Aftershocks: remodeling the past for a resilient future

The great disasters of the past – like the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD or the hurricane that devastated Santo Domingo in 1930 – can provide valuable lessons to help governments and institutions increase the resilience of communities in the face of modern challenges, such as climate change and rapid urbanization. Released by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), Aftershocks: Remodeling the Past for a Resilient Future looks at various disasters from the distant and recent past and explores the likely impacts similar events would have if they were to occur in today’s more populous and connected world. The eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 – detailed in the report – was the most devastating volcanic event of the last thousand years, killing over 70,000 people in its immediate vicinity. Particles from the eruption blocked sunlight, contributing to a 3o C decline in global temperatures, which caused the global ‘year without a summer’ of 1816. Crops failed in China, Europe, and North America, and famine took hold in some parts of the world.