Forecast Disaster: Deadly Earthquakes, Floods, Tornadoes, and Avalanches

In the blink of an eye, waters can sweep away villages, winds can tear through communities, avalanches can bury sleepy mountain towns and the earth can quiver, crippling entire regions.

Earthquake, windstorm, avalanche and flood: four of nature’s most awesome weapons that unleash fury on people and structures are re-created in NGC’s four-part series Forecast: Disaster. Premiering October 4th and 5th at 9 and 10 p.m., host Ben Fogle teams with leading experts and scientists in each episode to test the devastating science behind some of nature’s most catastrophic forces.

Striking entire regions with no warning, earthquakes devastate infrastructures and leave populations crippled. High-speed winds from tornadoes turn everyday debris in to objects of destruction, while storm surges from hurricanes have engulfed entire cities. And avalanches, often man-made, bury cozy mountain villages while ice storms leave millions of people without power and water.

But what is the science behind these acts of God, and can Mother Nature be recreated to find out? 3-Dcameras are fitted to a purpose-built two-story house as weather conditions are reconstructed and tests carried out to demonstrate the catastrophic damage that extreme natural forces can cause in each episode.

“Wow. What really strikes me is how arbitrary the damage can be in one room or even one part of a room and survive, and not in another,” Fogle said. “Everyday items become lethal objects… any more wind or rain and the whole building can come tumbling down.”

The result: breathtaking recreations, true survivor accounts and manmade barometers of Mother Nature’s fury:

  • In Forecast Disaster: Deadly Tornadoes, Ben Fogle enters a climate chamber to test the power of winds. As his body temperature plummets and his body releases hormones to compensate, at what speeds will the winds prove too much to bear?
  • In Forecast Disaster: Deadly Floods, Fogle tests the power of flash floods and storm surges, while a man-made tsunami puts a purpose-built house to the test. Understand the science behind disasters like Hurricane Katrina (and just how long you might be able to withstand a raging river current).
  • In Forecast Disaster: Deadly Avalanches, see how snow and ice can also cripple cities and regions in the blink of an eye. How can simple variations in the structure of ice crystals turn fresh snow fit for a ski run in to deadly ammunition for an avalanche? Take a look into survivor accounts of storms, like the story of Daryl Jane, who never realized getting his SUV stuck in the snow would nearly cost him his life as he endured a blizzard for nearly two weeks with little food and water before rescuers find his vehicle. 
  • In Forecast Disaster: Deadly Quakes, CGI graphics and man-made tests recreate destruction of earthquakes, such as the 2010 Haiti quake that claimed 300,000 lives. But just as poorly built structures stand no chance against Mother Nature; see how skyscrapers in Tokyo are designed to withstand earthquakes with little or no damage incurred.

Tune in to Forecast Disaster: Deadly Floods at 9P followed by Forecast Disaster: Deadly Tornadoes at 10P. Then, on Friday catch Forecast Disaster: Deadly Quakes at 9P followed by Forecast Disaster: Deadly Avalanches at 10P.

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