Mega Disasters

HISTORY CHANNEL – Tuesday 17 April, 10.30pm

At the dawn of the 20th century, San Francisco was the place to be; a hub of trade and travel, business and banking. Located just to the east of the San Andreas Fault, the bay area is interlaced with eight major earthquake-producing faults. We examine the cataclysmic earthquake that struck on April 18, 1906 when the city jolted for 50 seconds, the earth split for 270 miles, and a resulting firestorm raged for three days. Amazing photographs document the city’s destruction and efforts to rebuild.

HISTORY CHANNEL – Thursdays from 5 January, 9.30pm

What if Earth’s climate were to change dramatically in only a few years? Many experts fear that such an abrupt climate change could have devastating effects across the planet. We may have little time to prepare. In fact, it may already be too late to prevent a global disaster. It’s happened before on a smaller scale, but a new sudden alteration of the environment could threaten the very survival of the human species. The “freak” weather of the last few decades, stronger hurricanes, more tornadoes, intense heat waves, to name a few, has signalled to scientists that the climate is changing rapidly and unpredictably. Events such as these were precursors to cataclysmic changes in the past. The great Mayan civilization was knocked out by drought in a few generations. The Little Ice Age battered Europe. Within a decade, freezing temperatures increased and incessant storms brought starvation, disease, and death to millions. Could this happen again?