FIELD LISTING :: NATURAL HAZARDS
This entry lists potential natural disasters. For countries where volcanic activity is common, a volcanism subfield highlights historically active volcanoes.


Country Comparison to the World

CountryNATURAL HAZARDS
Afghanistan damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
Albania destructive earthquakes; tsunamis occur along southwestern coast; floods; drought
Algeria mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season
American Samoa typhoons common from December to March
volcanism: limited volcanic activity on the Ofu and Olosega Islands; neither has erupted since the 19th century
Andorra avalanches
Angola locally heavy rainfall causes periodic flooding on the plateau
Anguilla frequent hurricanes and other tropical storms (July to October)
Antarctica katabatic (gravity-driven) winds blow coastward from the high interior; frequent blizzards form near the foot of the plateau; cyclonic storms form over the ocean and move clockwise along the coast; volcanism on Deception Island and isolated areas of West Antarctica; other seismic activity rare and weak; large icebergs may calve from ice shelf
Antigua and Barbuda hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October); periodic droughts
Arctic Ocean ice islands occasionally break away from northern Ellesmere Island; icebergs calved from glaciers in western Greenland and extreme northeastern Canada; permafrost in islands; virtually ice locked from October to June; ships subject to superstructure icing from October to May
Argentina San Miguel de Tucuman and Mendoza areas in the Andes subject to earthquakes; pamperos are violent windstorms that can strike the pampas and northeast; heavy flooding in some areas
volcanism: volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains along the Chilean border; Copahue (elev. 2,997 m) last erupted in 2000; other historically active volcanoes include Llullaillaco, Maipo, Planchon-Peteroa, San Jose, Tromen, Tupungatito, and Viedma
Armenia occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts
Aruba hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
Ashmore and Cartier Islands surrounded by shoals and reefs that can pose maritime hazards
Atlantic Ocean icebergs common in Davis Strait, Denmark Strait, and the northwestern Atlantic Ocean from February to August and have been spotted as far south as Bermuda and the Madeira Islands; ships subject to superstructure icing in extreme northern Atlantic from October to May; persistent fog can be a maritime hazard from May to September; hurricanes (May to December)
Australia cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires
volcanism: volcanic activity on Heard and McDonald Islands
Austria landslides; avalanches; earthquakes
Azerbaijan droughts
Bahamas, The hurricanes and other tropical storms cause extensive flood and wind damage
Bahrain periodic droughts; dust storms
Bangladesh droughts; cyclones; much of the country routinely inundated during the summer monsoon season
Barbados infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides
Belarus NA
Belgium flooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes
Belize frequent, devastating hurricanes (June to November) and coastal flooding (especially in south)
Benin hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
Bermuda hurricanes (June to November)
Bhutan violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season
Bolivia flooding in the northeast (March to April)
volcanism: volcanic activity in Andes Mountains on the border with Chile; historically active volcanoes in this region are Irruputuncu (elev. 5,163 m), which last erupted in 1995, and Olca-Paruma
Bosnia and Herzegovina destructive earthquakes
Botswana periodic droughts; seasonal August winds blow from the west, carrying sand and dust across the country, which can obscure visibility
Bouvet Island NA
Brazil recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south
British Indian Ocean Territory NA
British Virgin Islands hurricanes and tropical storms (July to October)
Brunei typhoons, earthquakes, and severe flooding are rare
Bulgaria earthquakes; landslides
Burkina Faso recurring droughts
Burma destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts
Burundi flooding; landslides; drought
Cabo Verde prolonged droughts; seasonal harmattan wind produces obscuring dust; volcanically and seismically active
volcanism: Fogo (elev. 2,829 m), which last erupted in 1995, is Cabo Verde's only active volcano
Cambodia monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts
Cameroon volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
