Analysis of the articles.
The first paragraph should briefly introduce the news stories; this should be very terse and direct. The introductory description of each article should be very brief (no more than a couple/few summarizing sentences).
All text is included in the 1000-1500 word count. The point is to analyze the interrconnectedness of the articles, not to reiterate the facts contained within each.
The body of the composition — the overwhelming majority of the paper — should be dedicated to demonstrating / laying-out your argument on how these news stories are geographically interrelated.
Cite your online references (the titles of the articles; the dates of the articles; the articles’ hyperlinks) below your composition.
THE 5 ARTICLES ARE:
Philippines Earthquake 2012: Villagers Return Home After Fleeing
By OLIVER TEVES 09/01/12 06:44 AM ET
MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of villagers who fled their coastal homes during a powerful earthquake in the central Philippines returned home Saturday, but hundreds more still jittery from the temblor remained in evacuation centers, officials said.
The magnitude-7.6 quake struck off the Philippines’ east coast late Friday, killing one person in a house collapse, knocking out power in several towns and spurring panic about a tsunami that ended up generating only tiny waves.
The quake hit at a depth of 34.9 kilometers (21.7 miles) and was centered 106 kilometers (66 miles) east of Samar Island, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
No large tsunami was generated by the quake and it caused only minor damage, including cracks in buildings and several bridges, Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said.
Rep. Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar province said the approaches to one bridge had collapsed, and only one lane was usable on another bridge because of cracks.
Some cracks also appeared on roads in the provincial capital, Borongan city, and several other towns were still without electricity, he said.
About 140 aftershocks had been recorded by early Saturday, including two with a magnitude of 6.4, said Renato Solidum, chief of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
Panicked residents in Samar’s coastal towns headed for high ground, Ramos said. “Some rested under tall trees they planned to climb if tsunami waves reached them,” he said.
He said hundreds of nervous villagers remained in evacuation centers in Eastern Samar but were expected to return home later Saturday.
A house collapsed in southern Cagayan de Oro city, on the main southern island of Mindanao, killing a 54-year-old woman and injuring her 5-year-old grandson, said the city’s mayor, Vicente Emano.
Solidum said the biggest tsunami that came ashore on Siargao Island was less than half a meter (20 inches) high. The island is a popular surfing spot about 750 kilometers (465 miles) southeast of Manila.
The quake snapped some power lines in Tandag city in Surigao del Sur province on the east coast of Mindanao.
More than 6,000 city residents who headed for the provincial capitol grounds on a hill were back home Saturday, disaster officials said.
The quake set off car alarms, shook items off shelves and sent many coastal residents fleeing before the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center lifted all tsunami alerts it had issued for the Philippines and other countries from Indonesia to Japan, and for Pacific islands as far away as the Northern Marianas.
“It was very strong. My house was making sounds,” Bem Noel, a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, said in a telephone interview from Tacloban city, located on the east coast of Leyte island near Samar.
“You talk to God with an earthquake that strong,” he said.
The Philippine archipelago is located on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. A magnitude-7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people on northern Luzon Island in 1990.
China Earthquakes 2012: Series Of Quakes Rattles Southwest China, Kills At Least 64
By SCOTT McDONALD 09/07/12 10:31 PM ET
In this photo provided by China’s Xinhua News Agency, damaged cars are seen in Luozehe town, Yiliang County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhou Hongpeng
BEIJING — Blocked mountain roads were hampering rescue efforts after twin earthquakes struck southwestern China and killed at least 80 people, leaving officials worried Saturday that the death toll could rise further.
More than 100,000 residents were evacuated after Friday’s quakes toppled thousands of houses and sent boulders cascading across roads in a remote mountainous area along the borders of Guizhou and Yunnan provinces.
The damage was preventing rescuers from reaching outlying towns, and communications were disrupted after the midday quakes hit in a region of small farms and mines where some of China’s poorest people live. Weather forecasts Saturday said there was a chance of rain over the next three days, which could hamper rescue work.
But there was some good news, with state television reporting that four babies had been born in temporary hospitals set up since the quakes hit.
The first magnitude-5.6 quake struck just before 11:30 a.m. Friday and was followed by an equally strong quake shortly after noon, joined by dozens of aftershocks. Though of moderate strength, the quakes were shallow, which often causes more damage.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency said Saturday that 80 people had died in the quakes. It said earlier that hundreds had been hurt, but did not immediately give a new injury toll Saturday.
Hardest hit was Yiliang County, where all but one of the deaths occurred, according to the Yunnan provincial government’s official website. Another 730 people in the area were injured, Xinhua said. Yiliang’s high population density, flimsy building construction and landslide-prone hillsides were blamed for the relatively high death toll.
China Central Television showed roads littered with rocks and boulders and pillars of dust rising over hilltops from the landslides. One image taken just as one quake struck showed people running out of a supermarket as the ground shook.
Other footage showed villages of blue tents being set up for the evacuated, as well as hundreds of people crowding into a school athletic field in Yiliang’s county seat, a sizable city spread along a river in a valley.
Though quakes occur in the area frequently, buildings in rural areas and China’s fast-growing smaller cities and towns are often constructed poorly. A magnitude-7.9 quake that hit Sichuan province, just north of Yunnan, in 2008 killed nearly 90,000 people, with many of the deaths blamed on poorly built structures, including schools.
Xinhua quoted Yunnan’s civil affairs department as saying Friday’s quakes destroyed 6,650 houses and damaged 430,000 others. Besides the 100,000 residents already evacuated, another 100,000 were in need of relocation, the department said.
“The hardest part of the rescue will be handling traffic,” Li Fuchun, head of Luozehe township in Yiliang, was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “Roads are blocked and rescuers have to climb mountains to reach hard-hit villages.”
That included a village near a zinc mine in Luozehe. “It is scary. My brother was killed by falling rocks,” miner Peng Zhuwen told Xinhua. “The aftershocks struck again and again. We are so scared.”
The government has sent thousands of tents, blankets and containers of water into the area, and the Red Cross spokesman for East Asia, Francis Markus, said 2,000 quilts, 2,000 jackets and 500 tents were being rushed to the area, which is largely inhabited by members of the Yi ethnic minority.
He said the use of light construction materials would likely create far more injuries than deaths.
A government official in Jiaokui town said a large number of houses had collapsed.
“The casualty number is still being compiled. I don’t know what it was like for the other towns, but my town got hit