Weather

The deadliest, most-feared natural disasters? Not tornadoes.

Americans are more afraid of earthquakes than tornadoes, according to a new poll by Sperling. However, data shows that tornadoes are deadlier than earthquakes.
Americans are more afraid of earthquakes than tornadoes, according to a new poll by Sperling. However, data shows that tornadoes are deadlier than earthquakes. File photo

If the ground starts shaking, a new poll says more people would be afraid of the earthquake than if a storm was headed their way.

The poll from Sperling's Best Places found that 21.1 percent of Americans fear earthquakes more than any other natural disaster. That's compared with the 17.6 percent of people who said they fear tornadoes the most.

Other fears, in the order of most- to least-feared natural disasters, include wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, droughts, wind and hail, according to the poll of over 1,100 people.

"Earthquakes worry us for a number of reasons, thanks to their violent nature and the psychological terror of the earth moving beneath our feet," the release from Sperling's Best Places said. "They strike quickly and without warning. Storms, on the other hand, are tracked by meteorologists and can be prepared for or avoided by evacuation."

However, data shows that earthquakes are not one of the deadliest U.S. natural disasters.

Tropical cyclones, including hurricanes, are the deadliest U.S. natural disasters, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. Cyclones have killed 3,263 people from 1990 through 2017.

Tornadoes and other severe storms have killed 1,380 people during the same time span, making tornadoes the second-deadliest U.S. natural disaster.

More than 1,000 tornadoes hit the US in 2017. See how many landed in Kansas. (Video by Candi Bolden and Stan Finger Music by Bensound.com)

Earthquakes have killed 70 people in the U.S. from 1990 through 2016, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Recently, quakes have been shaking both Kansas and Oklahoma. A geophysicist said they are likely "human induced earthquakes" and will probably persist for years due to wastewater injections.

You can’t predict when disaster will strike, so make sure you have a plan. Here are nine things you can do to prepare for a future evacuation.



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