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natural disaster

17 articles
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A Walk to Kobe

The author walks to his hometown after the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995.

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The Weather God of Oklahoma City

“You know a storm is going to be bad, people in Oklahoma will tell you, when Gary England removes his jacket.” A profile of a meteorologist who has worked Tornado Alley for more than 40 years.

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Graduation Day

The 2011 Tohoku Japan earthquake and tsunami, as experienced by eight schoolchildren.

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The Man Who Sailed His House

Two days after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Miles out at sea, a man was found, alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house.
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The God Clause and the Reinsurance Industry

On the insurer’s insurer and calculating the risk of modern catastrophe:

Reinsurers are ultimately responsible for every new thing that God can come up with. As losses grew this decade, year by year, reinsurers have been working to figure out what they can do to make the God clause smaller, to reduce their exposure. They have billions of dollars at stake. They are very good at thinking about the world to come.

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How the World Failed Haiti

But despite all that has been promised, almost nothing has been built back in Haiti, better or otherwise. Within Port-au-Prince, some 3 million people languish in permanent misery, subject to myriad experiments at "fixing" a nation that, to those who are attempting it, stubbornly refuses to be fixed. Mountains of rubble remain in the streets, hundreds of thousands of people continue to live in weather-beaten tents, and cholera, a disease that hadn't been seen in Haiti for 60 years, has swept over the land, infecting more than a quarter million people.
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57 Feet & Rising

During the Great Floods of 2011, the Mississippi unleashed deadly currents and a flow rate that could fill the Superdome in less than a minute. Defying government orders, the author and two friends canoed 300 miles from Memphis to Vicksburg. This is their story.

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Terror, Tragedy and Hope in Tuscaloosa

The story of a college town and the most devastating tornado in Alabama history.

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After the Tsunami: Nothing to Do but Start Again

On the unlikely survival (for the second time) of Kamaishi, Japan.

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How a Tokyo Earthquake Could Devastate Wall Street and the World Economy

In the late ’80s, Lewis went to Japan to research a hypothetical: what would the economic fallout be if a major quake hit?

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Aftershocks

On the ground in post-disaster Japan.

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Welcome to Haiti's Reconstruction Hell

On the utter brutality of life in the tent cities, one year after the earthquake.

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Running in the Ruins

On the post-quake presidential election in Haiti.

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The Shot That Saved Lives

Mykal Riley’s last-second three-pointer kept thousands of fans out of the path of tornado. Just as remarkable? That Riley was there to shoot the three in the first place.

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China’s Arranged Remarriages

Both the Chinese government and private matchmakers are laboring to unite people who lost spouses and children in the earthquake.

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The Dividing Line

On the day of the earthquake, two men went into Haiti’s Soccer Federation headquarters. Only one came out.

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We’re Lucky We Weren’t Wiped Out

The volcanic ash cloud from Eyjafjallajokull has caused travel chaos and misery. But we were lucky. An eruption in the future could wipe out the human race.