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Natural Disasters

Living quarters are flooded in Bangui, Central Africa Republic
Living quarters are flooded in Bangui, Central Africa Republic
A person in firefighting gear and goggles carries a long yellow hose amid a smoky haze.
A person in firefighting gear and goggles carries a long yellow hose amid a smoky haze.

The World’s Militaries Aren’t Ready for Climate Change

These days, threats don’t just come from other states.

A child stands in front of a makeshift shelter on the banks of a body of water.
A child stands in front of a makeshift shelter on the banks of a body of water.

Pakistan’s Flood Disaster Shows the Perils of Climate Shortsightedness

“We have never had a really good plan in terms of how we counter climate change,” one expert noted.

Members of the Taliban stand in front of a Blackhawk helicopter.
Members of the Taliban stand in front of a Blackhawk helicopter.

Afghans Battle Another Blow After Big Earthquake

The Taliban can’t govern in normal times, let alone disaster response.

In an aerial view, traffic creeps along Virginia Highway 1 after being diverted away from Interstate 95 after it was closed due to a winter storm.
In an aerial view, traffic creeps along Virginia Highway 1 after being diverted away from Interstate 95 after it was closed due to a winter storm.

Traffic Jams Are a Very American Disaster

The I-95 backup shows how easily highways can become traps.

A soldier stands over debris in Haiti.
A soldier stands over debris in Haiti.

Haiti’s Convenient Disaster

Last weekend’s earthquake was a catastrophe. But for the country’s political class, it came at exactly the right time.

A young girl wearing wings is embraced by another next to candles lit in the memory of the victims of  the "Colectiv" nightclub fire in Bucharest, Romania on October 30, 2020.
A young girl wearing wings is embraced by another next to candles lit in the memory of the victims of the "Colectiv" nightclub fire in Bucharest, Romania on October 30, 2020.

A National Trauma May Win Romania Its First Oscar

“Collective” details how corruption sparked a fire and a political crisis.

A man searches through earthquake rubble in Japan.
A man searches through earthquake rubble in Japan.
Residents line up for cooking gas in Palu, Indonesia, on Oct. 9, 2018, following the earthquake and tsunami that hit the area the month before.
Residents line up for cooking gas in Palu, Indonesia, on Oct. 9, 2018, following the earthquake and tsunami that hit the area the month before.

The Only People Panicking Are the People in Charge

The public can handle disasters better than lying leaders can.

French President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a tablet screen in Montpellier, southern France, as he speaks from the Élysée Palace in Paris during a televised address to the nation on April 13.
French President Emmanuel Macron is seen on a tablet screen in Montpellier, southern France, as he speaks from the Élysée Palace in Paris during a televised address to the nation on April 13.

Why Politicians Ignore Disaster Predictions

Experts see catastrophe on the horizon, but nobody wants to pay the costs beforehand.

A man reads a coronavirus news alert
A man reads a coronavirus news alert

The World Is Addicted to Pandemic Porn

The insatiable appetite for disaster information is psychologically understandable—and politically dangerous.

Employees of the Istanbul Municipality wearing protective gear disinfects a subway carriage to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, in Istanbul on March 12, 2020.
Employees of the Istanbul Municipality wearing protective gear disinfects a subway carriage to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, in Istanbul on March 12, 2020.
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security officer
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security officer

Trump Can’t Deport the Coronavirus

COVID-19 is as American as apple pie now—and people are more likely to catch the virus from their neighbors than from foreigners.

Residents walk past debris after an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011
Residents walk past debris after an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011

How Japan Rode a Tsunami to Equality

Japanese women quickly realized that the disaster that struck their country nine years ago was an unprecedented opportunity to overcome discrimination.

A woman wears a mask while cleaning in the street in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 22.
A woman wears a mask while cleaning in the street in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 22.

Wuhan’s Virus and Quarantine Will Hit the Poor Hardest

China’s migrant workers are far less visible to the state than its middle class.

An Oryx helicopter from the South African National Defence Force flies a relief airdrop mission over the flooded area around Beira, Mozambique, on March 20. International aid agencies raced to rescue survivors and meet spiraling humanitarian needs in three countries battered by Cyclone Idai. (Maryke Vermaak/AFP/Getty Images)
An Oryx helicopter from the South African National Defence Force flies a relief airdrop mission over the flooded area around Beira, Mozambique, on March 20. International aid agencies raced to rescue survivors and meet spiraling humanitarian needs in three countries battered by Cyclone Idai. (Maryke Vermaak/AFP/Getty Images)

Cyclone Idai: Mapping Mozambique’s Catastrophic ‘Inland Ocean’

The historic tropical storm killed hundreds and left an area of more than 800 square miles covered in water.

Children read the Quran at a temporary shelter after the tsunami and earthquake in Palu, Indonesia, on Oct. 9. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
Children read the Quran at a temporary shelter after the tsunami and earthquake in Palu, Indonesia, on Oct. 9. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Indonesia’s Indigenous Languages Hold the Secrets of Surviving Disaster

Introducing hard-learned local wisdom into warning efforts could save thousands of lives.

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