5 Regions at Risk of Major Natural Disaster

Hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes — oh my! The people living in these five regions don't seem to mind living life on the edge — could you? 🌊

The most seismologically active regions in the world

Over 4 million people live in The Naples region, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea in southern Italy. But the city sits at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius — the volcano famous for wiping out the Roman city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. That eruption released 100K times the thermal energy as the Hiroshima Nagasaki bombings according to TIME magazine. Since 79 A.D., Vesuvius has erupted about 3 dozen times — and it’s now overdue for a big one.

Mexico sits on top of three of Earth’s largest tectonic plates, leaving Mexico City in one of the most seismologically active regions in the world. The capital was built on a dried lakebed — the soft soil magnifies the shaking caused by earthquakes as much as 500%, putting the over 21 million people who live there at greater risk based on data from the Department of the Interior. In 2017, 2 large earthquakes struck Mexico City within a week apart — killing 290.

The Philippines lie on the edge of the Pacific Plate: a seismic hot zone. Due to the nature of its soft soil and coastal location in the volcanic Ring of Fire, the capital of Manila is at triple threat from earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes. In 2016, the Philippines had the second highest risk of natural disasters of any country in the world according to the United Nations.

Greater Miami, home to beautiful beaches and over 6 million people, sits right in the middle of Earth’s biggest hurricane basin: the Caribbean. The city has a 16% chance of experiencing the impact of a hurricane in any given year — the highest of any American city according to the NOAA. With the frequency, intensity, and duration of hurricanes substantially growing since the 1980s, Miami visitors and residents may find trouble in paradise based on data from the National Climate Assessment.

Japan sits on or near at least four different tectonic plates -- making it the country with the most recorded earthquakes in the world based on information from the U.S. Geological Survey. In 2011, a 9.1 underwater earthquake northeast of Tokyo caused a massive tsunami which killed over 20,000 people and caused material damage over $300 billion according to National Geographic. It was the largest ever earthquake to hit Japan, and one of the 5 most powerful earthquakes experienced in the world. Japan has a 13% chance of experiencing natural disasters any given year.