Every year several catastrophic natural hazards strike somewhere on Earth. These may cause thousands of lives, cause damages of billions of dollars, destroy natural landmarks, cause tsunamis, floods, or landslides. Most of these events are caused by nature but their potential catastrophic consequences are tied to overcrowding and the emergence of megacities; the proliferation of nuclear power plants and nuclear waste storage facilities; and the existence of high dams, and other facilities whose destruction pose an unacceptable risk of global reach.

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