volcanism: Mt. Cameroon (elev. 4,095 m), which last erupted in 2000, is the most frequently active volcano in West Africa; lakes in Oku volcanic field have released fatal levels of gas on occasion, killing some 1,700 people in 1986
Canada continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of the mountains
volcanism: the vast majority of volcanoes in Western Canada's Coast Mountains remain dormant
Cayman Islands hurricanes (July to November)
Central African Republic hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds affect northern areas; floods are common
Chad hot, dry, dusty harmattan winds occur in north; periodic droughts; locust plagues
Chile severe earthquakes; active volcanism; tsunamis
volcanism: significant volcanic activity due to more than three-dozen active volcanoes along the Andes Mountains; Lascar (elev. 5,592 m), which last erupted in 2007, is the most active volcano in the northern Chilean Andes; Llaima (elev. 3,125 m) in central Chile, which last erupted in 2009, is another of the country's most active; Chaiten's 2008 eruption forced major evacuations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Cerro Hudson, Copahue, Guallatiri, Llullaillaco, Nevados de Chillan, Puyehue, San Pedro, and Villarrica
China frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence
volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries
Christmas Island the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Clipperton Island NA
Cocos (Keeling) Islands cyclone season is October to April
Colombia highlands subject to volcanic eruptions; occasional earthquakes; periodic droughts
volcanism: Galeras (elev. 4,276 m) is one of Colombia's most active volcanoes, having erupted in 2009 and 2010 causing major evacuations; it has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Nevado del Ruiz (elev. 5,321 m), 129 km (80 mi) west of Bogota, erupted in 1985 producing lahars (mudflows) that killed 23,000 people; the volcano last erupted in 1991; additionally, after 500 years of dormancy, Nevado del Huila reawakened in 2007 and has experienced frequent eruptions since then; other historically active volcanoes include Cumbal, Dona Juana, Nevado del Tolima, and Purace
Comoros cyclones possible during rainy season (December to April); volcanic activity on Grand Comore
volcanism: Karthala (elev. 2,361 m) on Grand Comore Island last erupted in 2007; a 2005 eruption forced thousands of people to be evacuated and produced a large ash cloud
Congo, Democratic Republic of the periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley
volcanism: Nyiragongo (elev. 3,470 m), which erupted in 2002 and is experiencing ongoing activity, poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people; the volcano produces unusually fast-moving lava, known to travel up to 100 km /hr; Nyiragongo has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; its neighbor, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa's most active volcano; Visoke is the only other historically active volcano
Congo, Republic of the seasonal flooding
Cook Islands typhoons (November to March)
Coral Sea Islands occasional tropical cyclones
Costa Rica occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides; active volcanoes
volcanism: Arenal (elev. 1,670 m), which erupted in 2010, is the most active volcano in Costa Rica; a 1968 eruption destroyed the town of Tabacon; Irazu (elev. 3,432 m), situated just east of San Jose, has the potential to spew ash over the capital city as it did between 1963 and 1965; other historically active volcanoes include Miravalles, Poas, Rincon de la Vieja, and Turrialba
Cote d'Ivoire coast has heavy surf and no natural harbors; during the rainy season torrential flooding is possible
Croatia destructive earthquakes
Cuba the east coast is subject to hurricanes from August to November (in general, the country averages about one hurricane every other year); droughts are common
Curacao Curacao is south of the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
Cyprus moderate earthquake activity; droughts
Czech Republic flooding
Denmark flooding is a threat in some areas of the country (e.g., parts of Jutland, along the southern coast of the island of Lolland) that are protected from the sea by a system of dikes
Djibouti earthquakes; droughts; occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods
volcanism: experiences limited volcanic activity; Ardoukoba (elev. 298 m) last erupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border, is also historically active
Dominica flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months
Dominican Republic lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts
