Natural Hazards and Disasters Archive

  • Plates, quakes and volcanoes

    Natural hazards

    Plates, quakes and volcanoes Wherever the Earth’s tectonic plates – sections of the Earth’s crust drifting on the hotter layer below – come together or pull apart, energy bursts out...

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    Editorial Natural Hazards and Disasters

    Two of this year’s disasters have underlined how dependent even the richest economies are on nature and the environment. The eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano created an ash cloud that...

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  • House of bricks

    House of bricks

    It was Peru’s worst ever earthquake, killing over 74,000 people, partly because the buildings made of adobe – sun dried bricks made of earth and straw – collapsed. The 1970...

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  • Don't blame nature

    Don’t blame nature

    Typhoon Ketsana hit Manila on the night of 25 September 2009. I wasn’t concerned: we Filipinos are used to frequent storms. After all, we live in the Pacific, the birthplace...

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    Wrecking reefs

    We call hurricanes, tsunamis and floods disasters because they harm humans – but what about the havoc they wreak in ocean ecosystems? In fact, they can all cause fish to...

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  • A grey world

    A grey world

    I come from Vík í Mýrdal, a village on Iceland’s south coast, 37 kilometres from Eyjafjallajökull volcano. My family, some of whom are farmers, still live there. Currently, I live...

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  • A disaster documented

    A disaster documented

    In mid-June 2010, photographer and author James Duncan Davidson joined a group of photographers and a videographer to document the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He...

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  • Hazards & catastrophes

    Hazards & catastrophes

    We call them ‘natural disasters’, but it is usually human actions that turn hazards into catastrophes, either by causing the disasters in the first place, or by making them very...

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  • Numbers

    Numbers

    8 cm The shift of the Earth’s axis caused by the 2010 earth­quake in the Pacific, 11 kilometres off the coast of Chile. The huge quake caused damage estimated at...

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