Survivors leave Tohoku a day after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Disaster preparations often focus on gear and logistics, but research in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami shows that strong social ties played a key role in helping communities rebound.
Globally the frequency of natural disasters has more than doubled over the past 35 years.
CGIAR/Challenge food and water programme
Wetlands management is vital but sweeping statements about their universal value may do more harm than good.
The Fukushima Daini plant, 11km from the ill-fated Daiichi station, suffered a technical problem in one of its spent fuel cooling ponds.
The latest earthquake off Japan’s east coast was an ominous reminder of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. But despite a technical hitch at one of Fukushima’s other reactors, there was no repeat this time.
A man evacuated from his home watches TV news on the tsunami warnings following the earthquake.
Japan’s response to a tsunami threat following major earthquake shows it has learned much from past events, including the deadly quake and tsunami that disabled the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Motorway sign warning of Tsunami, Wellington after a 7.5 earthquake based around Cheviot in the South island shock the New Zealand capital.
AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford
The threat of any tsunami following an earthquake can take time to assess, so it’s important people who live in risk zones are ready for any event.
Houses are destroyed by tsunami floods following the magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011.
We can’t predict or prevent tsunamis you can improve your chances of staying safe by understanding the risk, being prepared and acting quickly when disaster strikes.
Overfishing can teach us valuable lessons about ecosystem resilience.
Large-scale natural experiments such as oil spills, tsunamis and climate change are things you wouldn’t want to do on purpose. But that doesn’t mean they’re not scientifically useful experiments too.
A satellite image of the 2004 boxing day tsunami striking the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Could a similar tsunami hit Australia?
Australia is surrounded by ocean, so is not immune to the effects of tsunamis. But how significant is the risk?
Five years ago: an aerial view of Minato, Japan, after the earthquake and tsunami.
Lance Cpl. Ethan Johnson/U.S. Marine Corps
Reliably predicting whether a tsunami is large enough to require evacuations requires many more observations from the deep ocean than we now have.
Thousands of bags of radioactive rubble near Fukushima, 2016.
The nuclear operator was nowhere near adequately covered for the disaster. And it’s not just a Japanese problem.
Scientists are setting Japan on the road to recovery, using data to protect against future disasters.
A Japanese fish found in Washington after hitching a ride in a boat sent across the Pacific Ocean by the 2011 tsunami.
The 2011 Japan tsunami illustrates how more marine creatures are crossing the oceans than ever before - and not all of them are friendly travellers.
Could media reports of natural disasters reduce people’s risk perception?
AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy
Are you at risk from natural disasters? Research shows media reports could actually reduce people’s perceptions of risk.
Mount Colima volcano eruption, 2015.
EPA/ULISES RUIZ BASURTO
Our planet is a hugely dynamic place – and the clock is ticking down to the next superdisaster.
Chileans wait outside after evacuating during the earthquake in Santiago.
Earthquake monitoring can now detect a quake and warn people before it arrives.
The sea straddles two tectonic plates and is lined by large towns and cities. We need to take the tsunami threat seriously.
The road to recovery is a long one for Nepal, which goes beyond the immediate priority of disaster relief.
Politics in Nepal will hinder relief and recovery efforts following the earthquake and its aftershocks. But look at it the other way around. Could the disaster help to resolve political problems?
Is this image of destruction after Cyclone Pam a sign of things to come?
Sgt Neil Bryden RAF, British Ministry of Defence/AAP
Natural disasters are becoming more frequent, with more people with less money exposed to a greater number of hazards.
Devastation in the wake of the Boxing Day tsunami.
The camera jerks as the wave crashes through the wall of the restaurant. The tables set out for a wedding breakfast are swept aside. The man behind the camera doesn’t realise the awful reality of what…
Do no harm? Volunteers after the 2004 tsunami.
On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. This earthquake triggered the most destructive series of tsunamis ever recorded. The tsunamis lashed out across the…