Ecuador frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
volcanism: volcanic activity concentrated along the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 5,230 m), which erupted in 2010, is mainland Ecuador's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes in the Andes include Antisana, Cayambe, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, Sumaco, and Tungurahua; Fernandina (elev. 1,476 m), a shield volcano that last erupted in 2009, is the most active of the many Galapagos volcanoes; other historically active Galapagos volcanoes include Wolf, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Pinta, Marchena, and Santiago
Egypt periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes; flash floods; landslides; hot, driving windstorms called khamsin occur in spring; dust storms; sandstorms
El Salvador known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; San Salvador (elev. 1,893 m), which last erupted in 1917, has the potential to cause major harm to the country's capital, which lies just below the volcano's slopes; San Miguel (elev. 2,130 m), which last erupted in 2002, is one of the most active volcanoes in the country; other historically active volcanoes include Conchaguita, Ilopango, Izalco, and Santa Ana
Equatorial Guinea violent windstorms; flash floods
volcanism: Santa Isabel (elev. 3,007 m), which last erupted in 1923, is the country's only historically active volcano; Santa Isabel, along with two dormant volcanoes, form Bioko Island in the Gulf of Guinea
Eritrea frequent droughts, rare earthquakes and volcanoes; locust swarms
volcanism: Dubbi (elev. 1,625 m), which last erupted in 1861, was the country's only historically active volcano until Nabro (2,218 m) came to life on 12 June 2011
Estonia sometimes flooding occurs in the spring
Ethiopia geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts
volcanism: volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley; Erta Ale (elev. 613 m), which has caused frequent lava flows in recent years, is the country's most active volcano; Dabbahu became active in 2005, forcing evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Alayta, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Hararo, and Manda-Inakir
European Union flooding along coasts; avalanches in mountainous area; earthquakes in the south; volcanic eruptions in Italy; periodic droughts in Spain; ice floes in the Baltic
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) strong winds persist throughout the year
Faroe Islands NA
Fiji cyclonic storms can occur from November to January
Finland NA
France metropolitan France: flooding; avalanches; midwinter windstorms; drought; forest fires in south near the Mediterranean
overseas departments: hurricanes (cyclones); flooding; volcanic activity (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion)
French Polynesia occasional cyclonic storms in January
French Southern and Antarctic Lands Ile Amsterdam and Ile Saint-Paul are inactive volcanoes; Iles Eparses subject to periodic cyclones; Bassas da India is a maritime hazard since it is under water for a period of three hours prior to and following the high tide and surrounded by reefs
volcanism: Reunion Island - Piton de la Fournaise (elev. 2,632 m, ), which has erupted many times in recent years including 2010, is one of the world's most active volcanoes; although rare, eruptions outside the volcano's caldera could threaten nearby cities
Gabon NA
Gambia, The drought (rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years)
Gaza Strip droughts
Georgia earthquakes
Germany flooding
Ghana dry, dusty, northeastern harmattan winds from January to March; droughts
Gibraltar NA
Greece severe earthquakes
volcanism: Santorini (elev. 367 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; although there have been very few eruptions in recent centuries, Methana and Nisyros in the Aegean are classified as historically active
Greenland continuous permafrost over northern two-thirds of the island
Grenada lies on edge of hurricane belt; hurricane season lasts from June to November
Guam frequent squalls during rainy season; relatively rare but potentially destructive typhoons (June to December)
Guatemala numerous volcanoes in mountains, with occasional violent earthquakes; Caribbean coast extremely susceptible to hurricanes and other tropical storms
volcanism: significant volcanic activity in the Sierra Madre range; Santa Maria (elev. 3,772 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pacaya (elev. 2,552 m), which erupted in May 2010 causing an ashfall on Guatemala City and prompting evacuations, is one of the country's most active volcanoes with frequent eruptions since 1965; other historically active volcanoes include Acatenango, Almolonga, Atitlan, Fuego, and Tacana
