The World’s Worst Disasters

DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL – Thursday 11 March, 9.30pm

11/03/10: EXTREME WEATHER: There is nothing anyone can do to control the weather. Over time we have learned to live with wild storms, searing heatwaves, merciless droughts, and prolonged periods of bitter cold. Great winds can destroy buildings and strip the landscape bare in just a few hours; heatwaves can result in terrible droughts, causing widespread famine and disease; and blizzards can bring great towns and cities shuddering to a halt. As this compelling documentary explains, through a mixture of on-the-spot news reports and fascinating background information, they are all examples of extreme or unusual weather – nature at its deadliest and most destructive. And it can strike anywhere in the world… at any time. In March 1993, the US Eastern Seaboard was hit with a snow storm which was so massive that it became known as the Storm Of The Century. During three days of the worse weather the USA had ever experienced, 26 States were affected and the lives of 100 million people completely disrupted. Two years later – at the other end of the scale – the great city of Chicago was caught up in a five-day nightmare of heat and humidity. But this is nothing when compared with what happens in countries like Ethiopia or the Sudan, when months of unrelenting hot dry weather can result in devastating droughts and thousands of deaths. Extreme weather can take many forms, but however it manifests itself, each type has one thing in common: the power to wreak havoc on a huge scale.