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Principal Natural Hazards

In our last lesson, we told you about the natural phenomena that created the geology and topography of the United States.

These phenomenon, plus the weather, are responsible for most of the major natural hazards that we live with today.

Those hazards are earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes.

The cost of these disasters is going up. Although better prediction has led to fewer fatalities, it is estimated that disaster-related financial loss in the U.S. has risen to more than one billion dollars a month – that's billion, with a "b."

This increase is mainly due to the growth of the U.S. population and changes in where people are choosing to live.

In spite of the danger, more and more people are moving into disaster-prone areas, often because they are extremely attractive (like mountains and shorelines). Since 1970, the states that show the greatest earthquake damage (California and Washington) and the greatest hurricane damage (Florida, North Carolina and Texas) also show the greatest increase in population.