Guernsey NA
Guinea-Bissau hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
Guinea hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
Guyana flash flood threat during rainy seasons
Haiti lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding and earthquakes; periodic droughts
Heard Island and McDonald Islands Mawson Peak, an active volcano, is on Heard Island
Holy See (Vatican City) NA
Honduras frequent, but generally mild, earthquakes; extremely susceptible to damaging hurricanes and floods along the Caribbean coast
Hong Kong occasional typhoons
Howland Island the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Iceland earthquakes and volcanic activity
volcanism: Iceland, situated on top of a hotspot, experiences severe volcanic activity; Eyjafjallajokull (elev. 1,666 m) erupted in 2010, sending ash high into the atmosphere and seriously disrupting European air traffic; scientists continue to monitor nearby Katla (elev. 1,512 m), which has a high probability of eruption in the very near future, potentially disrupting air traffic; Grimsvoetn and Hekla are Iceland's most active volcanoes; other historically active volcanoes include Askja, Bardarbunga, Brennisteinsfjoll, Esjufjoll, Hengill, Krafla, Krisuvik, Kverkfjoll, Oraefajokull, Reykjanes, Torfajokull, and Vestmannaeyjar
India droughts; flash floods, as well as widespread and destructive flooding from monsoonal rains; severe thunderstorms; earthquakes
volcanism: Barren Island (elev. 354 m) in the Andaman Sea has been active in recent years
Indian Ocean occasional icebergs pose navigational hazard in southern reaches
Indonesia occasional floods; severe droughts; tsunamis; earthquakes; volcanoes; forest fires
volcanism: Indonesia contains the most volcanoes of any country in the world - some 76 are historically active; significant volcanic activity occurs on Java, Sumatra, the Sunda Islands, Halmahera Island, Sulawesi Island, Sangihe Island, and in the Banda Sea; Merapi (elev. 2,968 m), Indonesia's most active volcano and in eruption since 2010, has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Agung, Awu, Karangetang, Krakatau (Krakatoa), Makian, Raung, and Tambora
Iran periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes
Iraq dust storms; sandstorms; floods
Ireland NA
Isle of Man NA
Israel sandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts; periodic earthquakes
Italy regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Etna (elev. 3,330 m), which is in eruption as of 2010, is Europe's most active volcano; flank eruptions pose a threat to nearby Sicilian villages; Etna, along with the famous Vesuvius, which remains a threat to the millions of nearby residents in the Bay of Naples area, have both been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Stromboli, on its namesake island, has also been continuously active with moderate volcanic activity; other historically active volcanoes include Campi Flegrei, Ischia, Larderello, Pantelleria, Vulcano, and Vulsini
Jamaica hurricanes (especially July to November)
Jan Mayen dominated by the volcano Beerenberg
volcanism: Beerenberg (elev. 2,227 m) is Norway's only active volcano; volcanic activity resumed in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985
Japan many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors but occasional severe earthquakes) every year; tsunamis; typhoons
volcanism: both Unzen (elev. 1,500 m) and Sakura-jima (elev. 1,117 m), which lies near the densely populated city of Kagoshima, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Asama, Honshu Island's most active volcano, Aso, Bandai, Fuji, Iwo-Jima, Kikai, Kirishima, Komaga-take, Oshima, Suwanosejima, Tokachi, Yake-dake, and Usu
Jarvis Island the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island poses a maritime hazard
Jersey NA
Johnston Atoll NA
Jordan droughts; periodic earthquakes
Kazakhstan earthquakes in the south; mudslides around Almaty
Kenya recurring drought; flooding during rainy seasons
volcanism: limited volcanic activity; the Barrier (elev. 1,032 m) last erupted in 1921; South Island is the only other historically active volcano
Kingman Reef wet or awash most of the time, maximum elevation of about 1 meter makes Kingman Reef a maritime hazard
Kiribati typhoons can occur any time, but usually November to March; occasional tornadoes; low level of some of the islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level
Korea, North late spring droughts often followed by severe flooding; occasional typhoons during the early fall
