The news of the massive landslide in Oso, Wash., which has left at least 27 dead and 22 still missing, is devastating. We extend our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by this natural disaster.

The best thing that can come from such a terrible situation is to support those affected and to learn from it. There are many areas of Seattle that have been targeted as potential landslide risks, including Magnolia, just as Oso was.

One landslide could trigger others. And earthquakes could shake the loose sediment of the cliffs free. Landslides haven’t been studied as extensively as other natural disasters, said one scientist recently in a KUOW article, but local geologists do keep an eye on at-risk areas. Unfortunately, nature is something we cannot control, and natural disasters — be they landslides, earthquakes or tsunamis — have and will affect our region.

Local government and geologists should remain vigilant in studying the phenomenon and watching our local risk areas. Our local emergency-response teams should also be ready to respond to these types of emergencies.

We shouldn’t live in fear of natural disasters, but we should prepare ourselves for all potential risks, wherever you live.