Part of the main street in Hilo, Hawaii, was flattened by a tsunami in April 1946. That big wave was triggered by a quake near the Aleutian Islands, where the edges of two tectonic plates continue to collide. Bettmann/Corbis hide caption

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Locals working for a UNDP cash-for-work program clear debris in one of the neighborhoods worst affected by the typhoon that hit Tacloban, Philippines, last November. Tim Walsh runs the program, which he hopes will help keep the local economy going. RV Mitra/UNDP/Flickr hide caption

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Firefighters stand watch near the perimeter of the Elk Complex fire near the small mountain community of Pine, Idaho, on Aug. 12. The lightning-caused fire is one of many burning through states in the Western U.S. AP/U.S. Forest Service hide caption

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Stereo photographs, called Kromograms, show the earthquake-damaged San Francisco of 1906. They are thought to be the first color photographs from one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. Frederick Eugene Ives/Smithsonian's National Museum of American History hide caption

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