The Slatest

This Week in Disasters: Worse Than the Wizard of Oz

A flipped over mobile home with debris surrounding it
A destroyed mobile home in Burnsville, Ala., on Thursday. Jake Crandall/ Advertiser via Imagn Content Services, LLC/Reuters

Disasters are big to the people they affect, but amid all the headlines, they’re easy for others to miss. We’ve rounded up he chaos that caught our attention this week in our new roundup, This Week in Disasters.

Chomping disaster: The flooding of Lake Rukwa in the Songwe region of Tanzania has carried crocodiles, which usually slink in deep water, toward the shore. On Sunday, a man died from a crocodile attack. Pedestrians tried to pry him out of the animal’s mouth, but he died in transport to the hospital.

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Buggy disaster: An invasive mosquito species, previously found only in Latin America and the Caribbean, has arrived in South Florida, NPR reported on Tuesday. These mosquitoes carry a host of diseases, including yellow fever.

Hanging on by a thread disaster: On Tuesday, a couple and dog were rescued from their pickup truck … that was found dangling over a 250 feet deep gorge in Idaho.

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Fireworks disasterAn explosion in Ontario, California, killed two people on Tuesday. Bomb technicians found 27 gallons of unexploded fireworks when cleaning up the site.

Hateful disasterA new report from the Anti-Defamation League, released on Wednesday, revealed that white supremacist physical propaganda, such as flyers and signs, surged in 2020, with double the appearance of racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ messaging than in 2019.

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Worse than the Wizard of Oz disaster: At least 24 tornadoes ripped through the South on Wednesday through Thursday this week. They damaged homes, killed one person, and left thousands without power.

Fishy disaster: A restaurant in Taiwan ran a promotion offering free sushi to anyone who has the characters for “salmon” in their name. Two-hundred people changed their name to “Salmon” in order to snag the comped meal. On Wednesday, the Taiwanese government had to get involved—the Ministry of the Interior begged people to think twice before changing their name.

Back-from-the-dead disaster: Abrip Asep’s family members thought he had died in Indonesia’s 2004 tsunami. But an article on Thursday reported he’s been reunited with his family, after relatives came across photos of him online indicating he was indeed alive.

Shooting disaster: Thirteen law enforcement officers were killed by gunmen near Mexico City on Friday. An incident like this hasn’t occurred since October 2019.

Beefy disaster: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that Saturday would be “MeatOut Day,” in an environmentally conscious effort encouraging people to go a day without meat. This has started some beef: Twenty-six Colorado counties have signed a counter-proposition to make Saturday “Meat In Day,” and Nebraska’s governor declared Saturday “Meat on the Menu Day.”

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