August 2011 Current Events: Disasters & Science News
Here are the key events in science and disasters news for the month of August 2011.
New Leukemia Treatment Makes Progress (Aug. 10): Scientists report early success in a new treatment for leukemia. Three patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia have responded well to the new treatment which makes the patients' own blood cells seek and destroy their cancer cells. Of the three patients, two are cancer-free a year after the treatment. The third patient still has some cancer, but has improved.
East Africa Hit with Worst Drought in 60 Years (Aug. 11): Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, and parts of South Sudan have been rocked by the worst drought there in 60 years, creating a hunger crisis. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledges an additional $17 million in U.S. aid to the region, calling the famine "the most the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world today and the worst that East Africa has seen in several decades." The hunger crisis has also been brought on by weak agricultural systems as well as a lack of infrastructure, government, and education. The additional pledge brings the total of U.S. assistance in the region to $508 million. The United Nations has reported that the region needs $2.5 billion to overcome the crisis. Only 48% of that amount has been received so far. In Somalia alone more than three million people are in need of aid.
Hurricane Irene Hits the East Coast (Aug. 27): Beginning as a Category 3 with 115-mile-per hour winds, Hurricane Irene moves up the eastern seaboard. Irene moves at about 14 miles an hour, which is half the speed of a typical hurricane. At least 44 people are killed in 13 states. New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Boston shut down mass transit systems. Airlines cancel flights and Amtrak cancels train service. Evacuations are ordered for about 2.3 million people. Damage is estimated at $7 billion.
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