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Is this image of destruction after Cyclone Pam a sign of things to come? Sgt Neil Bryden RAF, British Ministry of Defence/AAP

Explainer: are natural disasters on the rise?

Natural disasters are becoming more frequent, with more people with less money exposed to a greater number of hazards.
Vanuatu has a well-co-ordinated disaster response system but limited material resources. Medical support is needed when a disaster like Cyclone Pam strikes. EPA/UNICEF

Beyond Cyclone Pam: identifying Vanuatu’s strengths and needs

The people of Vanuatu have always had to cope with extreme weather events, but natural disasters on the scale of Cyclone Pam test their strengths and leave areas of vulnerability exposed.
Vital but routine public health measures are often compromised in the weeks following natural disasters. UNICEF

Cyclone Pam aid efforts should keep future disasters in mind

Any public health assessment of Vanuatu should include the identification of immediate needs and associated risks, as well as put in plans for mitigating future natural disasters.
Australian has moved swiftly to fly relief aid and personnel to Vanuatu but has been less responsive to Pacific Islanders' pleas to act on climate change. AAP/Dave Hunt

Vanuatu disaster exposes limits of Australian internationalism

While Australia’s leaders express concern for the people of Vanuatu, the welfare of poor states is a commitment from which Australia is walking away.
Surging tides from Cyclone Marcia hit Main Beach in Yeppoon, Queensland, with the storm packing wind gusts close to 300 kilometres an hour. AAP Image/Karin Calvert

The role of social media as cyclones batter Australia

Emergency services are using social media to help spread warnings as two tropical cyclones batter Australia. It can also help them with relief efforts once the worst of the severe weather has passed.
Popular friends on social media could give enough warning to make plans to reduce damage some natural disasters. Flickr/Rob Gross

Popular friends on social media can help save you from disasters

You may think your social media friends are only good for keeping you up with all the latest gossip and trends but research published today has found they can also help save you in the event of any natural…
Alice Springs has been prone to severe flooding. NT Police/AAP

Will the Territory Insurance Office sale push up premiums?

The announcement yesterday by the Northern Territory government that it is selling the Territory Insurance Office’s insurance assets to Allianz Australia for A$236 million has many worried their premiums…
Can social media keep you safe from disasters? Flickr/Jim

Is social media responsible for your safety during a disaster?

Given the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, it’s not surprising so many people use social media in crises such as floods, fires and earthquakes. Facebook has introduced Safety Check, a new tool for users…
The city of Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan, November 2013. EPA/Dennis M. Sabangan

A year after Typhoon Haiyan, poor Filipinos find a voice

On November 8 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. One of the largest tropical storms ever to make landfall, it killed more than 10,000 people and left millions homeless. The vast recovery effort…
Five years on, the bush and people are recovering well from the Black Saturday fires. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Five years on from Black Saturday, most survivors are doing OK

Five years on from the devastating Black Saturday fires that swept through central Victoria in February 2009, research shows that people and communities are largely recovering well. In the first major…

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