A massive earthquake hit Japan earlier today, registering 8.9 on the Richter scale and the largest ever recorded for Japan. The tsunami triggered by the quake brought a 10m high wall of water in northern Japan, and other countries are now waiting for it to hit their shores.

But what causes earthquakes and tsunamis and what can we do to protect ourselves from their destructive power?

Insurance companies offer protection against rare but catastrophic events like hurricanes or earthquakes. But how do they work out the financial risks associated to these disasters? Shane Latchman investigates.

Hardly six months go by without a natural disaster striking some part of the globe. While it's next to impossible to predict these catastrophes, let alone prevent them, mathematical modelling gives a way to prepare for their impact. Shane Latchman explains.
The tsunami of December 26th 2004 has focused the world's attention on this terrifying consequence of an underwater earthquake. Michael McIntyre explores the underlying wave mathematics.
How can lives be saved next time the earth moves?
Can maths help save lives by making more accurate predictions of future volcanic eruptions?
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