Top News Stories in 2011

The world farewelled the year 2011 which has been described as year of natural disasters due to the floods, earthquakes and landslides that caused deaths and devastation in various parts of the world.

2011 is a year filled with intense, gripping scenes of nature’s unrelenting power through series of natural calamities that took the world by surprise.  News about politics, protests, riots, financial crisis, sports triumphs and royal weddings made it to the headlines and attracted media coverage.

Another year in our world’s history has just closed and let us take a glimpse at some of these events that influenced the way we think about the future in 2012.

Natural calamities in 2011

1.   Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. An event that captured the world’s attention took place on the coastal region of Japan last March 11 when a 9.0 earthquake hit the eastern part of the country and subsequent tsunami ravaged the entire coastal community leaving 15,000 people dead  and $210 billion worth in economic damages

2.   New Zealand Earthquake.  In February,  a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 rocked the city of Christchurch, New Zealand and took the lives of nearly 200 people and crippled the city’s power lines. Estimated worth in damages mounts to $20 billion although major establishments were spared from the quake.

3.   U.S. Tornadoes. A deadly outbreak of killer tornadoes crisscrossed the Southern states from April to May. The number of casualties mounted up to 509 in two months time and an accumulated worth in economic damages of $14.5 billion.

4.   Thailand Floods. The flood of July in Thailand’s capital not only put lives and property in danger but also their most treasured UNESCO heritage sites. Severe flooding crippled some of Thailand’s major economic establishments. World Bank estimated damages to be around $45 billion.

5.   Mindanao Floods. This was probably the Philippines’ most tragic storm of 2011 in terms of fatalities. In just 20 minutes, major cities of Cagayan and Iligan in Mindanao were submerged in water leaving 1,236 dead, 1,079 missing and countless number of people homeless. Economic damages are estimated to be around $24,902,953 in agriculture and infrastructure.

Natural calamities reminds us about the importance of being prepared at all times, not just our readiness to prevent major loss of life and property but also our readiness to lend a helping hand to our brothers in desperate need of help. As we leave another year behind, let us take with us the lessons learned from the past to prepare us for the year ahead.

Famous personalities who passed away in 2011

Some of the world’s most famous personalities won’t be joining us to see the turning of another year. Below is a list of celebrities who have taken their last bow in 2011.

1.   Elizabeth Taylor. She was noted for her alluring beauty, natural talent in acting, and glamorous lifestyle. Started out as a child star with MGM, Liz Taylor appeared in numerous blockbuster films and became one of the Greatest American Screen Legends from the American Film Institute. Her legacy as a co-founder of American Foundation for AIDS Research and Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, as well as her prestigious awards including the Presidential Citizens Medal was one of her major achievements. She died March 2011 from congestive heart failure.

2.   Steve Jobs. A visionary and co-founder of Apple, he revolutionized the industry of computers, mobile phones and music. He puts his life recreating the concept of computers as more than just a tool for business into something that inspires people. Macintosh, Apple, and Pixar were Steve’s most remarkable achievement that will continue his legacy for the years to come. Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003 and on October 5, 2011, he died in his home in Palo Alto with his wife and children.

3.   Amy Winehouse. Noted for her powerful deep vocals and electrifying musical performances, Amy won multiple awards, most recently six Grammy Award nominations with five wins including the Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist awards – an unprecedented achievement by a female artist in just one performance. Her most outstanding record, Back to Black held international acclaim, and likewise her unforgettable “Stronger Than Me”, “Rehab”,  and “Love is a Losing Game, winning her Best Contemporary song and Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Her success however was cut short due to an unexpected death on July 23, apparently from alcohol poisoning.

There are plenty others who, like them, left a lasting impression on people’s minds and in the course of the world’s history. We’ll all going to miss them for the years to come. Although they won’t be with us as we exchange good wishes for the coming of another year, their legacy will continue to ring in our hearts through their works of art and life-changing technological advancements.

Now that the world welcomed the start of 2012 with cheers, wishes and spectacular fireworks display, there are strong  hopes that the new year will bring greater peace and happiness to mankind.

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