these are few of the many pictures from ecuador tonight. half of these pictures are of places right by where i live. one of the 28 casualties happened in a mall i was in just earlier. you never really understand this type of tragedies until it happens to you. i know it couldve been worse but my country is NOT used to natural disasters at all (this is our first strong earthquake in decades). please send us strength, the country is in chaos right now, there are still reports on the news and we’re all terrified. im still trembling just thinking back to it.

may the victims rest in peace and may we move on from this. fuerza mi ecuador.


The San Francisco Earthquake, April 18, 1906

The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake struck 110 years ago on the morning of April 18, 1906. With an estimated magnitude of 7.9, it was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, with the earthquake and subsequent fires claiming more than 3,000 lives, and leaving half the city’s population homeless.

The National Archives Catalog holds over 150 photos related to the San Francisco Earthquake from multiple federal agencies, departments and congressional committees, including:

A view of busy Market Street looking southward. This shot may be taken just before the earthquake hit. There is no date on the photo.  National Archives Identifier: 6598315

More on the San Francisco Earthquake from the National Archives:


Remembering Hurricane Katrina

Many Americans living along the Gulf Coast do not need an anniversary to reflect upon Hurricane Katrina.  The natural disaster caused overwhelming hardship for thousands, irreparably damaging houses, businesses and entire cities.  Katrina left a legacy that they will never forget.

Yet for some, the ten years since the hurricane has blunted Katrina’s gravity.  While we may know that the hurricane was one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, it is hard to put that into perspective.  Memories of the event are largely a blurred hodgepodge of political criticism, stories of survival, and the ever-ongoing recovery effort.

The images of Katrina reflect the power of photography.  A camera, whether manned by a government photographer or casual bystander, captures a moment in time.  At the National Archives, our goal is to preserve these moments.  We preserve photos so generations to come will be able to look back on events like Hurricane Katrina and understand its impact on American lives.

Ten years removed, the photos remind us of two things. First, is the unprecedented impact of the hurricane.  Images of overturned boats, demolished houses, and shattered windows remind us (for those that need reminding) of the magnitude of the storm.  Yet also, and perhaps more importantly, we are reminded of the way our nation came together in the aftermath of Katrina.  In these photos, the bravery of rescue workers, volunteers, fire fighters, and ordinary people shines through.  Faced with crisis, Americans united to help one another.

The photos above come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  In the weeks following the hurricane, FEMA photographers documented the physical and social impact of the storm.  These photos, and others related to Hurricane Katrina, can be found in the National Archives Catalog.

For more historical background on the levee system and flood control along the Gulf of Mexico check out the recent blog post, Taming the Mississippi.

via Remembering Hurricane Katrina (Photos) | The Unwritten Record

With its swirling column of wind, a tornado is one of nature’s most destructive storms. The most powerful tornadoes can rip houses from the ground, throw cars in the air, flip trains, and topple trees.

All tornadoes start from thunderstorms. But not all thunderstorms produce tornadoes. It takes just the right conditions for a tornado to form. 

More than 75% of all tornadoes in the world take place in “Tornado Alley,” an area that spans eight states in the Central U.S. This region has just the right conditions for thunderstorms to form: cool, dry air from the Arctic mixing with warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico, combined with warm, dry air from the southwest.

Learn much more about tornados on the Museum’s website.

Hurricane Katrina - August 29, 2005

[Hurricane Katrina] New Orleans, LA, August 29, 2005 – The breach in the 17th Street canal levee causing flooding in the city following Hurricane Katrina. Photographed at 6:43 PM. Marty Bahamonde/FEMA, 8/29/2005

Series: Photographs Relating to Disasters and Emergency Management Programs, Activities, and Officials, 1998 - 9/28/2012
Record Group 311: Records of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 1956 - 2008 

Hurricane Katrina made its second landfall in the United States on August 29, 2005, striking Louisiana and neighboring states as a Category 3 hurricane.  It devastated the city of New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast region, causing over $100 billion dollars in damages and was responsible for an estimated 1,800 deaths.  It ranks as the costliest natural disaster, and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.

More at Remembering Katrina and browse the over 3,400 photos taken by FEMA in the aftermath in Hurricane Katrina in the National Archives Catalog.


Ecuador is doing MUCH worse than you guys think. The news and the government aren’t covering the amount of injured and dead there actually are. There are too many little towns. People from town to town say that within one province it’s said there’s around 3,000 DEAD. It’s so bad and in the heat they have they say all it smells of is dead bodies that it’s overwhelming. There’s no water, no food, they don’t even have enough IVs. Time is running out and they don’t even have what they need to decompose the bodies trapped under fallen buildings which could spread so much disease. So many little towns haven’t even gotten help yet from the Red Cross and they have dead bodies lying around in the STREETS because they have nowhere to put them. Volunteers in Ecuador are trying their best and they say the amount of dead there are from this disaster is beyond traumatizing. I ask that you guys PLEASE donate whatever you can to the Red Cross.

Water is discharged over the traditional farm houses at Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on November 9, 2014 in Shirakawa, Japan. This annual drill is held to prevent fires. (Kaz Photography/Getty Images) Via

The village was built in the 11th century. Over the years, it’s been a place for Buddhist prayer, silk worm cultivation, and even gun powder manufacturing. Japan worked with international partners to set up this fire prevention system. They test the system to ensure its function. Very effective way of preserving historic sites from natural hazards.

the signs as natural disasters
  • Aries:Solar Flare
  • Taurus:Earthquake
  • Gemini:Droughts
  • Cancer:Avalanche
  • Leo:Volcanic Eruption
  • Virgo:Tsunami
  • Libra:Blizzard
  • Scorpio:Tornado
  • Sagittarius:Hailstorm
  • Capricorn:Wildfires
  • Aquarius:Hurricane
  • Pisces:Flood