When a big event hits the headlines it becomes the talk of the town for a few days, but quickly fades away in today’s web-driven media world. However, many of these events continue to unfold long after the news desk has moved on. So here’s a look at three major stories that you probably haven’t caught up on in a while.
The BP Oil Spill
In April 2010, an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico suffered an explosion resulting in the largest accidental oil spill in history. Since then cleanup efforts have helped the environment along the coast to begin recovering. A study by BP claims the ocean ecology has fully recovered but biologists are keeping a close eye on wildlife. Local fishermen continue to report sick and dead catches. On the legal side of things, a trial scheduled for February 2012 will examine over 549 cases relating to the spill.
The Japan Nuclear Crisis
In March 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan severely damaged the Fukushima nuclear plants. Since the disaster, teams have been working on cooling the damaged reactors to prevent a critical meltdown and are working towards a cold shutdown. With water decontamination and recycling in place, the amount of leaking radiation has dropped but there is still a great deal of contaminated water and soil which needs to be dealt with. Overall the disaster has been rated 7 in the INES scale, or as severe as Chernobyl.
The Haiti Earthquake
In January 2010, an earthquake hit Haiti destroying most of the nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince and displacing over one million residents. Despite the aid delivered to Haiti ,reconstruction has been slow. A year after the quake only 2% of the relief money was released for use and 98% of the rubble still lay where it had fallen. At present more effort is being expended supporting refugees in camps than rebuilding. Progress continues to be slow while displaced Haitians remain in camps.