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Places to see before disaster strikes...

More than half the world’s population lives in towns or cities, some of which are at risk from major natural disasters. It’s easy to forget the danger when nothing happens for decades or even centuries, but we mustn’t forget that we have no control over the forces of nature.

According to a recent report from insurance brokers, Swiss Re, there are 616 urban areas that are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. These areas are home to 1.7 billion inhabitants – about a quarter of the world’s population. In some countries, damage to just one city could bring about the collapse of the country’s entire economy. Asia is most under threat: the inhabitants of large agglomerations are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters.

This series presents a sample of several cities that are at risk from the Earth’s mood swings. Each episode looks at a different type of disaster and the threat that it poses to four major cities.