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Unformatted text preview: THE WORLD IN NUMBERS Nature's Wrath Afieldguide T hf tsunami that struck Southeast Asia tfiL- day after Christmas last year was set off by an earthquake with a magnitude of at least 9.0—one of the largest ever recorded. The catastrophe, which left 200,000 to 300,000 people dead and may plunge two million into poverty, has lent new urgency to disas- ter research. "The tsunami metaphorically hit the alarm, and nobody's hit the snooze button yet," says Arthur Lerner-Lam, the director of the Columbia University Center for Hazards and Risk Research and one of the authors of a new study— ajoint project of Columbia and the World Bank—that attempts to provide a framework for thinking about (and preparing for) future catastrophes. The research team gathered data showing which parts of the world have been most ravaged by nature—floods, droughts, earthquakes, cyclones, volcanoes, and landslides—over roughly the past twenty-five years. Using this information, the team assessed future risks worldwide, which are shown on the two maps to the right....
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- Fall '08
- high risk, Columbia University Center for Hazards and Risk Research, Low risk ^p