10 Cities That Could Be Wiped Out By 2020

10 Cities That Could Be Wiped Off The Map By Natural Disasters 10 Amlapura Indonesia is by far and away the most vulnerable country in the world when it comes to volcanoes, thanks in large part to the sheer volume of them

There are over 130 active ones in the country right now It’s even home to the worst known volcanic event in history in the form of the 1815 Mount Tambora eruption – which killed 70,000 people and whose ash cloud effectively canceled summer that year in the northern hemisphere In 2017 alone, over 100,000 people on the island of Bali were evacuated over the danger of Mount Agung erupting Many of Indonesia’s cities are at major risk now, including Amlapura, which was devastated when Agung erupted in 1963 As well as the destructive potential of lava flow, side effects like spewing ash into the atmosphere have a chance of temporarily altering climates in the worst case and risking major famines for the country

9 Pearl River Delta At 10% per year on average for 3 decades, China has experienced the greatest sustained economic growth of any nation in history But that kind of growth presents its own set of challenges, and one of the major ones for China is dealing with natural disasters The Pearl River Delta is experiencing that challenge first hand You see, the emerging megacity, which encompasses Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and others, has been urbanizing at a blistering rate and attracted a population of 120 million people

But where the megacity sits on the south coast of China, it’s at major risk of storm surges and flood waters as a result of rising sea levels That’s a serious problem when such rapid development isn’t all that flood resistant It’s estimated that 34 million Pearl River Delta residents could be hit as coastal regions feel the brunt of climate change and its associated disasters 8 Napa You can’t really fault anyone for wanting to move away from the big cities and get back to nature, but when you’re escaping the noise and pollution, it’s easy to forget that nature has its dangers too

According to the Ecological Society of America, nearly 40% of American houses are located in the Wildland-Urban Interface – which refers to the fringe between urbanized areas and nature As a result of cities on that fringe like Napa, San Francisco and Denver expanding, over 45 million homes are at increasing risk of destruction from wildfires – with blazes quadrupling to 8 million acres nationwide over the last 3 decades That puts states like California and Colorado at serious risk Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada experienced that devastation in 2016 with the largest evacuation in Canadian history of over 90,000 people and more than half a million acres burned

As cities expand into the wilderness, events will only get more frequent 7 Seattle Seismologists have long predicted ‘the big one’ – a catastrophic earthquake that will strike somewhere on the San Andreas fault line But recent research suggests that in fact we’ve all been looking a little too far south Instead, we should likely be looking further north to the Cascadia subduction zone, a tectonic plate line which is liable to a full-scale rupture that would probably cause a 9

2 magnitude upheaval It’s likely that if it happened, the Cascadia quake would kill 13,000 people, injure another 27,000 and leave 35 million in need of aid or relocation And if you think that’s a pie-in-the-sky movie situation, think again According to Oregon State University, there’s a one in three chance of just such an event happening in the next 50 years

Given that it’s being caused by ever-mounting pressure in North American tectonic plates, those odds are only going to go up with time 6 Jakarta Not only is Indonesia at major volcano risk, its capital is facing a natural disaster in a completely different sense – Jakarta is literally sinking 40% of the 10 million strong city is already below sea level and that number is growing year on year Some areas, including the sea wall designed to protect Jakarta from flooding is sinking at an estimated 25 cm per year

It’s happening because the area doesn’t pipe in enough drinkable water to meet the needs of its people, so it relies on local wells – and as a result, the land above is collapsing The Indonesian Government has floated a solution in the form of a new sea wall, but experts have dismissed it as a $38 billion band aid The fact of the matter is that if the situation continues, Jakarta will likely be entirely below sea level by 2030 and at constant risk of floods 5 Tehran There’s a lot of talk about unprecedented events when it comes to earthquakes – but for Tehran, it’s less about ‘the big one’ and more about, well, any one of them really

That’s because Iran’s capital is facing threats from both its geology and its infrastructure since it lies on Northern Anatolian fault line, making it particularly prone to seismic activity There have been 20 earthquakes so far this century alone, that’s more than 1 a year And to make things worse, lax building regulations over the years in Iran have meant that most of the city isn’t built to be resistant to tremors It’s estimated that a magnitude 7 earthquake would knock out 90% of hospitals in the city and seriously endanger all 14 million residents We already saw similar effects on the Iraqi border city of Halabja in 2017, when a 7

3 magnitude quake was considered the deadliest of the year with 530 casualties 4 Miami It’s no surprise to anyone in the US that Miami is prone to nasty weather alongside the sunshine In fact, it’s thought to be the most vulnerable city in the country when it comes to violent coastal wind On top of the precarious coastal location, Miami’s urban sprawl over the last few decades has made it particularly weak to floods brought on by hurricanes – since encroaching into the Everglades has left less space for the land to absorb water

And while Miami frequently feels the elements, it has avoided a direct hit since the Great Miami Hurricane in 1926 – which killed more than 500 people If another event like that took place, it’s estimated that the worst-case scenario would cause the most extensive weather damage in US history – requiring $165 billion to repair 3 Manila Thanks to its location on the Pacific ‘ring of fire’, the Philippines is a seismic and meteorological powder keg It’s at a major risk of typhoons, flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes

As a result, its capital Manilla ranks as the second most risk prone city on earth when it comes to Natural Disasters, according to Reinsurance agency Swiss Re We already saw what can happen with Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the most powerful storm to hit land in recorded history which devastated several Philippine islands, destroyed over a million homes and pretty much leveled the city of Tacloban As for the capital, it has been estimated that a magnitude 9 earthquake originating from the Manila ocean trench could trigger a tsunami on the scale of the wave that hit South Asia in 2004 and killed nearly 300,000 people Such an event would likely devastate Manila and push through to the Philippines at large, along with Vietnam, Cambodia and even China 2

Los Angeles LA is arguably home to the entertainment capital of the world, and it’s probably the most famous city in America for earthquakes – so it's pretty fitting that it’s made multiple films about its own seismic destruction But as any Californian knows, the danger goes way beyond the silver screen In fact, the entirety of the state lies on the San Andreas fault line, meaning that California experiences around 10,000 mostly minor quakes per year On rare occasions they have reached the high 6 magnitudes, like the 1990 Northridge Earthquake that killed 57 people But the United States Geological Survey has mapped out a so-called ‘shakeout scenario’, which predicts that a 7

8 magnitude event would devastate the city by knocking out multiple freeways and cutting off 88% of its water supply All in all, it’s thought at 147 million people in LA are at risk in some fashion as a result of its sporadic seismic outbursts 1 Tokyo As one of the most developed cities in the world, you might be surprised to know that Tokyo is also one of the most susceptible to natural disasters

According to the reinsurance agency Swiss Re, the Japanese capital is the riskiest city in the world for business That’s because earthquakes, monsoons, river floods and tsunamis pose a near-ever present threat due to the city’s location In fact, 80% of Tokyo residents are potentially exposed to being affected by a major earthquake at any one time That’s over 29 million people On the plus side, Tokyo is one of the best prepared cities in the world for this kind of disaster thanks to its emphasis on quake-resistant buildings – its government even issued a disaster preparedness manga to encourage readers

But as we saw with the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in 2011 which displaced 150,000 people, it’s possible for effects to cascade and cause damage way, way beyond tremors That was 10 Cities that Could Be Wiped Off the Map by Natural Disasters Which one scares you the most? Let us know in the comments and make sure to like and subscribe While you’re at it, check out this great Alltime10s video on screen now

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