Someone living in an area that is prone to one or other of these natural disasters will be well aware of the fact, so the most important factor is to be prepared. The first indication of an earthquake might be a roaring or rumbling sound that gradually grows louder. The tsunami that hit northeastern Japan following the 11 March earthquake was 15 metres high some areas and it travelled 10 km inland. Tsunamis are not uncommon in Japan and usually there is a limited amount of warning before they hit.
Volcanoes are mountains that are characterised by having a crater that opens downwards to a reservoir of molten rock. Due to their great heat the lava flows are a great fire hazard and in forested areas wildfires often result. Cyclones form out in the ocean and there are distinct hurricane seasons in different parts of the world, lasting for between five and eight months. They often hit the coast with tremendous force causing significant damage, but having hit land, friction slows them down. Most tornadoes are about 250 feet across, have wind speeds of up to 110 mph and blow themselves out after a few miles, but in extreme cases they can be 2 miles across, attain speeds of more than 300 mph and stay on the ground for considerable distances. Although they can occur almost anywhere, the vast majority occur in the US, where the average is about 1,200 a year. It is not easy to escape extreme cold and this can also cause fatalities, especially among the old and chronically sick. In extremely cold weather and in the event of heavy snowfall it is fairly usual for transport to grind to a halt.
Coincidentally the number of people drowned in the Dutch flood was almost identical to the number of people who died when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005. Agricultural crop production can be ruined, milk production is reduced and animals are distressed.
The golden rules are to drink plenty of fluids, dress in cool clothes and stay in the shade if possible. These mega-fires as they are sometimes called are mainly caused by humans and are characterised by their massive destruction.
A recent UN report (May 2011) suggests that the growing number of mega-fires around the world may be contributing to global warming. Almost everywhere you look you find references to climate change associate with natural disasters. It is clear that the world is getting warmer, probably due to a natural process, but it is reasonable to assume that this process is being speeded up by mankind's release into the atmosphere of large amounts of greenhouse gas.
It is easy to blame every natural disaster on global warming, but meteorology is not an exact science and while in some cases this blame might be quite justified, in many cases these natural disaster occur for purely natural reasons. We have mentioned the state of the great river frequently, but the Mekong generally becomes more dammed and less likely to provide for its people and wildlife. When can he climate changers and the global de-warmers finally have their way and be able to replace the whole carbon footprints of nations? What stories are appearing from the genomes of various creatures that can be mixed up with our histories. When dolphins are 'rescued' in various countries, the car given seems to be ill-considered. This collection of video clips describes the worst earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, avalanche and lake overturn in recorded history as measured by estimated death tolls. The disasters featured here include an earthquake that killed nearly one million people and a volcano that lowered temperatures around the globe and caused "the year without a summer".
Professor Iain Stewart explains how a 1970 avalanche on Mount Huascaran overwhelmed the Peruvian town of Yungay and killed an estimated 18,000 people. Professor Iain Stewart recounts the story of hundreds of mysterious deaths that occurred on 21 August 1986 in villages near Lake Nyos, Cameroon. Professor Iain Stewart tells the story of the 23 January 1556 Shaanxi earthquake in central China, which is estimated to have killed nearly one million people. Dr Iain Stewart explains how a megathrust earthquake at the bottom of the Indian Ocean triggered the deadly 26 December 2004 tsunami, which killed more than 225,000 people in 11 different countries. Dr Iain Stewart visits Mount Tambora, site of the largest known volcanic eruption of the last millennium, on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. Explore the BBC News News Sport Weather Shop Earth Travel Capital iPlayer Culture Autos Future TV Radio CBBC CBeebies Food iWonder Bitesize Travel Music Earth Arts Make It Digital Taster Nature Local Terms of Use About the BBC Privacy Policy Cookies Accessibility Help Parental Guidance Contact the BBC Advertise with us Ad choices Copyright © 2016 BBC.


