Hurricane Katrina's landfall on New Orleans in 2005, to this day, is still considered the most costly disaster in U.S. history. The staggering $133,800,000,000 price tag of it's damages is over three times the amount that Hurricane Andrew caused in 1992. The death toll was roughly 1200 people, with even more deaths due to indirect effects of the hurricane. The most damaging and deadly aspect of this storm however was the broken levee that inundated the Ninth Ward.
August 16, 2005
August 30, 2005
September 20, 2005
Landfall NEXRAD Loop:
You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords: 29°58'16.64"N 90°00'58.35"W
On May 29, 2006, a natural gas well being drilled in Sidoarjo, Indonesia seemingly caused a mud volcano to erupt some 600 feet away. There are a few different hypothesis as to how exactly this happened, including the company blaming the volcano on a distant earthquake, but most outside opinions say that a blow-out during drilling caused a fracture in a confining layer that was holding back the mud.
You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords: 07°31'34.16"S 112°42'42.61"E
Taum Sauk is (was?) a reservoir in theSt. Francois mountain region in southern Missouri Ozarks. On December 14, 2005, the wall of the reservoir failed and released one billion gallons of water in 12 minutes. The resulting surge of water tore a path through the mountain leaving it bare down to the bedrock making geologists everywhere very very happy.
You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords: 37°32'07.79"N 90°49'06.80"W
There's been quite a lot of development in the Middle East over the past decade related to oil wealth. Countries like the UAE and Qatar in particular have really boomed in development. Using the time machine feature on any of these country's larger cities shows enormous growth. One thing in particular that these cities seem to be doing is building artificial islands in the shape of symbols or other designs. Here is one that popped up in Doha:
You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords: 25°22'03.80"N 51°32'59.83"E
In March 1989 the Brio Industrial site in Friendswood, Texas was listed as a Federal Superfund site, giving Federal authority to come in and clean up hazardous waste that would endanger public health and the environment.
After irresponsible disposal practices of toxic waste, the groundwater became contaminated, resulting in illnesses, elevated miscarriage rates, birth defects, and the deaths of 3 young children. The surrounding neighborhood was quickly cleared out.
During the clean up, a large incinerator was built with the intention of burning the waste, but the San Jacinto South campus Science department was crucial in shutting down the incinerator before it was ever used, as it would endanger the health of people for miles all around.
All the official legal documents for the Brio Superfund site are located in the San Jacinto South campus library across the street, they are open for public viewing.
You can find it yourself on Google Earth using these coords: 29°34'30.55"N 95°12'33.52"W