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Friday 24 October  
Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Earth Beat - Natural Disasters

On air: 9 March 2012 3:00 (Photo: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom)

More about:

Earth Beat, 9 March 2012. We brave tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, cyclones, floods, fires, blizzards, just to get stories for you. Fire, brimstone, catastrophe! Natural disasters... and us.

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The Svanströms at The Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia
The Svanströms at The Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia
Honeymooning from one natural disaster to another - listen in new player

Stefan and Erika Svanström love travelling. So when the Swedish couple set about planning their honeymoon, they pulled out all the stops. They had four blissful months to explore Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China with their baby daughter Elinor in tow. However, it soon became clear they were on a whistle-stop tour of natural disasters. View photos.

The honeymoon became a crash course with snow storms in Germany, bush fires in Perth, flooding in Brisbane, cyclones in Cairns and the 11 March earthquake in Japan.

Luckily, they survived their calamitous trip and relive the whole experience with host Marnie Chesterton.

Video: Stefan and Erika react as the earthquake shakes Asakusa, Tokyo, 11 March, 2011.


Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - listen in new player

One year ago on March 11, 2011, Japan experienced the worst earthquake and tsunami ever recorded. View photos.

But as the survivors were still reeling from enormity of the disaster, cherry blossoms began to bloom.

Already a strong symbol in Japanese culture, they became even more important as people saw nature recovering after the sea-water invasion.

It became a beacon of hope for those trying to cope after the trauma and is reflected in the documentary The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.

The film's editor Aki Mizutani talks about why the flower has such a positive effect.


Patrick in front of a large ship still stranded by the March 11 2011 tsunami, Ke
Patrick Corcoran, Kesennuma City, Tohoko region, Japan
Preparing for the big one - listen in new player

Patrick Corcoran lives on the Oregon coast in the US. View photos.

His job is to convince people of the potential catastrophic consequences of living in the region.

An earthquake happens there, on average, every 250 years.

Which means one is long overdue, together with an accompanying tsunami.

But do people take him seriously? According to Patrick, it’s a matter of life and death. Visit Oregon Sea Grant's blog - Breaking Waves.


Hermione Gee
Hermione Gee
Cities on the edge - listen in new player

San Francisco and Istanbul are two major cities that scientists believe will soon be hit by devastating earthquakes.

So what’s it like to live somewhere that's under the constant threat of destruction?

Journalist Hermione Gee should know.

She’s lived in both and has speaks about her anxieties, or lack of them.


Why Ugandan landslide survivors went home - listen in new player

Landslide survivor Francis Mulahama shows the spot where the landslide killed hi
Landslide survivor Francis Mulahama shows the spot where the landslide killed his son
In 2010 the village of Nametsi in Eastern Uganda was engulfed by a landslide.

Seven hours of solid rain turned the ground into waves of mud and rocks, which swept down the steep mountainside. View photos.

Two years on, Earth Beat contacted a survivor, Francis Mulahama, to find out how he is rebuilding his life.


Rebuilding Port-au-Prince - listen in new player

The 2010 Haiti earthquake is known to have killed at least 300,000 people.

Architecture for Humanity’s job site: good practices and safe construction
Architecture for Humanity’s job site: good practices and safe construction
Just a few weeks later a tremor struck Chile – that earthquake was bigger, but the death toll was much lower – around 500 people died.

One of the main reasons for the difference in the impact of the two events was the way in which buildings are built. Both countries are in seismically-active areas, but while the Chilean government has always invested heavily in good infrastructure, Haiti’s appalling planning system meant buildings toppled over like dominoes.

Sandeeya Janardan works for an organization called Architects for Humanity which is helping rebuild Haiti and talks to Marnie about the challenges of reconstruction. View photos.


Tim Benton
Tim Benton
How disasters protect our planet - listen in new player

Natural disasters kill people and destroy the very infrastructure we humans have been working hard to develop over the past few thousand years.

But some scientists say they can also have a positive effect on the planet, keeping eco-systems in equilibrium and making way for new species to develop.

Professor Tim Benton is an ecologist at the University of Leeds in the UK and tells Marnie it’s all about winners and losers in the great game of survival.


The Beat of India - click for more information

We're looking for input from listeners for our Beat of India promotion on Facebook. Can you represent India with an audio or video upload? Music, dance, spoken word - whatever you do best, we want to see your originality and talent.

  • Monsoon rain in Bali - view from the Svanströms&#039; bungalow<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Stefan and his daughter Elinor at the evacuation center in Cairns, just hours before Cyclone Yasi hits the coast<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Devastation on the river banks after flooding in Brisbane<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Tokyo traffic as people walk or drive home after the earthquake of 11 March, 2011<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Erika Svanström watches people trying to get home after the earthquake - no trains are running<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • an eerie calm over Tokyo just after the earthquake, as thousands of people walk in silence<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom<br>&copy; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/
  • Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom<br>&copy; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/
  • Lucy Walker, director of The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom<br>&copy; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/
  • Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom<br>&copy; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/
  • Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom<br>&copy; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/
  • Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom<br>&copy; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/
  • Still from The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom<br>&copy; The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - http://www.thetsunamiandthecherryblossom.com/
  • Impromtu memorial Kesennuma City, Tohoko region, Japan<br>&copy; Patrick Corcoran - http://extension.oregonstate.edu/clatsop/coastal-hazards
  • Patrick surveys a pile of debris, Minamsanriku, Tohoko<br>&copy; Patrick Corcoran - http://extension.oregonstate.edu/clatsop/coastal-hazards
  • Impromtu memorial for victims of the March 11 2011 tsunami, Rikuzentakata, Tohoko region, Japan<br>&copy; Patrick Corcoran - http://extension.oregonstate.edu/clatsop/coastal-hazards
  • Memorial stone for the victims of the March 11 2011 tsunami at the motel of Ms. Akiko Iwasaki, Kamaishi, Tohoko region, Japan<br>&copy; Patrick Corcoran - http://extension.oregonstate.edu/clatsop/coastal-hazards
  • Memorial stone for the victims of the March 11 2011 tsunami, Tohoko region, Japan<br>&copy; Patrick Corcoran - http://extension.oregonstate.edu/clatsop/coastal-hazards
  • Landslide survivor who has gone back to resettle in the place where his entire family of seven was burried by the mudslides<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • The landslide scene bustling with life again<br>&copy; RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Design Charette with the community for Villa Rosa reconstruction project<br>&copy; Architecture for Humanity - http://architectureforhumanity.org
  • Job site Training and Construction Outreach Supervisor Program<br>&copy; Architecture for Humanity - http://architectureforhumanity.org
  • Sustainable Solutions: Biodigester system to collect waste from toilets<br>&copy; Architecture for Humanity - http://architectureforhumanity.org

Discussion

Gustavo Jaramillo 19 March 2012 - 7:29pm / Colombia

I don't agree with the definition of DISASTER associated with the word Natural.
I think a Tsunami, an earthquake, the eruption of a volcano, a storm, etc, are just NATURAL PHENOMENON. but we take them as disaster because the affect us badly.
They happened before we humans were here and no one called them disasters, they were just Nature transforming the earth.

wang,yijiang 10 March 2012 - 3:28am / xi'an,china/calgary,canada

it's mainly man-made objects that go along with natural force that killed us,not problem of climate,but human beings.

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