Natural disasters occur every so often in various parts of the world, and can range from forest fires and volcanic eruptions to avalanches and blizzards, as well as hurricanes, tornados and tsunamis. In this post, we’ve gathered up 30 heart-wrenching natural disaster photographs ranging from forest fire photography, blizzard photography, hurricane photography, tsunami photography, landslide photography, avalanche photography and tornado photography.
If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you might not experience one for a number of years, but they can occur with very little warning. There might be a rolling sensation that starts out gently but within a second or two becomes very violent.
The most destructive of these are generated from large shallow earthquakes with an epicentre or fault line near or on the ocean floor. There are well-rehearsed procedures that are followed when they occur, but the one on 11 March exceeded all previous expectations.
Lava flows destroy everything in their path, interrupting watercourses and causing flooding and mudslides, but since they generally move fairly slowly, people can usually get out of their way.
This can be abrasive, acidic, gritty and smelly, but apart from infants, elderly people and those suffering from respiratory problems, to most adults it is relatively harmless, although it can prove lethal to machinery.
They are storms with large low-pressure centres and numerous thunderstorms that produce high winds and heavy rain. Special weather watches are kept during these times and in populated areas there are generally well-rehearsed plans that are put in place when a tropical cyclone approaches. While the winds will abate somewhat, heavy rains will continue and can cause serious flooding.
A tornado is a violent, dangerous rotating column of air that is in contact with the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud.
Without this kind of protection the only hope is to get out of the way or get underneath something strong, like a heavy table. Early in 1953 there was a major natural disaster when serious floods hit countries bordering the North Sea.
In addition to causing illness and significant loss of life, they can have a serious economic effect on transportation, agriculture production, energy and infrastructure. It is reported that in the 24 years between 1979 and 2003 more people died in the United States of extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. A UN study reported that in almost every case drought is a major factor that prolonged or exacerbated a blaze. The February 2009 Black Saturday blazes in Australia killed 173 people and completely obliterated several towns. In its report the Food an Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that policy makers should improve their monitoring of carbon gas emissions from wildfires to better determine their potential impact on climate change. A UN report on climate change observed that the increase in tropical cyclone intensity was larger than climate models had predicted and the conclusion was drawn that it was more likely than not that there had been some human contribution to increase this intensity. It is also reasonable to assume that these greenhouse gas emissions are having a profound effect on the world's weather. However, good news cannot be ignored in this case and it is really cheering to hear of 3 calves born during this dry season in the freshwater stretches of the river. Well, there is hope in some of the latest renewable investments and this example of pure science that will soon be transferred to a new set of technologies. We recognise that comparing the severity of different events across long periods of time is somewhat subjective.We do not currently have videos for some disasters such as the 1970 Bhola cyclone that killed an estimated 300,000-500,000 people in what was then East Pakistan and is now Bangladesh. In 1815, this composite volcano erupted a huge volume of ash and triggered crop failures around the world. In 1815 Tambora blasted 50 cubic km of rock high into the atmosphere, leaving an 8km-wide caldera. He works frequently in the fields of graphic design, web design, web development, programming, audio, music and computer graphics. These occur with the minimum amount of warning and include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. These are usually the consequence of extreme weather events, or are supplementary to other natural disasters. Alternatively there might be a violent jerk followed by severe shaking that makes it very difficult to stand up or move from room to room. The sudden vertical displacement generates waves that can travel great distances at high speed. These can be quite modest and result in little more than a trickle, or they can explode with considerable force and be accompanied by lava flows, flattened landscapes, poisonous gases, flying rock and ash.


Following an Icelandic volcanic eruption in 2010, when large clouds of volcanic dust were released into the atmosphere, concern about possible damage to aero engines severely disrupted air traffic in Europe and North America. Generally they are known as hurricanes, but in the northwest pacific region they are known as typhoons. Although this was America's costliest natural disaster, the deadliest natural disaster in US history was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 that killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people in Galveston.
Worldwide the peak time for them is 5 pm, but one of deadliest in history, the Gainesville Tornado, occurred at 8.30 am local time. Rivers burst their banks, roads and bridges are washed away and normal communication can become impossible.
The Netherlands was particularly badly hit with a tidal surge that reached 5.6 metres in places, completely overwhelming the sea defences. Extreme heat can disrupt railways by twisting rails and roads can buckle or tarmac can melt.
As more people use fans or air conditioning, demand for electricity is pushed to the point where supply companies can no longer cope. Since most shopping malls, public libraries and big stores are air conditioned, if all else fails a trip there might be worth the journey, especially if the bus is also air-conditioned. Often after many months without rain a single spark is all that is necessary to create an inferno. In 2010 similar fires in Russia killed 62 people and destroyed about 23,000 square kilometres, an area more than half the size of The Netherlands. There is hope that the other populations, in Bangladesh and Myanmar, for example, are also being protected as well as this. They could even end up in commercial aquarium shows, but they certainly rarely make it back to the sea. It was later found that a landslide disturbed volcanic gas - carbon dioxide - that had dissolved in water at the bottom of the lake and sent it down the slopes of the volcano.
He is one of the founders of Presidia, an entrepreneurial team designed at empowering the creative media community. There will usually be some degree of advanced warning, but since weather is unpredictable, nothing can be done to stop these disasters from developing once the weather system develops. While out in the ocean these waves can be no more than a few centimetres high, but as they approach the shore the waves are compressed and become very much higher. As a result of this natural disaster the number of people dead or missing is put at around 30,000 and the Japanese economy has suffered a major blow. A hurricane is defined as having a wind speed in excess of 73 mph (117 kph), but maximum sustained winds in the strongest tropical cyclones have been estimated to reach 195 mph. Aircraft lose lift in extreme temperatures and stress is placed on the cooling systems of the engines of raid and rail vehicles that can lead to an increase in mechanical failure.
Volcanic debris in the upper atmosphere reflected sunlight back into space and caused global cooling. All that can be done is to take appropriate action to limit damage and loss of life after they occur. Again, in areas prone to this sort of disaster, some provision can be made to limit damage and loss of life. In serious cases those who are not drowned will have to find somewhere relatively safe and wait to be rescued. They can quickly change direction, which makes it very difficult for someone on the ground to escape.
The event at Lake Nyos is a rare type of natural disaster called a limnic eruption or lake overturn. An estimated 200,000 people worldwide were killed by the eruption itself and famines caused by widespread crop failures. The earthquake that occurred in Japan on 11 March 2011 was measured at magnitude 9.0 by the US Geological Survey and was one of the most powerful ever recorded.



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