volcanism: Changbaishan (elev. 2,744 m) (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu or P'aektu-san), on the Chinese border, is considered historically active
Korea, South occasional typhoons bring high winds and floods; low-level seismic activity common in southwest
volcanism: Halla (elev. 1,950 m) is considered historically active although it has not erupted in many centuries
Kuwait sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April and bring heavy rain, which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year but are most common between March and August
Kyrgyzstan NA
Laos floods, droughts
Latvia NA
Lebanon dust storms, sandstorms
Lesotho periodic droughts
Liberia dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
Libya hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall; dust storms, sandstorms
Liechtenstein NA
Lithuania NA
Luxembourg NA
Macau typhoons
Macedonia high seismic risks
Madagascar periodic cyclones; drought; and locust infestation
volcanism: Madagascar's volcanoes have not erupted in historical times
Malawi NA
Malaysia flooding; landslides; forest fires
Maldives tsunamis; low elevation of islands makes them sensitive to sea level rise
Mali hot, dust-laden harmattan haze common during dry seasons; recurring droughts; occasional Niger River flooding
Malta NA
Marshall Islands infrequent typhoons
Mauritania hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind primarily in March and April; periodic droughts
Mauritius cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards
Mexico tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coasts
volcanism: volcanic activity in the central-southern part of the country; the volcanoes in Baja California are mostly dormant; Colima (elev. 3,850 m), which erupted in 2010, is Mexico's most active volcano and is responsible for causing periodic evacuations of nearby villagers; it has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Popocatepetl (elev. 5,426 m) poses a threat to Mexico City; other historically active volcanoes include Barcena, Ceboruco, El Chichon, Michoacan-Guanajuato, Pico de Orizaba, San Martin, Socorro, and Tacana
Micronesia, Federated States of typhoons (June to December)
Midway Islands NA
Moldova landslides
Monaco NA
Mongolia dust storms; grassland and forest fires; drought; "zud," which is harsh winter conditions
Montenegro destructive earthquakes
Montserrat volcanic eruptions; severe hurricanes (June to November)
volcanism: Soufriere Hills volcano (elev. 915 m), has erupted continuously since 1995; a massive eruption in 1997 destroyed most of the capital, Plymouth, and resulted in approximately half of the island becoming uninhabitable
Morocco northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts
Mozambique severe droughts; devastating cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces
Namibia prolonged periods of drought
Nauru periodic droughts
Navassa Island hurricanes
Nepal severe thunderstorms; flooding; landslides; drought and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons
Netherlands flooding
New Caledonia cyclones, most frequent from November to March
volcanism: Matthew and Hunter Islands are historically active
New Zealand earthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity
volcanism: significant volcanism on North Island; Ruapehu (elev. 2,797 m), which last erupted in 2007, has a history of large eruptions in the past century; Taranaki has the potential to produce dangerous avalanches and lahars; other historically active volcanoes include Okataina, Raoul Island, Tongariro, and White Island
Nicaragua destructive earthquakes; volcanoes; landslides; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Cerro Negro (elev. 728 m), which last erupted in 1999, is one of Nicaragua's most active volcanoes; its lava flows and ash have been known to cause significant damage to farmland and buildings; other historically active volcanoes include Concepcion, Cosiguina, Las Pilas, Masaya, Momotombo, San Cristobal, and Telica
Nigeria periodic droughts; flooding
Niger recurring droughts
Niue typhoons
Norfolk Island typhoons (especially May to July)
Northern Mariana Islands active volcanoes on Pagan and Agrihan; typhoons (especially August to November)
Norway rockslides, avalanches
volcanism: Beerenberg (elev. 2,227 m) on Jan Mayen Island in the Norwegian Sea is the country's only active volcano
Oman summer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts
