About Countdown to a Catastrophe

This new three-parter explores two of the most devastating forces of nature on the planet.


Every year, volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes pose a serious threat to hundreds of millions of people across the globe. But where scientists had previously considered these forces independently of one another, they are now focusing on the interrelationships between these natural disasters.

In this documentary, we follow scientists as they travel to the most extreme and dangerous places on earth to implement the latest devices that will allow us to protect ourselves from violent storms, quakes and volcanic eruptions.

In the Mega Quake episode, scientists now believe that an earthquake could hit sooner than we thought. And it’s not Los Angeles or San Francisco that’s in danger, but Seattle, the crown jewel of a region called Cascadia in Americas Pacific Northwest. Scientists fear Cascadia could suffer a catastrophe of global proportions: a 'megathrust' earthquake. It is the largest earthquake our planet can create.

What would happen? How can we prepare for such a disaster? And what would be the immediate legacy?

In the Mega Tsunami episode, we’ll also witness an 8.9 Mega quake then watch as a 30 foot high tsunami destroys many cites of Japan.