Choosing a place to visit or possibly move takes on added significance when you have to consider what Mother Nature might throw at you. Some of the most beautiful places in the world are also at higher risk of being hit by a natural disaster, but the reward will outweigh the possible danger if you are informed and prepared.
If you live in the Midwest portion of the United States you might worry about tornadoes, with New Orleans it could be hurricanes and flooding. The west coast is rocked by earthquakes, and so on. There are so many different events that can happen that will turn society upside down because nature was having a mood swing. And the pressures of climate change are only going to make it worse.
If you are trying to get away from it all, this might be the list for you. These are the most likely places to experience some crazy disaster that nature may throw at you.
The Philippines not only is a place that deals with natural disasters but also one that deals with a compounded issue. The issue is that this isn’t a wealthy nation; it’s one that deals with a poor capacity to respond and recover from natural disasters. They are subject and susceptible to tsunamis and large storms like typhoons. With more than a quarter of a million people live there major storms can have a serious effect on the economy and the well-being of the people.
China is also another place that highly susceptible to major natural disasters. This is a large country, with a lot of people, but their location again doesn’t keep them from experiencing major storms and natural disasters. They are located in an active seismic zone. The most recent was in December of 2016 with a 5.9 magnitude but that wasn’t even the worst. The 7.9 magnitude one that struck in May 2008 took the lives of over 69,000 people. They also deal with flooding and major typhoons. If you travel here you must listen to the weather and evacuation orders. If you travel here, be safe.
Japan is definitely on the list of places that deal with regular natural disasters. Again, they also are situated in a major earthquake zone and are also subject to the possibility of tsunamis. Do you remember the incident with the Nuclear power plant? This also has a potential to take a toll on other places as well as was seen in this disaster. They even have warnings about tsunamis in the hotel rooms. Japan is also home to multiple active volcanoes. We’ll probably just stay away from those. The coastal areas are also at risk for high tides during typhoons.
Located along what is called the ‘ring of fire’ in the Pacific, you are looking at another hot spot for major disasters such as volcanic eruptions, ground shaking earthquakes, and run of the mill tsunamis. Seriously though, they are nothing to joke about because all of the above can kill you. If you do have it in you to visit an active volcano, ensure that you find out what the levels are for dangerous activities and stay away if they are high. They also report more than 2,000 seismic events per year. That’s a lot. Just know what you are going into when you get there if you are visiting.
Recently six tourists were killed due to exposure at the Acetanago volcano. This was January 2017. Other than volcanoes they also experience a rainy season, which coincidentally coincides with hurricane season. That doesn’t really seem fair. But that’s life in Guatemala. They also deal with regular flooding, landslides, and roads and bridges that just can’t handle the weather.
Do you see a theme here? One that includes many tropical locations that are subject to tropical cyclones and extreme weather. They struggle through monsoon season which leads to massive flooding and blocked roads which hinders travel immensely. Half of the country is also located where earthquakes are the norm. Stay vigilant and learn what to do to prepare for disasters.
Again, part of the ‘ring of fire’ you will have to deal with regular earthquakes and frequent volcanic eruptions. These two natural disasters along can cause tsunamis. In a place like this again know what you are walking into and prepare for the inevitable should it occur. They also experience tropical cyclones. This can also lead to landslides and flooding as well.
Let’s round it out with the ‘ring of fire’. This is a major location for earthquakes (many undersea), tsunamis and volcanoes. They also have major rains and flooding which results in many bridges going out of existence. This could be a scary thing to have to deal with. Just know when you are going and what to anticipate weather wise.
Natural disasters don’t just affect the place that they happen in. The earthquake in Japan was a major example of this. Radiation levels have been seen in places as far away as California, which affects the waters and the foods that are exported from there. Some go on vacation and never come back because it’s not something they planned for or expected. Even earthquakes in Italy have become a regular occurrence.
It’s not just travelers who have to worry; local residents are, obviously, much more likely to be impacted by a natural disaster. They are the ones who deal with the consequences and the rebuilding of their homes, their lives, bury the loved ones that they lost in the disaster, or have a memorial because the body was never found.
Be aware of the risks of your travel destinations and be prepared. You never know when a natural disaster is going to strike, but, if you receive warnings, please heed them. Take evacuation warnings seriously and follow instructions. Most importantly, realize that life is not risk-free. Natural disasters, while scary, are rare, even in these locations. Taking a vacation to one of these countries is still safe and the benefits of the travel experience are incomparable.