Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes… Earthquakes and other catastrophic events can strike suddenly on a massive scale over a wide area with a death toll in the tens of thousands. While the tsunami threat after an earthquake (Indonesia 2018 Japan 2011, Southeast Asia 2004) does allow a brief time to post a warning, often it is too little to save lives. In the case of earthquakes and volcanoes, the series of aftershocks or continued volcanic activity poses an ongoing threat in the midst of the chaos after the initial event. And in countries like Haiti which has endured the devastation and death associated with major earthquakes in 2010 and again in 2021, the recovery process take years and exposes communities to the effects of other disasters. In 2020, while Puerto Rico was still recovering from Hurricane Maria, a major earthquake struck. Learn more about our earthquake response in Puerto Rico. Although we can identify earthquake/volcano risk regions, such as the “Ring of Fire” in the South Pacific or the San Andreas fault in Southern California, we have little warning when a sudden event strikes a country or entire region – as evidenced by the latest earthquakes in Indonesia and in California. The deadly earthquake in Afghanistan struck suddenly in a vulnerable region of a country struggling with many challenges and especially vulnerable to such disasters. We are currently at work in Türkiye and Syria after the catastrophic earthquake on Feb. 6, 2023 that left entire communities in ruins and killed thousands See the latest earthquake activity via the USGS map. Sometimes the event starts a cascade of catastrophe as in the Japan Earthquake of 2011 that added a monstrous tsunami and then a nuclear disaster with reactor damage and radioactive contamination of air, soil and water. Volcanic eruptions can bury entire communities or inundate whole areas with lava flows and fill the air with deadly toxic gases or ash. The readiness challenges for effective disaster response and recovery after a catastrophic event are formidable. In 2020 we responded to the eruption of the Taal Volcano as well as a 7.1 earthquake that occurred on July 26, 2022 in the Philippines. The Nevado del Ruiz volcano, located on the border of the Colombia departments Tolima and Caldas, remains under an orange alert due to its possible risk of eruption. Our Colombia team is ready to respond should an eruption occur.