Sunday, August 2, 2009

Catastrophe Cartography

Tired of the staid monotony that is life in the 21st Century? Feel like there just aren't enough calamities in the day? Crave the delicious sense that Armageddon is threatening at any moment to bust through the seams of our loosely-stitched planet? Then the Hungarian government has just the thing to turn your placidity upside-down. Their Emergency and Disaster Information Service offers a global map of the latest calamities, catastrophies, and cataclysms to wreak havoc on our weary world:

global disaster map

Icons (and an extensive table) indicate recent seismic, volcanic, epidemiological, autocatastrophic, flooding, "technological disaster," heat wave, drought, storm, and other such events. A partial list of the most recent include:
  • Magnitude 3.9 earthquake in the Aleutian islands
  • Unspecified biological hazard in Wallonia
  • Drought in Liaoning affecting 160,000 people
  • Ubinas Volcano erupting in Peru
  • 19 persons infected in an unspecified outbreak in Mogadishu
  • 23 persons evacuated from a storm surge in Maharashtra
  • Forest fire in Fresno
  • Outbreak at a boys' high school in Christchurch
  • Flash flood in Turkey
And so on. Details are provided for each event, including precise location, date, numbers of fatalities, and a damage rating ("moderate" for a forest fire in Sardinia, "heavy" for a biological hazard in Nepal). They also have regional maps, a pandemic monitoring map, and a site that monitors (purportedly) climate change-related events. I'm not sure why the Hungarians adopted the task of compiling all the world's catastrophes in a single site, but the result is an oddly compelling and vaguely horrifying resource.

40 comments:

Matt Osborne said...

Thank you for posting this.

I first saw this on a myspazz site and lost the bookmark. Nifty, nifty little map.

Ronnie said...

Pretty amazing map! Thanks for sharing and finding!

Anonymous said...

Hungary has one the highest suicides rates in Europe, and maybe the world.

I think this is not unrelated.

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