Pacific Ocean surrounded by a zone of violent volcanic and earthquake activity sometimes referred to as the "Pacific Ring of Fire"; subject to tropical cyclones (typhoons) in southeast and east Asia from May to December (most frequent from July to October); tropical cyclones (hurricanes) may form south of Mexico and strike Central America and Mexico from June to October (most common in August and September); cyclical El Nino/La Nina phenomenon occurs in the equatorial Pacific, influencing weather in the Western Hemisphere and the western Pacific; ships subject to superstructure icing in extreme north from October to May; persistent fog in the northern Pacific can be a maritime hazard from June to December
Pakistan frequent earthquakes, occasionally severe especially in north and west; flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August)
Palau typhoons (June to December)
Palmyra Atoll NA
Panama occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area
Papua New Guinea active volcanism; situated along the Pacific "Ring of Fire"; the country is subject to frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes; mud slides; tsunamis
volcanism: severe volcanic activity; Ulawun (elev. 2,334 m), one of Papua New Guinea's potentially most dangerous volcanoes, has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Rabaul (elev. 688 m) destroyed the city of Rabaul in 1937 and 1994; Lamington erupted in 1951 killing 3,000 people; Manam's 2004 eruption forced the island's abandonment; other historically active volcanoes include Bam, Bagana, Garbuna, Karkar, Langila, Lolobau, Long Island, Pago, St. Andrew Strait, Victory, and Waiowa
Paracel Islands typhoons
Paraguay local flooding in southeast (early September to June); poorly drained plains may become boggy (early October to June)
Peru earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, landslides, mild volcanic activity
volcanism: volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains; Ubinas (elev. 5,672 m), which last erupted in 2009, is the country's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes include El Misti, Huaynaputina, Sabancaya, and Yucamane
Philippines astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms each year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis
volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Taal (elev. 311 m), which has shown recent unrest and may erupt in the near future, has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Mayon (elev. 2,462 m), the country's most active volcano, erupted in 2009 forcing over 33,000 to be evacuated; other historically active volcanoes include Biliran, Babuyan Claro, Bulusan, Camiguin, Camiguin de Babuyanes, Didicas, Iraya, Jolo, Kanlaon, Makaturing, Musuan, Parker, Pinatubo and Ragang
Pitcairn Islands typhoons (especially November to March)
Poland flooding
Portugal Azores subject to severe earthquakes
volcanism: limited volcanic activity in the Azores Islands; Fayal or Faial (elev. 1,043 m) last erupted in 1958; most volcanoes have not erupted in centuries; historically active volcanoes include Agua de Pau, Furnas, Pico, Picos Volcanic System, San Jorge, Sete Cidades, and Terceira
Puerto Rico periodic droughts; hurricanes
Qatar haze, dust storms, sandstorms common
Romania earthquakes, most severe in south and southwest; geologic structure and climate promote landslides
Russia permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia
volcanism: significant volcanic activity on the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands; the peninsula alone is home to some 29 historically active volcanoes, with dozens more in the Kuril Islands; Kliuchevskoi (elev. 4,835 m), which erupted in 2007 and 2010, is Kamchatka's most active volcano; Avachinsky and Koryaksky volcanoes, which pose a threat to the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Bezymianny, Chikurachki, Ebeko, Gorely, Grozny, Karymsky, Ketoi, Kronotsky, Ksudach, Medvezhia, Mutnovsky, Sarychev Peak, Shiveluch, Tiatia, Tolbachik, and Zheltovsky
Rwanda periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga Mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo
volcanism: Visoke (elev. 3,711 m), located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the country's only historically active volcano
Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha active volcanism on Tristan da Cunha
volcanism: the island volcanoes of Tristan da Cunha (elev. 2,060 m) and Nightingale Island (elev. 365 m) experience volcanic activity; Tristan da Cunha erupted in 1962 and Nightingale in 2004
Saint Kitts and Nevis hurricanes (July to October)
Saint Lucia hurricanes; volcanic activity
Saint Martin subject to hurricanes from July to November
Saint Pierre and Miquelon persistent fog throughout the year can be a maritime hazard
