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What Are the Most Dangerous Natural Hazards? You May Be Surprised!

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According to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), flooding kills more than 100 people a year in the U.S.

Most of those deaths are from flash floods, and about half of those occur when people try to cross swollen streams or flooded roads.

Flood hazard. (Image: cjohnson7 on Flickr [1])

“Victims often underestimate the power of water when driving into flooded areas,” a UCAR scientist said, adding that “it takes only 18 inches of water to float a typical vehicle.”

Hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes might seem like the most dangerous natural hazards,

Better forecast warnings for hurricanes, tornadoes and tropical cyclones, have reduced the death tolls in recent decades but floods and droughts are killing more Americans over time.

Hurricane Katrina, 2005. (Image: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC)

The U.S. Congress’s Office of Technology Assessment says that “despite recent efforts, vulnerability to flood damages is likely to continue to grow” because populations in flood-prone regions continue to grow.

From one extreme to another, in recent times the death toll from heat waves has surpassed deaths caused by other phenomena.

Over half of all deaths from natural disasters worldwide are due to drought and famine, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Drought. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Droughts and floods could take a higher toll in the future as global warming increases the prevalence of these events in certain areas, scientists say.

So when you are thinking about crossing a flooded area, do take the time to check first.


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