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Hungary: Initiation of Criminal Investigation of Chemical Spill Disaster

(Oct. 12, 2010) On October 6, 2010, police in Hungary launched a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the massive Ajka chemical spill, in which toxic red sludge from an alumina plant's storage reservoir spread through tributaries and ultimately reached the Danube River. The spill, which occurred on October 4, has resulted in four deaths […]

New Zealand: Legislation to Streamline Earthquake Recovery Efforts Passed

(Sept. 20, 2010) The Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010 was introduced and passed by the New Zealand Parliament on September 14, 2010, ten days after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake caused widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure in the region. (New Zealand Parliamentary Library, Bills Digest No. 1805, Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Bill […]

China: State Council Regulations on Natural Disaster Salvage and Assistance

(Aug. 25, 2010) China's State Council (Cabinet) promulgated the Regulations on Natural Disaster Salvage and Assistance on July 8, 2010, to enter into force on September 1, 2010. The seven chapters of the Regulations comprise general provisions, salvage and assistance preparations, contingency salvage and assistance, post-disaster salvage and assistance, salvage and assistance funds management, legal […]

China: White Paper on Disaster Relief

(June 10, 2009) The Information Office of China's State Council (Cabinet) issued the White Paper on Disaster Relief on May 11, 2009, marking the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan Province and coinciding with the first Disaster Prevention and Reduction Day, held on May 12, to commemorate the quake. The six chapters […]

China: Law on Earthquake Prevention and Disaster Relief Amended

(Jan. 13, 2009) On December 27, 2008, the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress passed amendments to the Law on Protecting Against and Mitigating Disasters from Earthquakes, which was adopted more than ten years ago on December 29, 1997. The amended Law will be effective on May 1, 2009. The number of articles in […]

Taiwan: Disaster Prevention and Rescue Law Amended

(June 2, 2008) Taiwan's Disaster Prevention and Rescue Law (promulgated on July 19, 2000) was amended on May 14, 2008. Among other changes, the term “disaster” is redefined to include mine disasters and forest disasters (and to remove the word “major” from the list of non-natural disasters in which these two types of disasters are […]

Pakistan: Earthquake Damage Reconstruction Authority

(Dec. 2, 2007) On July 12, 2007, the Government of Pakistan issued the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority Ordinance, 2007, establishing the autonomous Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA). The authority will be responsible for carrying out surveys to assess damage and implement future planning in the affected areas. It will also formulate comprehensive development […]