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines hurricanes; Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent is a constant threat
Samoa occasional typhoons; active volcanism
volcanism: Savai'I Island (elev. 1,858 m), which last erupted in 1911, is historically active
San Marino NA
Sao Tome and Principe NA
Saudi Arabia frequent sand and dust storms
volcanism: despite many volcanic formations, there has been little activity in the past few centuries; volcanoes include Harrat Rahat, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Lunayyir, and Jabal Yar
Senegal lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts
Serbia destructive earthquakes
Seychelles lies outside the cyclone belt, so severe storms are rare; occasional short droughts
Sierra Leone dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms
Singapore NA
Sint Maarten subject to hurricanes from July to November
Slovakia NA
Slovenia flooding; earthquakes
Solomon Islands typhoons, but rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earthquakes, tremors, and volcanic activity; tsunamis
volcanism: Tinakula (elev. 851 m) has frequent eruption activity, while an eruption of Savo (elev. 485 m) could affect the capital Honiara on nearby Guadalcanal
Somalia recurring droughts; frequent dust storms over eastern plains in summer; floods during rainy season
South Africa prolonged droughts
volcanism: the volcano forming Marion Island in the Prince Edward Islands, which last erupted in 2004, is South Africa's only active volcano
Southern Ocean huge icebergs with drafts up to several hundred meters; smaller bergs and iceberg fragments; sea ice (generally 0.5 to 1 m thick) with sometimes dynamic short-term variations and with large annual and interannual variations; deep continental shelf floored by glacial deposits varying widely over short distances; high winds and large waves much of the year; ship icing, especially May-October; most of region is remote from sources of search and rescue
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands the South Sandwich Islands have prevailing weather conditions that generally make them difficult to approach by ship; they are also subject to active volcanism
Spain periodic droughts, occasional flooding
volcanism: volcanic activity in the Canary Islands, located off Africa's northwest coast; Teide (elev. 3,715 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; La Palma (elev. 2,426 m), which last erupted in 1971, is the most active of the Canary Islands volcanoes; Lanzarote is the only other historically active volcano
Spratly Islands typhoons; numerous reefs and shoals pose a serious maritime hazard
Sri Lanka occasional cyclones and tornadoes
Sudan dust storms and periodic persistent droughts
Suriname NA
Svalbard ice floes often block the entrance to Bellsund (a transit point for coal export) on the west coast and occasionally make parts of the northeastern coast inaccessible to maritime traffic
Swaziland drought
Sweden ice floes in the surrounding waters, especially in the Gulf of Bothnia, can interfere with maritime traffic
Switzerland avalanches, landslides; flash floods
Syria dust storms, sandstorms
volcanism: Syria's two historically active volcanoes, Es Safa and an unnamed volcano near the Turkish border have not erupted in centuries
Taiwan earthquakes; typhoons
volcanism: Kueishantao Island (elev. 401 m), east of Taiwan, is its only historically active volcano, although it has not erupted in centuries
Tajikistan earthquakes; floods
Tanzania flooding on the central plateau during the rainy season; drought
volcanism: limited volcanic activity; Ol Doinyo Lengai (elev. 2,962 m) has emitted lava in recent years; other historically active volcanoes include Kieyo and Meru
Thailand land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts
Timor-Leste floods and landslides are common; earthquakes; tsunamis; tropical cyclones
Togo hot, dry harmattan wind can reduce visibility in north during winter; periodic droughts
Tokelau lies in Pacific typhoon belt
Tonga cyclones (October to April); earthquakes and volcanic activity on Fonuafo'ou
volcanism: moderate volcanic activity; Fonualei (elev. 180 m) has shown frequent activity in recent years, while Niuafo'ou (elev. 260 m), which last erupted in 1985, has forced evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Late and Tofua
Trinidad and Tobago outside usual path of hurricanes and other tropical storms
Tunisia NA
Turkey severe earthquakes, especially in northern Turkey, along an arc extending from the Sea of Marmara to Lake Van
volcanism: limited volcanic activity; its three historically active volcanoes; Ararat, Nemrut Dagi, and Tendurek Dagi have not erupted since the 19th century or earlier
