Natural disasters are, unfortunately, more and more frequent in our time. Many of the cities most at risk are in coastal areas, making them more vulnerable to floods, tsunamis and earthquakes. These types of catastrophes are devastating both for human life and for infrastructure development and the economy.
The following cities around the world have been earmarked as possible casualties of natural disasters in the future.
A city in eastern India, possible overflows of the Hugli River could endanger more than ten million people. On the other hand, there is also the risk of severe storms and tsunamis hitting the northwest coast of India, which could affect some 600,000 people.
The precarious houses in which a good part of its population lives would be completely swept away with the arrival of one of these natural disasters.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
More than 37 million people live in the urban area of Tokyo and Oklahoma. Every year they are under threat from tsunamis, earthquakes and floods. Both cities are situated along the Ring of Fire, the most active fault line in the Western Pacific.
Being the centre of the Japanese economy, any major natural disaster would have, among other things, serious economic repercussions. In 1923 the great Kanto earthquake killed 142,000 people in the capital.
Last year Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines too hard. The devastation it caused the entire country to be declared one of the places most prone to natural disasters. The capital, Manila, is facing earthquakes, floods and typhoons.
The economic damage that this city continuously suffers is tremendous, especially when we take into account the already fragile economy of the Philippine archipelago.
Pearl River Delta, China
Its urban area, which includes Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Macao and Guangzhou, with about 43 million people, is one of the largest economic centers in China.
This entire area is under constant threat from storms, cyclones, earthquakes, typhoons and floods. In September 2013, more than three million people were affected by Typhoon Usagi.
Storms, floods and, above all, earthquakes are the main natural disasters that can affect this area of Japan. Precisely in 1995, a terrible earthquake killed more than six thousand people.
Also, the high winds and typhoons that hit this part of the country can produce giant waves. The metropolitan area is built on a coastal plain, which only increases the risks.
40% of the city of Jakarta is located below sea level, so flooding is a clear risk for the area. The fact that it is also close to a fault and in a flat basin of soft earth makes it prone to earthquakes.
In 2004, an earthquake and tsunami in nearby Aceh caused more than 170,000 injuries in the Indonesian capital. Experts have already predicted that Jakarta will suffer a strong earthquake in the future.
This Japanese city is located in the main area of risk of tsunamis in the Pacific. It affects two and a half million people and both storms and heavy rains are not lacking every year.
In 2000, more than 45,000 people had to be evacuated when Nagoya suffered one of the worst floods in decades. In addition, as in almost all of Japan, the risk of earthquakes is very high.
In this Chinese city the main risks have to do with flooding (as in other parts of the country). Shanghai is a city located at a very low altitude. More than eleven million of their homes would be affected if the Yangtze River were to overflow its banks.
But it is also vulnerable to tropical cyclones that come from the East China Sea and cause massive storms. With such a large population, the economic consequences of a natural disaster here would be devastating.
This is the only city in the United States that is on this list. Located on the San Andreas fault, it is highly exposed, especially to earthquakes.
Precisely it has already suffered several of them, especially one of magnitude 6.7 on the Richter scale that took place in 1994 and caused the death of 60 people. In recent years it has also had to withstand a good number of floods.
The Iranian capital has always been exposed to the will of nature, especially earthquakes, since it is located on the North Anatolian Fault. It is estimated that more than a million people could perish if an earthquake of great intensity affects this city.
The last major earthquake to hit here was in 1830, but since then its building laws haven’t completely tackled the problem.
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