Natural Disasters

Unpredictable forces of nature like tornadoes and hurricanes can have a devastating impact on humans and our environment. Learn how natural disasters work and how science aims to better predict them.

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The 1883 Krakatoa eruption was gigantic and deadly, but the advent of modern communications and mass media helped to make it one of the earliest and best-known modern natural catastrophes.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Both are destructive storms that can pack powerful winds and devastating storm surge. So how are they different? Or are they?

By Stephanie Vermillion

Dozens of wildfires have scorched millions of acres in the western U.S. this year. One Oregonian tells what it's like living through the record season and if it's a preview of what's to come.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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Scientists say the world can expect more heat waves in the future. And the one thing we can't do is take these hot temperatures for granted.

By Sarah Gleim

The fire under the tiny town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, has been burning since at least 1962 and, to this day, nobody knows how to put it out.

By Mark Mancini

These massive clouds form when wildfires give off intense heat and cause smoke and hot air to rise. Though rare, climate change may be making conditions favorable for more to form.

By Jenessa Duncombe

While Australia continues to burn out of control, New Jersey officials are warning that the Garden State is full of the same dense brush fueling the fires down under. Could similar wildfires consume New Jersey?

By Michael Sol Warren

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Wildfires have become a frightening reality in California and elsewhere as climate change creates drastically drier conditions. Using goats to eat underbrush and create firebreaks is now a routine part of the firefighting arsenal.

By Patty Rasmussen

Is climate change to blame for king tides flooding coastal cities more often? Some scientists say yes.

By John Perritano

The San Andreas is one of the most famous and closely watched fault lines in the world because of the fear that it is overdue for the next big quake.

By Patrick J. Kiger

NOAA is expecting widespread flooding throughout the United States this spring. Are you ready?

By Oisin Curran

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Thanks in part to strict building codes, damage from the November 7.0 earthquake was relatively minimal.

By John Donovan

From hurricanes, to earthquakes, to tornadoes, there's no shortage of potential disasters that can ruin homes and devastate lives. Think you’re ready to survive the next disaster? Take this quiz and find out.

By Nathan Chandler

When Mother Nature is at her worst, the state and federal governments often step in to protect U.S. citizens. But moving masses of people away from the coast isn't an easy feat.

By John Donovan

The Carr fire in Northern California is currently the sixth-largest in the state's history. How did it get so out of control?

By John Donovan

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Or do we just stick with the five categories we already have?

By John Perritano

A fire can burn for years, yes years, in a swamp. What's the deal?

By Mark Mancini

Both dry and over-saturated soil can contribute to flash flooding. Can anything be done to prevent them from becoming catastrophic?

By Mark Mancini

To date 14 massive fissures have opened up near Kilauea, and the Big Island has been rocked by repeated earthquakes. Do these geological events foreshadow a massive volcanic eruption?

By Mark Mancini

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We may not be able to hear infrasound, but we sure can use it to detect tornadoes.

By Christopher Hassiotis

Volcanic eruptions are loud. Very loud. But nobody's ever been able to capture the roar of the thunder they create. Until now.

By Mark Mancini

California cannabis farmers could lose everything in the wildfires.

By John Perritano

New research digs into historic volcano fatalities to explore how, where and whom a volcano is most likely to kill.

By Jesslyn Shields

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When a major storm is barreling down, the reasons why some people choose to shelter in place are complicated.

By John Perritano

Words matter when talking about those seeking shelter from the storm. What's the difference between hurricane evacuees and refugees?

By Patrick J. Kiger