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Natural Disasters

Let’s face it, natural disasters make good copy—and good photography and good television. Terrible, majestic, opulent in their destructiveness, they dare you to turn away, as a stroll through any video store will attest. (On the National Geographic shelf alone, you might find Asteroids, Avalanche, Cyclone!, Nature’s Fury!, Thunder on the Mountain, and Volcano.)

Yet turn away we do, after the ashes flutter to earth and the casualty numbers have been recited on the evening news. “But what about the people who lost family or friends...?” asks Mount St. Helens chronicler Rowe Findley in his essay. “Wounds to the mind vary in impact and longevity and are often invisible to others.”

Has a natural disaster affected you personally? Share your experience in our forum, and read those of others.

You can also read excerpts from Findley’s article “Mount St. Helens: Nature on Fast Forward,” from the May 2000 issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.

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