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8 beautiful places prone to natural disasters

boats on the street in a flooded city in Tibet

Photo: SFTHQ/flickr

9 of 10

China

Some of history's worst natural disasters took place in China. The 1931 flooding of the Yellow River is widely considered the deadliest natural disaster of all time. It is thought to have killed as many as 4 million people (though “official” numbers given by the Chinese government were much lower). Other Yellow River floods during that same era also brought about staggering casualty statistics. Even today, floods are an almost annual occurrence in the central and southern river valleys of the Middle Kingdom. However, death tolls are much lower thanks to better preparedness and infrastructure.

Sichuan Province, a popular destination for tourists because of its wildlife and unique culture, sits along a fault line and was damaged considerably by a 2008 earthquake. Yunnan, another nature-rich province in central China, is also vulnerable to earthquakes.

Because of its diverse landscapes, non-Western culture, deep history and long isolation, China is considered the ultimate travel destination by many people. The virtually limitless list of attractions means that a tourist could spend a lifetime here and not see everything, so despite the long list of recent disasters, travelers still flock here.