Annalee Newitz and Michael Ann Dobbs

Want to know where you should live if you are hoping to avoid the next catastrophic earthquake, flood, megavolcano, or storm? Consult our map of disaster hot zones of the world.

Most of the disasters we've highlighted here are caused by nature, and only occasionally helped along by humans. Arguably some of the storms are likely to be bigger due to climate changes that humans have had a hand in causing, and of course you wouldn't get famine without humans.


How did we decide where disaster hot zones were? By looking at previous incidents of disaster in a given region, as well as places where fault lines and giant gobs of magma wait under the Earth for the perfect time to spew. Of course these kinds of forward-looking statements are subject to change. We may start geoengineering the planet to be megavolcano resistant, or slow climate change and thus prevent megahurricanes. Humans may start building structures that can maintain structural integrity during most earthquakes, thus minimizing property damage and the loss of life.

Or we might just ignore the signs of impending disaster, toss this map aside, and hope for the best.

Thanks to Michael Ann Dobbs for the research, and to Stephanie Fox for the amazing infographic!

Click the map to embiggen.


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