Natural Disasters EarthQuest




1. Follow the placemarks of these natural occurring disasters. Click on each disaster icon on the GoogleEarth world map or that are Linked from this page. Zoom in on the Earth near the placemark, move around the area and explore the area from all angles.

On maps of Australia and the world, indicate the location of each of the disaster. There are 24 placemarkers representing 19 disasters (some of the areas experienced the same disaster). For each disaster you need to find out:
  1. the name given to the disaster e.g. the Ash Wednesday Fires, Cyclone Larry, Iran Earthquake, Boxing Day Tsunami
  2. what area was affected by the disaster;
  3. what happened;
  4. what caused it;
  5. what was the damaged caused by the disaster.
(Here you can download a matrix for the answers)

2. Look at the maps on which you have located all the disasters. The disasters fall into specific regions. Discuss this statement with examples and possible reasons.

3. Find three natural disasters not included in the list and add a placemarker to GoogleEarth for each one. Add your three natural disasters to the answer matrix and add the relevant information.

Download the Placemarker Planning Sheet

3. Share you new placemarkers with your teacher and your classmates.

Some general resources on Australian Landforms
Natrual disasters - from GBBC
Hurricane and Natural Disaster Brochures - from Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
Natural Disasters in Australia - from Culture and recreation Portal
Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather - from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Some general resources on using GoogleEarth
How to use Google Earth (general overview)
Using places

Download the GoogleEarth file (preferred option)

Access sites through Browser page if access is not available to GoogleEarth


This lesson was developed as educational material using Google Earth. This kind of WebQuest is called an EarthQuest and was devised by John Demmers, Netherlands.

In this EarthQuest the students will explore the natural disasters in GoogleEarth. They will also explore categories of disasters and add placemarkers to GoogleEarth representing additional disasters that have researched.

Exploring these places the students learn to use the program GoogleEarth and they are able to add placemarks and a total tour along their own points of interests.

To complete this activity, students should be supplied with a matrix for the answers, a blank map of the world and a blank map of the Australia.


This EarthQuest is made by:
Kaye Placing


Based on the EarthQuest World Wonders developed by:
John Demmers