Reaching Others University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content
Official UB news and information for the media

Natural Disasters

News about UB’s research and advocacy in extreme events and disaster response.

photo of Juan Aleman.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – A brick wall imitating part of a New York City row house (often called a “brownstone”) suffered minor damage but remained intact during a simulation of the 2011 Virginia earthquake, according to a preliminary analysis of tests conducted Feb. 19 at the University at Buffalo.


University at Buffalo faculty members are available to discuss challenges relating to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, including threats to buildings, infrastructure and water supplies.


A voice carried across the treeless plateau: "Fire in the hole! The range is now active." Two dozen people fell silent before a muffled blast sent a geyser-like shower of crushed gravel, limestone and asphalt roughly 50 feet in the air. Moments later, standing at the blast site, University at Buffalo geology professor Greg Valentine gave an impromptu assessment.


Seeing the Rocky Mountains usually tops the list of things to do when visiting Colorado. Not for Shannon Seneca, who vacationed there after graduating high school 15 years ago. Upon landing in Denver, she headed straight for the Rocky Flats Plant, a former nuclear weapons production facility.


National Public Health Week, April 2-6, will be observed by the University at Buffalo's School of Public Health and Health Professions with two seminars that are free and open to the public.


Andrew S. Whittaker, PhD, a University at Buffalo professor and an internationally recognized expert in earthquake and blast engineering, has been elected to a two-year term as director of MCEER, a national center of excellence focused on multi-hazard engineering.


AMEC Geomatrix of Amherst, N.Y., has received the National Ground Water Association's 2011 Ground Water Remediation Award for an innovative nuclear waste cleanup project that the company completed with University at Buffalo researchers.


In the aftermath of heavy flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene, University at Buffalo researchers are conducting a damage assessment that could help hard-hit communities in New York plan for future disasters.


To get a better idea of just how much damage even a moderate earthquake would cause to unreinforced masonry buildings, earthquake-engineering researchers in the University at Buffalo's MCEER are reconstructing brick walls like those in New York City buildings that are approximately 100 years old.


As communities prepare for the hurricane, with many in the southeast evacuating, the earthquake that hit Virginia and the possibility that Hurricane Irene could hit the eastern U.S. serve as important reminders about the vulnerability of structures in these areas to the full range of extreme events, from earthquakes to hurricanes and terrorist attacks, say engineers at the University at Buffalo's MCEER (Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research).