As the introduction to the Killer series of documentaries states, “Our planet is capable of unleashing extreme chaos.” Striking violently and with little warning, natural disasters have catastrophic consequences. As part of Disaster Week on SBS, four documentaries highlight the devastation that Mother Nature can inflict on Earth.
‘Sinkholes: Deadly Drops’
Imagine if your backyard just disappeared one day – falling into a hole that opened up in the ground. Or if your house split in two when a sinkhole collapsed underneath where you live. This doco looks at the destructive force of sinkholes, which can occur suddenly, taking property and lives down into the earth with them. Combining first-hand accounts and geological explanations, this three-part documentary series provides a fuller understanding of the naturally occurring, potentially deadly phenomenon.
Watch Sinkholes: Deadly Drops on Sunday 17 June at 7:30pm on SBS.
We’ve seen some devastating floods and tsunamis in the past couple of decades – surges of water that have left hundreds of thousands dead and caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage. But could similarly destructive floods have occurred in the distant past? Examining the way a number of landscapes have been changed, scientists hypothesise whether cataclysmic deluges could be the cause and not gradual erosion. They also try to determine what the cause of the floods might have been and whether ones of that magnitude could strike again.
Watch Killer Floods on Monday 18 June at 8:30pm on SBS.
Hurricanes kill 10,000 people on average a year, and can cause immense damage to infrastructure and residences. But were these super storms any more or less powerful throughout history? That’s the focus of this doco, which sees scientists looking at evidence of hurricanes from up to 1000 years ago, starting with the Great Hurricane of 1780, which struck throughout the Caribbean and killed an estimated 22,000 people. What do their findings suggest about what we can expect from hurricanes in the future?
Watch Killer Hurricanes on Wednesday 20 June at 8:30pm on SBS.
While many natural disasters have a localised impact, volcanic eruptions can cause mayhem on a global scale. With more than 1500 active volcanoes in the world, of which about 50 erupt each year, this is an occurrence we are all too familiar with today. And while some volcanic activity from throughout the centuries is well known (such as the Vesuvius explosion that consumed Pompeii), scientists in this doco analyse evidence of what might have been the largest eruption in human history.
Watch Killer Volcanoes on Friday 22 June at 8:30pm on SBS.