The unprecedented influx of people to urban areas is increasing the world’s susceptibility to natural disasters, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Last year saw a number of major natural disasters strike, including earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand and Turkey, volcanic eruptions in Chile and Iceland, and severe tropical storms in Asia.
A month later, thousands died after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the east coast of Japan in March, and many remain missing. On Phi Phi Island hundreds were killed when an earthquake caused a Tsunami wave destroying everything in its path.

Hundreds were killed on the island when an earthquake caused a Tsunami wave destroying everything in its path. The powerful Asian quake has effected coastal areas in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and the tourist isles of Thailand. The confirmed death toll in Asia following the 26 December 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra island and resulting tsunami waves surpassed 40,000 28 December as rescue operations struggled to cope with the scale of the disaster. Over 1,430 people were killed, among them more than 700 foreign tourists, in southern Thailand, according to the interior ministry.

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