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8 beautiful places prone to natural disasters

By: Josh Lew on Dec. 30, 2013, 8:05 a.m.
Sakurajima volcano at sunset

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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In a recent survey by insurance firm Swiss Re, metro Tokyo was named as the urban area that is most prone to natural disasters. Japan, as a whole, has been hit hard in the past century by powerful earthquakes and, of course, the recent tremor-triggered tsunami that brought extreme damage and loss of life to country's eastern coastline.

In total, three areas in Japan made the top 10 of the Swiss Re list. The Osaka/Kobe metro and Nagoya, both of which have millions of inhabitants, are also considered among the most disaster prone cities in the world. The good news: many of the structures in Japan are built to withstand strong tremors, and because quakes are so common, virtually everyone knows exactly what to do to maximize their chances of survival. In fact, experts think that Japan's earthquake preparedness saved tens of thousands of lives during the 2011 disaster. So if you are worried about earthquakes, this land of deep history and unique and exotic culture is arguably one of your safest options.