Tuesday, July 12 is the publication day for How the World Breaks, a book by Stan Cox and Paul Cox that tells the stories of people and communities around the world who have had to confront (un)natural disasters. I travelled to a few of these places with them, and pen & inked these maps tracking the stories. The maps appear in the book. For more on the book see the How the World Breaks blog.
A world in violent reconfiguration doesn’t fit on any one map. How the World Breaks charts the fault lines and storm fronts of our turbulent present through ten remarkable stories spanning five continents.
Fire Regimes: Australia and Siberia
In October 2013, the Blue Mountains burned. . . .
Leave It Up to Batman: The Philippines
Two months after the strongest storm landfall ever recorded, Judith Buhay stood on a balcony at the point of impact, overlooking her community. . . .
Neighbors to the Sky: New York City
Disaster survivors can try to restore their world as it was on the day before, or they can hit fast-forward, attempting to speed over the rough patch to a better tomorrow. . . .
Grey Goo: East Java, Indonesia
At 5:00 a.m. on May 29, 2006, an eruption of water, steam, and thick grey mud emerged from a rice paddy in Porong subdistrict. Nine years later, the eruption had slowed but the mud showed no sign of stopping. . . .
Foreshock, Shock, Aftershock: L’Aquila, Italy
Nothing complicates disaster quite like blame. . . .
Atlantis of the Americas: Miami, Florida
“When I started this job, people kept asking me, ‘Why do we have so much flooding now?’ and I said, ‘Well, there’s just one problem: the whole city’s four feet too low—that’s all!’” . . .
The Absorbers: Mumbai, India and Kampala, Uganda
In booming cities like Mumbai and Kampala, the roots of vulnerability run fiendishly deep through the landscape. . . .
Keeping the Lights On: Montserrat, West Indies
The big trucks covered in grey dust rumble through a grey landscape, over the top of a lost city, to a grey pier. . .
“We Do Things Big Here”: Greensburg, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri
It’s obvious as soon as you reach the only traffic light in Kiowa County, Kansas, and take a turn south off U.S. Highway 54: there is something different about Greensburg. . .
When Mountains Fall: Uttarakhand State, India
The Ganges River begins as four chief tributaries, and the four chief tributaries spring from four glaciers atop the Himalaya. . . .