MNN Galleries

8 beautiful places prone to natural disasters

boat in Chile after an earthquake and tsunami

Photo: samuel bravo silva/flickr

8 of 10

Chile

Chile is very active seismically and volcanically. However, it is more sparsely populated than many other places along the fault lines of the Pacific, so disasters do not leave as much carnage. A violent 2010 quake, however, showed that Chile is definitely a hotspot. One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, it was felt all over this long, thin South American country. The offshore epicenter spawned a tsunami that swept away several coastal towns. The initial shaking was so strong that aftershocks were felt for more than a year after the initial quake.

Volcanic eruptions also occur in Chile, with the 2011 eruption of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano complex causing widespread evacuations and creating an ash cloud that swept across the southern part of the continent to Argentina and Uruguay. When it comes to tourism, Chile is a very popular adventure destination. It is a land of stark natural beauty, with a long wildlife-rich coastline, virtually untouched valleys and mountains and glaciers that few people have ever set foot on.