Inside Natural Disasters

September 28, 2012 – May 5, 2013

About the exhibition: From earthquakes and volcanoes to hurricanes and tornadoes, nature's forces have shaped our dynamic planet. Get an understanding of how they work and a real sense of their power. Find out how people cope and adapt in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Plan your visit: Hours, directions, parking, what's on, and more.

Note: No photography in this exhibition at the request of the lending institution, The Field Museum.


  • Pu'u 'O'o against a twilight sky.

    G.E. Ulrich © United States Geological Survey

    Pu'u 'O'o is a classic cinder-and-spatter volcanic cone on Kilauea, Hawaii, U.S.A. Expanding gases in the lava fountain tear the liquid rock into irregular globs that fall back to earth, forming a heap around the vent.

  • A motorboat near the eaves of a house, with three people in the boat and two people on the roof.

    © Eric Gay/AP Photo

    Bryan Vernon and Dorothy Bell are rescued from their rooftop after Hurricane Katrina hit, causing flooding in their New Orleans, U.S.A., neighbourhood on August 29, 2005.

  • A car and people stopped on a road, watching a tornado in the background.

    © Carsten Peter/National Geographic Image Collection

    An F-4 category tornado bears down on storm chaser Tim Samaras, New Manchester, South Dakota, U.S.A.

  • Low-angle view along a crack in the road that has partially swallowed a wagon.

    © The Field Museum

    A fissure in one of San Francisco's streets caused by the earthquake of April 18, 1906.

  • The Last Day of Pompeii, by Karl Bryullov.

    © State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia/The Bridgeman Art Library

    Karl Pavlovich Bryullov (1799–1852), The Last Day of Pompeii, 1833, oil on canvas, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

  • A swirl of white cloud over several southern U.S. states.

    © NOAA

    Satellite image of the eye of Hurricane Katrina at 10:15 am, August 30, 2005.


  • A tornado on the horizon.

    © NOAA Photo Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

    The first tornado captured by the National Severe Storms Laboratory Doppler radar and NSSL chase personnel. This tornado was located outside of Union City, Oklahoma, U.S.A., May 24, 1973.

  • Two men stand looking at a building and car.

    © Adam Teitelbaum/AFP/Getty Images

    October 18, 1989: A collapsed house crushed a car in the Marina District of San Francisco. This was one of the areas worst hit by an earthquake estimated at 6.9 on the Richter scale that rocked California, U.S.A., on October 17, 1989.