Disasters can be man-made or natural, but they all have causes. It can be difficult to understand how or why a disaster occurs, but infographics can be quite useful in visualizing what happens when disaster strikes. Here are 10 infographics that can help you learn more about disasters, and what to expect from them:
1. Death Map USA If you're interested in seeing where deaths due to natural disasters are most likely to occur throughout the United States, Dealth Map USA could help. You can see where hazards such as wildfires, drought, earthquake, hurricane and more are most likely to result in death. An interesting look at where you could be at most risk, especially since it appears that Americans are more likely to die as a result of extreme heat and cold, as opposed to severe weather conditions and dramatic natural disasters.
2. Chernobyl Many people are concerned about the risks associated with nuclear power. One of the reasons is due to the accident at Chernobyl in 1986. This useful infographic presentation takes you through different illustrative slides that describe how Chernobyl happened, and the consequences of the most devastating nuclear accident in history.
3. Columbia Disaster The disaster associated with the space shuttle Columbia left an impression on many. In 2003, when Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, the U.S. space program suffered a public relations disaster not seen since Challenger. But what happened? The Washington Post offers an interactive infographic timeline of the events of the Columbia disaster, and helps you understand what happened on that fateful day.
4. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill Some of the biggest disasters are oil spills. They upset commerce, and cause huge environmental disturbances. There have been a number of expensive oil spills in the past, but BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to be one of the most devastating and expensive oil disasters to date. When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig suffered an explosion, it sent millions of gallons of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, in a stream of pollution that lasted for months. This infographic looks at the impact of the oil spill, its cost, and the efforts being made to contain it.
5. Tsunamis The BBC offers an interactive and animated infographic presentation on tsunamis. This infographic looks at how tsunamis are formed, and their impacts. This is a very interesting infographic in light of the tsunamis that swept the South Pacific and Asia in the relatively recent past, including the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and the American Samoa tsunami of 2009. Hawaii managed to avoid disaster from a tsunami earlier in 2010 through preparedness.
6. Air France 447 One of the most important pieces of equipment on an airplane is the black box. This is a recorder that keeps track of flight information that can help investigators determine the causes of an air disaster. When Air France flight 447 went down over the Atlantic in June of 2009, on its way from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Paris, France, all of its passengers were killed. The search for the black box was desperate, and this infographic is very informative and helpful in describing the search for Air France 447's black box.
7. Natural disasters The entire world is prone to natural disasters, and deaths occur from them every year. A set of two infographics created from information on a United Nations report offers insight into where you are most likely to spot natural disasters. You can see areas at risk for cyclones, earthquakes, floods and landslides. Additionally, you can see where there is a high risk of death, as compared to a low risk. The infographic presents a global perspective on death and disaster.
8. Recovering from the flood Floods are natural disasters that can be quite devastating to homeowners. Damage caused by floods can be quite severe. When it comes time to clean up and recover from a flood, it is important to do it right. This interactive infographic helps you identify areas of your home most likely to be affected by a flood, and what you can do about them.
9. A Tale of two quakes Two recently devastating earthquake disasters occurred in Haiti on January 12, 2010, and in Chile a little more than a month later, on February 27, 2010. The difference in the damage to the infrastructure of the countries was rather surprising. Even though the Chile quake was more severe, the damage was less – due in large part to Chile's robust efforts to prepare against earthquake. This infographic makes it easy to compare the loss of life and other issues associated with the Haiti and Chile earthquakes, and serves to illustrate the importance of infrastructure, and advance efforts to prepare for disaster.
10. Haiti disaster relief Catastrophes can bring out the best in people. Many people are moved by the sight of suffering, and current technology makes it easier for people to see problems – and work to solve them. The Haiti earthquake is one example. This infographic illustrates that heroic efforts by many to help alleviate the suffering in Haiti by breaking down the scope of the disaster, and showing where aid came from. You can see which celebrities donated the most money, as well as where aid to Haitians has gone, and which countries and companies provided help.