Natural Disasters

Natural Disasters : Opinion Brief
The ancient Italian town of L'Aquila was devastated after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake killed 309 people in April 2009, and now, scientists are on trial for failing to warn the public in advance.

Should scientists be held responsible for earthquake deaths?

In Italy, six scientists are being tried for manslaughter after failing to predict a 2009 earthquake that killed 309 people

Natural Disasters : The List
Rep. Michele Bachmann came under fire this week for suggesting that Hurricane Irene was God's wake-up call to Congress, but she's not the only one to face criticism for a storm-related miscue.

6 controversial reactions to Hurricane Irene

Outrage abounds after Michele Bachmann calls the storm a message from God and Rush Limbaugh claims President Obama was hoping for carnage

Natural Disasters : Best Column
Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel gives a live broadcast during a hurricane last year: Watching reporters brave the storm for hours is all part of TWC's addictive appeal, says Linda Holmes at NPR.

Why the Weather Channel is so addictive

After a weekend of hurricane hysteria, NPR's Linda Holmes explains why she couldn't pry her eyes away from the incessant storm coverage

Natural Disasters : The Bullpen
Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey: Better safe than sorry

Political leaders and news organizations have been unfairly pilloried for hyping the dangers of Irene. Really now — should they have ignored the threat instead?

Natural Disasters : Slideshow
Tropical Storm Irene in pictures

Hurricane Irene in pictures 

A look back at how the storm affected residents from North Carolina to New England

Natural Disasters : By the numbers
Residents view the remains of a Nags Head, N.C., cottage destroyed by Hurricane Irene on Saturday: The storm's total damage, including lost economic activity, is estimated to be $40 billion.

Hurricane Irene: By the numbers

Irene didn't destroy Manhattan, but it did its share of serious damage. Here, a numerical snapshot of the first big hurricane of 2011

Natural Disasters : Opinion Brief
A Weather Channel meteorologist reports on Tropical Storm Irene from New York City: Some critics say the media exaggerated the severity of the storm.

Hurricane hype: Was Irene 'overblown'?

The media spooked Americans with dire predictions of historic destruction that the storm didn't quite deliver. Public service or unnecessary fearmongering?

Natural Disasters : Forecast
As Hurricane Irene barrels toward the East Coast residents should expect 105 mph winds and flooding.

Hurricane Irene: How bad will it be?

The East Coast is bracing for the most powerful storm to hit its shores in decades. Here's what you need to know

Natural Disasters : Opinion Brief
Eric Cantor is leading GOP opposition to a bipartisan bill that would extend tax cuts for 99 percent of Americans

Eric Cantor's 'callous' disaster-aid refusal

The House majority leader says any relief money should be offset by spending cuts. Is he right — or is it cruel to talk accounting as a storm crashes in?

Natural Disasters : Twitter Take
Twitter image

The latest tweets on Tropical Storm Irene

Unfiltered, real-time commentary from the world at large

Natural Disasters : The List
Though Tuesday's 5.8-magnitude earthquake did little damage across the East Coast, officials did find small cracks in the top of the Washington Monument, which has since been temporarily closed.

The East Coast's 'historic' earthquake: 6 interesting facts

The rare temblor that rattled Virginia on Tuesday had geologists dusting off their history books — while Californians snickered

Natural Disasters : By the numbers
Survivors of the deadly tornado in Joplin, Mo., hug in front of the wreckage: The severe storms that ripped through the U.S. in April and May inflicted an estimated $14.5 billion in damage.

The costliest year of natural disasters ever: By the numbers

In the first six months of 2011, the damage caused by natural catastrophes is a whopping $265 billion — surpassing the previous yearly record

Natural Disasters : Instant Guide
The sun sets Wednesday as smoke from the Las Conchas wildfire envelopes the hills near the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Could New Mexico's wildfire cause a nuclear catastrophe?

Fire crews are fighting off approaching flames in an effort to protect one of the nation's preeminent nuclear labs

Natural Disasters : Flashback
An officer walks through a field as smoke billows over Arizona's White Mountains: An eastern Arizona wildfire has been raging out of control for nearly two weeks.

Arizona's 'monster' wildfire: How long will it burn?

The second largest wildfire in Arizona's history is raging through the state, and crews only have 5 percent of it contained

Natural Disasters : In-depth briefing
A neighborhood dog swims through the flooded waters of the Mississippi river May 21, 2011: Despite record-breaking water levels, the death toll has been lower than in previous floods.

Taming the Mississippi

The Army Corps of Engineers reduced the impact of recent floods. But there's a cost to controlling such a mighty river

Natural Disasters : Slideshow
Before and after, Jopin, Mo.

The Joplin tornado, and 9 other deadly U.S. storms: A visual history

The residents of Joplin, Mo. endured a devastating tornado this week, and, as these pictures show, they're not the only survivors of Mother Nature's wrath

Subscribe to the Week