10 Most Severe Natural Disasters in the World

10 Most Severe Natural Disasters in the World

Every year thousands of people get killed due to the natural disasters all across the world. Disaster is a sudden, calamitous event, bringing great damage, loss, destruction and devastation to life and property. The damage caused by disasters is immeasurable and influences the mental, socioeconomic, political, and cultural state of the affected area. Disasters are events that inflict great damage, destruction, and human suffering. These calamities can be in the form of floods, tsunamis, earthquake, volcanoes, hurricanes, wildfires or droughts.

Following are the 10 most severe Natural Disasters that the world has seen so far (without any order)

1. 1931 China Flood

The 1931 China floods, or the 1931 Yangtze–Huai River floods, occurred from June to August 1931 in China, hitting major cities such as Wuhan, Nanjing and beyond, which eventually culminated into a dike breach along Lake Gaoyou on 25 August 1931. While frequently featured in the list of disasters in China by death toll, a popular high-end estimate of 3.7 to 4.0 million fatalities is instrumental in “helping the 1931 flood to secure its position on sensationalist lists of the world’s deadliest disasters.

2. 2010 Haiti earthquake

An earthquake of magnitude 7 Mw struck Haiti at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010. It is one of the deadliest earthquake in the history with over 2 million people losing their lives while others were left homeless. The government of Haiti estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged.

3. Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami 2004

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami occurred at 07:58:53 local time (UTC+7) on 26 December, with an epicentre off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. It was an undersea mega thrust earthquake that registered a magnitude of 9.1–9.3 Mw, reaching a Mercalli intensity up to IX in certain areas. The earthquake was caused by a rupture along the fault between the Burmese Plate and the Indian Plate. Communities along the surrounding coasts of the Indian Ocean were devastated, and the tsunamis killed an estimated 227,898 people in 14 countries, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. 

4. Bhola Cyclone 1970

The 1970 Bhola cyclone was a devastating tropical cyclone that struck East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) and India’s West Bengal on November 11, 1970. It remains the deadliest tropical cyclone ever recorded and one of the world’s deadliest natural disasters. At least 300,000 people lost their lives in the storm, possibly as many as 500,000, primarily as a result of the storm surge that flooded much of the low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta.

5. Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami 2011

The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami occurred at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) on 11 March. The magnitude 9.0–9.1 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake had an epicenter in the Pacific Ocean, 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of the Tōhoku region, and lasted approximately six minutes, causing a tsunami. It is sometimes known in Japan as the “Great East Japan Earthquake“. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world. The official figures released in 2021 reported 19,747 deaths, 6,242 injured and 2,556 people missing.

6. Tangshan Earthquake 1976

The 1976 Tangshan earthquake was a Mw 7.6 earthquake that hit the region around Tangshan, Hebei, China, at 3:42 a.m. on 28 July 1976. The maximum intensity of the earthquake was XI (Extreme) on the Mercalli scale. In minutes, 85 percent of the buildings in Tangshan collapsed or were rendered unusable, all services failed, and most of the highway and railway bridges collapsed or were seriously damaged.

7. Hurricane Katrina 2005

Hurricane Katrina was a large and destructive Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 fatalities and $125 billion in damage in late August 2005, especially in the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. The storm was the twelfth tropical cyclone, the fifth hurricane, and the third major hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record to make landfall in the contiguous United States.

8. Sichuan earthquake 2008

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake also known as the Great Sichuan earthquake or Wenchuan earthquake, occurred at 14:28:01 China Standard Time on May 12, 2008. The earthquake’s epicenter was located 80 kilometres (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, measuring magnitude of 8.0. Over 69,000 people lost their lives in the quake, including 68,636 in Sichuan province. 374,176 were reported injured, with 18,222 listed as missing as of July 2008.

9. Cyclone Nargis 2008

Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Nargis was an extremely destructive and deadly tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Myanmar during early May 2008. The cyclone made landfall in Myanmar on Friday, 2 May 2008, sending a storm surge 40 kilometres up the densely populated Irrawaddy delta, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 138,373 fatalities. Nargis is the deadliest named cyclone in the North Indian Ocean Basin, as well as the second-deadliest named cyclone of all time.

10. Hurricane Andrew 1993

Hurricane Andrew was a very powerful and destructive Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that struck the Bahamas, Florida, and Louisiana in August 1992. It is the most destructive hurricane to ever hit Florida in terms of structures damaged or destroyed, and was the costliest in financial terms until Hurricane Irma surpassed it 25 years later.  Andrew destroyed more than 63,500 houses, damaged more than 124,000 others, caused $27.3 billion in damage, and left 65 people dead.

Source of Information: Wikipedia

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