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Natural Disasters

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There are many types of various natural disasters that the Clans have had to overcome in their territories. Some can be sent by StarClan as a sign or signal, but sometimes a simple storm is just a storm.[1] The Clans often have to move out of their camp to avoid the disasters, and many cats die because of them.




Types of Disasters

Fire

Fire is deadly to the Clans because of the wooded areas they live in.[2] Even a small spark can lead to a raging forest fire which destroys all the flammable material in its path.[3] Dry spells can make a fire more of a possibility. ThunderClan especially has had much trouble with fires due to their territory being the most thickly wooded and the most prone to fires spreading quickly.[4] Yellowfang, Patchpelt, and Halftail were all killed in a forest fire back in Rising Storm.[5] During a forest fire, many cats can die by breathing in too much smoke. They can also lead to prophecies and omens, such as the omen Cinderpelt predicted about Fire and Tiger.[5]

Storms

Storms are quite common, but not all are dangerous.[1] In extreme cases, they can cause other disasters. Heavy rain can cause flooding, and many forest fires are caused by lightning striking a tree and setting it on fire. On rare occasions, large amounts of rain can erode the dirt from around a tree's roots, making it fall.[6] Multiple storms or lengthy storms can lead to flooding. Flooding is mostly trouble to RiverClan because of the rivers surrounding their camp.[7] They are sometimes forced to move out of their camp to avoid the flood.[8] There have also been occasions when cats have been indirectly killed by lightning.[9][10]

Flood

Flooding is not unusual for the Clans in heavy rains, but RiverClan is most susceptible to it because of their habitat along the river.[8] Floods often occur in newleaf after the leaf-bare snow and ice has melted, causing the excess water to flow to the river and make the water level rise.[11] In some cases, RiverClan has been forced to relocate their camp temporarily due to flooding.[8]

Drought

Sometimes in greenleaf the streams dry up from heat and lack of rain causing a drought.[12] When this happens, it affects all the Clans, although sometimes RiverClan is better off because the river allows them a larger water source that does not often dry up completely. This can be very dangerous for an entire Clan as water is essential to survival, and warriors have to pitch in and fetch water, using moss, for kits, queens, and elders, so that they do not die of dehydration.[13]

Snow and Freezing

Snow is frozen water that falls from clouds and is very cold. During leaf-bare, temperatures are always lower than usual, and this can present several dangers.[14] Not only is it colder for the cats themselves, but it also causes scarcity of prey, and frost can kill herbs used by medicine cats,[15] making them helpless to heal their Clanmates. Freezing of the river is also dangerous to RiverClan because it makes them unable to catch fish, their primary food source.[16] On rare occasions, a cat (especially a very young or very old cat) can freeze to death if outside in snowy, freezing temperatures (such as Mosskit).[17]

Falling Trees

Falling trees are hazardous and can crush whatever they land on.[6] Falling trees occur naturally in the forest due to old age, borers, erosion, floods or lightning strikes, but Twolegs sometimes chop them down.[18] In the New Prophecy Series, Twolegs chopped down the forest to build a new Thunderpath.[19] One well-known example of a falling tree is in Fading Echoes, when a tree fell from its place after heavy rains.[20] It killed Longtail[21] and broke Briarlight's spine, leaving her crippled for life.[22] It also damaged the ThunderClan camp and the nests had to be rebuilt.[23]

Other Disasters

There are also other, less common natural occurrences that still present danger to the Clans. When the sun eclipses, it removes the Clans' only source of light, and leaves them barely able to see for a few minutes.[24] Also, in rocky areas such as the tunnels,[25] ThunderClan's hollow, Sunningrocks, or the Tribe of Rushing Water's mountains, rockfalls are possible and can crush a cat just as easily as a tree.[26]

Disasters in the Books

In the Super Edition Arc

Crookedstar's Promise

In the prologue, there is a flood, and RiverClan is forced to move out of their camp. The flood completely destroys the camp, and after it is over, it takes more than a moon to rebuild. Crookedkit and Oakkit are born while RiverClan are moving out, and they are forced to shelter in an oak tree. Duskwater, who was making dirt when the camp flooded, dies somewhere in the floods, and Brightsky goes back to find her, but fails.

Bluestar's Prophecy

On a cold, snowy night, Mosskit freezes to death in her sleep while her mother, Bluefur, is taking her and her siblings, Stonekit and Mistykit, to live with their father, Oakheart, in RiverClan. Stonekit and Mistykit make it, but are also half frozen. With this, they continued on their journey hoping they would make it.

Bramblestar's Storm

All of a sudden the lake starts flooding the hollow. Bramblestar warns every cat of ThunderClan to get out of the hollow to somewhere safe. They all climb up trees to safety. Briarlight, because of her being paralyzed, needed help to get to safety. Millie was afraid of her daughter of dying. Millie even mentioned she wouldn't forgive Bramblestar if Briarlight had died. Graystripe and Millie were relieved to see their daughter okay. The Twolegplace had been flooded, too. Bramblestar rescued Minty (BS), Frankie, and Jessy from the flood that nearly took the Twolegplace.

