In large parts of the subcontinent where floods or droughts are annual or recurring events, people in rural areas have evolved location-specific strategies to deal with the disasters and unusual weather.
Malaysia’s Penang Island has undergone massive development since the 1960s, a process that continues today with plans for transit and land-reclamation megaprojects. The island is increasingly facing floods and landslides, problems environmentalists link to paving land and building on steep slopes.
A 12-year “hurricane drought” during which no major hurricanes formed in the Atlantic ended dramatically in 2017. The devastating impacts of Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria across the United States and the Caribbean provide tragic reminders of the catastrophic risks we face on our coasts.