Articles on Natural disasters

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Crop insurance is designed to help farmers weather disasters such as Hurricane Irma, which devastated many Florida citrus farms in 2017. AP Photo/Tamara Lush

Crop insurance is good for farmers, but not always for the environment

Crop insurance cushions farmers against natural disasters, but it also can lead them to overuse resources and reduce their incentive to adapt to climate change.
Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Ortiz are still searching for relatives who disappeared in San Miguel Los Lotes during Guatemala’s June 3 Fuego volcano eruption. The government’s rescue mission has now ended. AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

After volcano eruption, Guatemalans lead their own disaster recovery

Guatemala has ended its Fuego volcano rescue mission and declared 110 dead. But people in the hot, ash-covered eruption zone say that the real death tally is much higher and that they'll keep digging.
People take shelter during the floods in Mozambique. Antonio Silva/EPA

More people in Africa need to be insured against natural disasters

While disaster insurance would go a long way in averting losses, demand for cover is still lower than expected.
A large dust storm, or haboob, sweeps across downtown Phoenix on July 21, 2012. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File

Increased deaths and illnesses from inhaling airborne dust: An understudied impact of climate change

New research projects that climate change could greatly increase airborne dust levels in the southwestern US, causing higher hospital admissions and premature deaths from heart and lung ailments.
Hurricane Irma passes Cuba and approaches southern Florida on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, with Hurricane Jose at lower right. NASA

Understanding hurricane risks: 5 essential reads

The 2018 hurricane season starts on June 1, with some communities still recovering from 2017 storms. Scholars offer insights about where the risks lie and who is most vulnerable during and after hurricanes.
A massive fast moving lava flow from Kilauea consumes everything in its path, as the flames from the remnants of one home burns on the left, while it approaches another on the right. EPA/Bruce Omori/Paradise Helicopters

Eruptions and lava flows on Kilauea: but what’s going on beneath Hawai'i’s volcano?

The current eruption of Kilauea on Hawai'is big island can tell us a lot about what is going on beneath the volcano and may provide lessons for future eruptions.
A storm caused flooding in the CBD as it swept through Hobart. Patrick Gee/The Mercury. Used with permission

Lessons in resilience: what city planners can learn from Hobart’s floods

Managing flood risk is not just 'good planning'; it requires commitment to resilient cities by land developers, politicians and communities. Effective response means learning from mistakes.
Picture painted by a primary school child in Sri Lanka after the tsunami in 2005. UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Children aren’t liabilities in disasters – they can help, if we let them

It's understandable to want to shield children from the impacts of disasters. But research suggests that they should be given a voice in disaster planning and a role in reducing the risks.
Hurricane Harvey flooded one-third of Houston and displaced more then 30,000 people in the region. Janelle Rios

How Texas is ‘building back better’ from Hurricane Harvey

After disasters, communities often push to rebuild as quickly as possible. A public health expert says they should aim higher and fix problems that exist pre-storm.
Fallen trees and power lines are two of the main hazards that could have been reduced with better planning for cyclones. Geoff Whalan/Flickr

Lessons not learned: Darwin’s paying the price after Cyclone Marcus

After Cyclone Tracy, you'd expect Darwin of all cities to be ready for the next one. But as the clean-up after Cyclone Marcus continues, it's clear more must be done to increase the city's resilience.

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