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By **William Brewer**

Concerned about possible malaria outbreaks in China and Pakistan, the U.N. is desperately appealing for aid money after flood-induced landslides have ravaged Asia’s southern coast. Studies now show that the searing temperatures in Russia, where the mortality rate has doubled in recent weeks, have contributed to the flooding. In the wake of these immense tragedies, Guernica counts down its Top 5 reports of natural disasters.

5. There is nothing like a deadly catastrophe to make journalists and nations look important. And nothing like the next news cycle to shake all that importance loose again. Cynthia Fuchs reports on the news spectacle created by the Southeast Asian tsunami of 2004, and the inability of the media to properly communicate this devastation in Too Big.

4. What if the September 11th attacks had coincided with the ravage of Hurricane Katrina? In India during November’s monsoon and the Mumbai attacks, Guernica writer Swetha Regunathan weighs the connections between weather and terrorism in Who’ll Stop the Rain.

3. Four years after Hurricane Katrina, writer Pia Ehrhardt, a New Orleanian before and after the storm, has guest edited our September 2009 issue culling art of all genres with the hopes of identifying how New Orleans is healing in her elegant and pointed compilation entitled After the Flood.

2. One year after the earthquake that devastated central China, author Ben Huang contemplates the connections between the quake, Chinese history, and his father’s death. Huang reveals the intimate connection between China and its natural disasters in his essay Chain Reaction.

1. Found amongst Guernica’s blog archive, Adele Barker’s critique of recovery efforts in Haiti highlights the fact that, if the disasters themselves are not preventable, sometimes the way we handle the aftermath is. In Disaster’s Aftermath, she compares the failed relief efforts of the 2004 Asian tsunami with Haiti’s recent upheaval and asserts that, five years down the road, we haven’t learned much of anything.


William Brewer is an editorial intern at Guernica.

To read Guernica’s top five whistleblowers, click HERE.

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