April 22 is the International Mother Earth Day, the annual event meant to raise awareness about Mother Nature’s health and the efforts being made to protect it. Environmental groups in countries all over the world are gearing up to take their message of good stewardship to millions of people. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 on college campuses across the U.S.
Mother Earth is home to 7 billion people. Sometimes, though, the mother-planet can be a scary and dangerous place… The incidence of natural disasters worldwide has steadily increased, especially since the 1970’s, according to a report from the New England Journal of Medicine.
Image below courtesy of EM-DAT International Disaster Database, Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters, University of Louvain.
Since 1990, natural disasters have affected about 217 million people every year.
Geophysical disasters include earthquakes, volcanoes, dry rockfalls, landslides and avalanches.
Climate-related disasters include hydrological events such as floods, storm surge and coastal flooding, while meteorological events include storms, tropical cyclones, local storms, heat/cold waves, drought and wildfires.
The number of geophysical disasters has remained fairly stable since the 1970’s, while the number of climate-related (hydro-meteorological) disasters has greatly increased.
The Chaitén volcano, located about 1,287 km south of the Chilean capital Santiago, entered a new eruptive phase for the first time in about 9,500 years on the morning of May 2, 2008. (UPI Photo / Carlos Gutierrez)
Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince after the earthquake of January 13, 2010. The picture was taken from a Red Cross helicopter. (UPI / American Red Cross)
August 24, 1999, in Izmit, Turkey, the tsunami caused by the earthquake, has flooded a coastal city. (jr / Seth Rossman / US Navy / UPI)
A Palestinian checks on dead sheep in the flooded area in central Gaza after heavy rains on January 19, 2010. The rainwater flooded about 40 homes in the Wadi Gaza, a Gazan countryside mostly inhabited by Bedouins. (UPI / Ismael Mohamad)
Mosque was the only structure left standing in the coastal village near Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, on January 4, 2004. US helicopters and sailors from the aircraft carrier “Abraham Lincoln” provided humanitarian aid after the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia. (UPI Photo / Jacob Kirk / Navy)
August 27, 2006.The house stands on top of a car on the Lower 9th Ward street in New Orleans a year after the Hurricane Katrina. (UPI Photo / A.J. Sisco)
The M/V Selendang Ayu, IMO number: 9145528 was a Malaysian-registered Panamaxbulk cargo shipchartered by the IMC Group. It ran aground off Unalaska Island in western Alaska’s Aleutian Islands on 8 December 2004 after its engine failed. Six crew members died when a rescue helicopter was engulfed by a breaking wave; the ship broke in two, resulting in a large oil spill