Natural disasters

man and woman side by side

Residents of informal settlements among the most at risk from climate change 

In Karachi, Pakistan, a tragedy this past summer highlighted those risks. 

Residents of informal settlements among the most at risk from climate change 
The view of where Abdul Ghazi’s house used to be, as seen from the roof of the school where he and his family fled to escape the flooding that struck Pakistan.

A Pakistani family sees firsthand the effects of climate change, as negotiators at COP27 battle over how to pay for them

A Pakistani family sees firsthand the effects of climate change, as negotiators at COP27 battle over how to pay for them
Children play in a flooded area of Leticia, Colombia, Feb. 14, 2017, located by the Amazon River, on the border with Brazil and Peru.

Brazil’s neighbors wary of environmental impact of a Bolsonaro victory

Brazil’s neighbors wary of environmental impact of a Bolsonaro victory
Old growth Douglas fir trees stand along the Salmon river Trail on the Mt. Hood National Forest

1 in 6 trees in the US threatened with extinction

1 in 6 trees in the US threatened with extinction
Displaced women collect water in yellow plastic cans in Baidoa, Somalia.

'No more food in my village': Aid needed to avert a famine in Somalia

'No more food in my village': Aid needed to avert a famine in Somalia
Women carry belongings salvaged from their flooded home after monsoon rains, in the Qambar Shahdadkot district of Sindh Province, of Pakistan, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. 

'Doomsday' flooding in Pakistan linked to glacial melt, expert says

Himalayan glaciers are melting at a much faster pace than anyone had really appreciated to date, according to Huma Yusuf, host of "Climate Mahaul," a podcast focused on climate change. Yusuf joined The World's host Carol Hills to discuss Pakistan's catastrophic flooding.

'Doomsday' flooding in Pakistan linked to glacial melt, expert says
Three men huddle around their outrigger while waiting for passengers as flood waters continue to rise due to rain and high tide Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in Navotas City, north of Manila, Philippines. 

Rebel alliance: Part I

Critical State, a weekly foreign policy newsletter from Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into how rebel groups survive when natural disasters strike.

Rebel alliance: Part I
boy near dry land where water used to be

Drought is killing the economy in the French Alps 

​​​​​​​The French Alps region is getting hit hard by drought, most likely exacerbated by climate change. And that's putting the entire economy there in serious jeopardy, because where there's no water, there are no tourists.

Drought is killing the economy in the French Alps 
A team of naturalists trekked to Haiti’s longest mountain range, the Massif du Nord, to try to find the elusive flower.

Naturalists in Haiti rediscover the elusive magnolia flower

Sightings of the native magnolia flower had not been recorded since 1925. Expedition leader Eladio Fernandez said the search was like "an act of faith." 

Naturalists in Haiti rediscover the elusive magnolia flower
a forest destroyed by fire

Wildfires continue to surge across Spain amid 100-degree temps, drought

Evacuees in the Spanish village of Sant Fruitós de Bages, about an hour outside of Barcelona, have testified to the destruction. "In 15 or 20 minutes, the fire consumed everything," a resident said.

Wildfires continue to surge across Spain amid 100-degree temps, drought
Farmers in northeast Spain say the rabbits are wreaking havoc on crops like peaches, pistachios, olives and grapes.  

‘Either they die, or we do’: A rabbit plague threatens farmers’ livelihoods in northeast Spain

A plague of rabbits is rampaging through one of Europe’s most bountiful farming regions. Farmers in northeast Spain say that, without help, they’ll lose most of this year’s harvests.  

‘Either they die, or we do’: A rabbit plague threatens farmers’ livelihoods in northeast Spain
Omar Vazquez Sanchez stands in the doorway of a home built from blocks made of seaweed.

In Cancun, this man is turning seaweed trash into natural-building treasures

A brown seaweed called sargassum is washing up on Cancun beaches, threatening the region’s efforts to recover its tourism. Local resident Omar Vazquez Sanchez got the idea to transform the seaweed into “sargablocks,” what he calls a small solution to a big problem. 

In Cancun, this man is turning seaweed trash into natural-building treasures
A building is inundated with water on the far side of the Windsor Bridge at Windsor on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia

Sydney floods burden 50,000 around Australia's largest city

Emergency response teams made around a hundred rescues overnight as Sydney, Australia’s largest city, faces a flood emergency. It has inundated hundreds of homes and affected around 50,000 people.

Sydney floods burden 50,000 around Australia's largest city
Residents of the Accra suburb of Alajo patch up a road after severe flooding destroyed it.

'Everything is destroyed': Extreme flooding in Ghana tests climate resilience

Accra has been hit with heavy rain and flash flooding in May and June, leaving many experts worried about the city’s capacity for climate resilience if trends continue. 

'Everything is destroyed': Extreme flooding in Ghana tests climate resilience
Forest firefighters work on a wildfire near the town of Jubrique, in Malaga province, Spain, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. 

'Fire flocks’ of sheep and goats get deployed to help battle forest fires in Spain

Shepherds in Spain are now training to start “fire flocks" that graze at the edge of forests to prevent wildfires from spreading to populated areas.

'Fire flocks’ of sheep and goats get deployed to help battle forest fires in Spain