Turkmenistan NA
Turks and Caicos Islands frequent hurricanes
Tuvalu severe tropical storms are usually rare, but in 1997 there were three cyclones; low levels of islands make them sensitive to changes in sea level
Uganda NA
Ukraine NA
United Arab Emirates frequent sand and dust storms
United Kingdom winter windstorms; floods
United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands: the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island poses a maritime hazard
Kingman Reef: wet or awash most of the time, maximum elevation of less than 2 m makes Kingman Reef a maritime hazard
Midway Islands, Johnston, and Palmyra Atolls: NA
United States tsunamis; volcanoes; earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the Midwest and Southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development
volcanism: volcanic activity in the Hawaiian Islands, Western Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and in the Northern Mariana Islands; both Mauna Loa (elev. 4,170 m) in Hawaii and Mount Rainier (elev. 4,392 m) in Washington have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Pavlof (elev. 2,519 m) is the most active volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Arc and poses a significant threat to air travel since the area constitutes a major flight path between North America and East Asia; St. Helens (elev. 2,549 m), famous for the devastating 1980 eruption, remains active today; numerous other historically active volcanoes exist, mostly concentrated in the Aleutian arc and Hawaii; they include: in Alaska: Aniakchak, Augustine, Chiginagak, Fourpeaked, Iliamna, Katmai, Kupreanof, Martin, Novarupta, Redoubt, Spurr, Wrangell; in Hawaii: Trident, Ugashik-Peulik, Ukinrek Maars, Veniaminof; in the Northern Mariana Islands: Anatahan; and in the Pacific Northwest: Mount Baker, Mount Hood
Uruguay seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind that blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts
Uzbekistan NA
Vanuatu tropical cyclones or typhoons (January to April); volcanic eruption on Aoba (Ambae) island began on 27 November 2005, volcanism also causes minor earthquakes; tsunamis
volcanism: significant volcanic activity with multiple eruptions in recent years; Yasur (elev. 361 m), one of the world's most active volcanoes, has experienced continuous activity in recent centuries; other historically active volcanoes include, Aoba, Ambrym, Epi, Gaua, Kuwae, Lopevi, Suretamatai, and Traitor's Head
Venezuela subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
Vietnam occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta
Virgin Islands several hurricanes in recent years; frequent and severe droughts and floods; occasional earthquakes
Wake Island occasional typhoons
Wallis and Futuna NA
West Bank droughts
Western Sahara hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility
World large areas subject to severe weather (tropical cyclones); natural disasters (earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions)
volcanism: volcanism is a fundamental driver and consequence of plate tectonics, the physical process reshaping the Earth's lithosphere; the world is home to more than 1,500 potentially active volcanoes, with over 500 of these having erupted in historical times; an estimated 500 million people live near these volcanoes; associated dangers include lava flows, lahars (mudflows), pyroclastic flows, ash clouds, ash fall, ballistic projectiles, gas emissions, landslides, earthquakes, and tsunamis; in the 1990s, the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, created a list of 16 Decade Volcanoes worthy of special study because of their great potential for destruction: Avachinsky-Koryaksky (Russia), Colima (Mexico), Etna (Italy), Galeras (Colombia), Mauna Loa (United States), Merapi (Indonesia), Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rainier (United States), Sakurajima (Japan), Santa Maria (Guatemala), Santorini (Greece), Taal (Philippines), Teide (Spain), Ulawun (Papua New Guinea), Unzen (Japan), Vesuvius (Italy)
Yemen sandstorms and dust storms in summer
volcanism: limited volcanic activity; Jebel at Tair (Jabal al-Tair, Jebel Teir, Jabal al-Tayr, Jazirat at-Tair) (elev. 244 m), which forms an island in the Red Sea, erupted in 2007 after awakening from dormancy; other historically active volcanoes include Harra of Arhab, Harras of Dhamar, Harra es-Sawad, and Jebel Zubair, although many of these have not erupted in over a century
Zambia periodic drought; tropical storms (November to April)
Zimbabwe recurring droughts; floods and severe storms are rare