rubble; all while the world deplored the wind- and water-lashed aftermath of last weekend’s Typhoon Ketsana, which slammed into the Philippines.

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Tsunami in the South Pacific Devastates the Coasts of Samoa and American Samoa

  • Ethan Gelber
  • 1 October 2009

The news from Samoa Islands is heartbreaking. On early Tuesday morning, triggered by a powerful undersea earthquake (8.0 in magnitude), a towering tsunami struck with disastrous consequences. Three surges were reported, with waves of up to five or six metres reaching almost two metres higher than sea level. “At this time [late afternoon on Tuesday…

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