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Natural disasters

Large areas of forest and bushland in central and northern Portugal have been affected by wildfires in recent years, with high summer temperatures and strong winds fuelling the flames. © Shutterstock/devy
Large areas of forest and bushland in central and northern Portugal have been affected by wildfires in recent years, with high summer temperatures and strong winds fuelling the flames.© Shutterstock/devy

From floods to earthquakes and erupting volcanoes, during March, Horizon focuses on the science helping prepare for natural disasters.

We speak to scientists that have mapped data from over 35 000 earthquakes to identify the regions most at risk from seismic activity. We also hear from the researchers who are developing ways to test power grids, transport networks and dams for vulnerability to natural events.

In the wake of intense flooding in parts of Europe, we find out about projects that are figuring out how to improve Europe’s resilience to flooding, and we talk to the coordinator of a project that is monitoring some of Europe’s largest volcanoes to better plan for future eruptions.

On 27 March, the EU called for research proposals to improve Europe’s disaster resilience, including ways to detect chemical and biological toxins, and methods of preparing for a pandemic outbreak.