In the Original Arc

Forest of Secrets

The river is flooded, causing problems for RiverClan and forcing them to leave their camp, unable to catch prey, and take away two of Mistyfoot's kits, one being Reedwhisker. Fireheart and Graystripe rescue the two kits learning of the Clan's trouble and begins to bring them food from their territory until the flooded river settles down.

Rising Storm

A fire strikes ThunderClan's camp, and kills Yellowfang, Halftail, and Patchpelt. Bluestar  identifies it with the "fire" prophecy, and she loses her faith in StarClan completely, seeing that the fire almost destroyed the Clan instead of saving it.

In the New Prophecy Arc

Midnight

During a dry greenleaf, the Clans suffer from drought. WindClan is especially hurt by this due to the lack of streams in their territory, so Tallstar asks Leopardstar if WindClan can take water from the river to survive the drought. Leopardstar agrees, but warns them not to take any prey from the river. Also, in ThunderClan, Leafpaw and Cinderpelt experience a fire, and Cinderpelt discovers the Fire and Tiger omen.

Starlight

During Mudclaw's rebellion, a thunderstorm brews. When he is standing by the lakeside confronting Brambleclaw and Hawkfrost, a bolt of lightning strikes a tall pine tree on the island and it topples right onto Mudclaw, crushing him to death. This ends Mudclaw's attempt to steal WindClan's leadership, and also provides the Clans with a bridge to cross to the Island for Gatherings, as they needed a Gathering place.

Sunset

Brambleclaw sees that Twolegs started a fire on the clearing near the ShadowClan border to cook their meal, and fears that they will set the forest to fire, but in the end, they don't.

In the Power of Three Arc

The Sight

It is briefly mentioned that Rainwhisker was killed by a falling branch during a storm between Sunset and The Sight.

Dark River

When Lionpaw, Jaypaw, Hollypaw, Heatherpaw, and Breezepaw go to save the WindClan kits in the underground tunnels, it begins to rain and the tunnels fill up with water from a hole in the roof, causing them to flood. Only thanks to Fallen Leaves' and Rock's advice to Jaypaw are they able to find the kits and a way out of the rapidly filling tunnels through an underground river leading into the lake.

Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs during a battle between the four Clans, frightening them and removing their only source of light. This sudden shock causes the battle to break up.

Long Shadows

When Lionblaze, Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, Flamepaw, Dawnpaw, and Tigerpaw are making a fake sign from StarClan to convince Blackstar to believe in them again, they dig up the roots of two trees, causing them to fall over. Because this was planned, no cat was injured.
A lightning bolt causes the forest near ThunderClan's camp to catch fire, so all the cats evacuate the camp. Fortunately, no cat dies. The cats shelter in the Abandoned Twoleg Nest during the fire.

Sunrise

When Hollyleaf runs into the tunnels, the entrance collapses behind her in an unexpected rockfall. However, the rock fall did not kill her.

In the Omen of the Stars Arc

The Fourth Apprentice

The Clans are suffering from a major drought during this greenleaf from lack of rainfall, and all the streams and most of the lake have dried up. All the Clans are barely able to survive with little prey and scarce water.
A small fire later strikes ThunderClan's camp due to the heat. A water patrol of Graystripe, Cloudtail, and Lionblaze throw the moss at the fire in order to stop it.
The drought is finally alleviated when a patrol containing cats from all four Clans journey upstream and remove a dam holding back all the lake's water, which rushes back to their territories.

Fading Echoes

After heavy rains for a long period of time, the ground is very muddy and unstable, leaving the roots of a tree on the edge of ThunderClan's hollow very loose, and eventually making it fall into the hollow. Fortunately, Dovepaw is able to hear the shifting of the roots before it falls and the camp is evacuated. When Mousefur is out, she complains that she had left a nice mouse back in camp. Longtail tells her that he'll get the mouse, but is killed, and Briarpaw's backbone is broken from the impact. ThunderClan grieved and had a difficult time cleaning up the camp, but they are thankful that no more cats died.


References and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 143
  2. Revealed in Into the Wild, page map
  3. Revealed in Rising Storm
  4. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page ThunderClan Territory
  5. 5.0 5.1 Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 12
  6. 6.0 6.1 Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 145
  7. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 2
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 3
  9. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 94
  10. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, allegiances
  11. Revealed in Forest of Secrets
  12. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 2
  13. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, pages 1-3
  14. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 480
  15. Revealed in Night Whispers, page 224
  16. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 183
  17. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 484
  18. Revealed in Midnight, page 303
  19. Revealed in Midnight, page ch.1
  20. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 142
  21. Revealed in Fading Echoes, pages 144-145
  22. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 146
  23. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 171
  24. Revealed in Eclipse, pages 227-229
  25. Revealed in Sunrise, page 314
  26. Revealed in Dawn, page 6

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