North America Under Siege: Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Forest Fires

North America’s vulnerability to a variety of natural disasters has dominated media coverage in recent weeks. While Hurricane Harvey continued its path across Texas and Louisiana, Mexico was struck by a mega 8.1 magnitude earthquake, which was then swept out of the headlines as Hurricane Irma barreled through the Caribbean and southeastern United States with the recorded history with maximum sustained winds of 132 mph. Meanwhile, a single region of Canada has faced upwards of 900 wildfires this summer with many still burning and the US Glacier National Park is on fire.

A few quick stats from today’s Viz of the Day:

Hurricanes - United States. Florida has endured more hurricanes than any other US state - 111 since 1851 - and also holds the record for the most hurricanes in a single year, registering five hurricanes in 1992.

Forest fires - Canada. British Columbia is the record-holder for the number of fires - 52,417 fires since 1990 - however it is the Northwest Territories that has lost the most land to fires, with 17.6 million hectares burned.

Earthquakes - Mexico. The most common region of Mexico for earthquakes is the Chiapas region, which has already experienced 52 earthquakes in 2017.

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