WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The virus outbreak is compromising the ability of nations to prepare for natural disasters and deal with the aftermath. Every year, the world contends with devastating typhoons, wildfires, tsunamis and earthquakes.
That dynamic doesn’t change just because the globe also happens to be fighting a pandemic. But many nations prone to natural disasters appear to have done little to prepare for a dual disaster. Experts fear the usual protocols for coping with the aftermath of natural disasters could further spread the virus, compounding the death toll from both.
Already, the virus has hindered preparations to fight wildfires in California after a particularly dry winter. And when a strong quake struck Croatia’s capital Zagreb, people ran out and briefly ignored social distancing.