Greek Island Is New Epicenter of Europe’s Summer of Calamity

Is Your Home at Risk of Experiencing a Natural Disaster?

Reports from the scenes of natural disasters—raging wildfires, unrelenting floods, violent ground shaking, and devastating tornadoes and hurricanes—fill our news feeds every day. These hazards cause deep disruptions to the health of humans and ecosystems and threaten the safety and integrity of buildings and infrastructure.

In the contiguous United States, 57% of structures are at risk of experiencing at least one natural hazard

The severity and frequency of some natural hazards are increasing with climate change. But humans are contributing to the problem in another way: building structures in hazard zones. In a new study that aims to determine the role development plays in the overall risk of natural hazards, Iglesias et al. looked at how development in the contiguous United States has influenced natural hazard risks to structures. They looked at the changes in the number and distribution of buildings between 1945 and 2015 and how development changed people’s exposure to natural hazards…READ ON

Greek Island Is New Epicenter of Europe’s Summer of Calamity

Amid twisted cages and scorched trees, Harilaos Tertipis stepped out of his ruined stables dragging the charred corpses of his sheep — burned, like so much else, in the wildfires that have raged across Greece.

Formerly once-in-a-millennium flooding in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands killed at least 196 people. 

As the survivors of his flock huddled together on a roadside hill below, the bells on their necks clanging and their legs singed, he said that if he had stayed with his animals instead of rushing home to protect his family and house, “I wouldn’t be here now.”

As of Wednesday, the fires around the northern parts of Evia, Greece’s second-largest island, had destroyed more than 120,000 acres of pine forest, razed homes and displaced hundreds of people. They have brought assistance from more than 20 countries and been declared “a natural disaster of unprecedented dimensions” by the Greek prime minister.

The fires, fueled by a record-breaking heat wave that has touched temperatures of up to 46 degrees Celsius, or 115 degrees Fahrenheit, have caused political recriminations, economic disaster and biblical scenes of destruction…READ ON

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