10 Of The Worst Natural Disasters Ever

Hurricane Katrina

On August the 29th Katrina hit Louisiana, most notably New Orleans where 80% of the city flooded because the flood protection system was breached in more than fifty places. The hurricane caused over $80 billion in damages and over 1800 people were confirmed to have died with over 700 missing.

Cyclone Nargis

At the end of April and start of May of 2008, the Nargis Cyclone hit Sri Lanka and Burma. In Sri Lanka the flooding had caused landslides in ten districts, whereas in Burma it hit the town of Bogale with over 10,000 deaths. The cyclone caused roughly $10 billion in damages and over 135,000 died with over 50,000 missing.

1931 China Floods

In winter of 1930 China suffered from heavy snowstorms which then defrosted in the spring of the 1931 this raised the river levels, so in July when the rain increased and 7 cyclones hit, the rivers began to flood. The rivers affected were the Yellow River, Yangtze River and the Huai River. The damages the floods caused was indescribable and the death toll estimations ranged from 400,000 to 4,000,000.

1556 Shaanxi Earthquake

On the 23rd January 1556 an earthquake wiped out an 840km (250miles) wide area which affected more than 90 counties. The casualties are estimated at around 800,000 with a large amount of these being people who lived in Yaodongs which are artificial caves which caved in during the earthquake.

Bhola Cyclone

On November the 12th 1970 the cyclone struck Bangladesh which was then still Pakistan. The cyclone was the deadliest ever recorded, with the death toll be estimated as high as 500,000. The aftermath of the storm led the government losing control of the area, which then led to the Bangladesh Liberation War which ended up in the creation of Bangladesh.

Banqiao Dam Failure

The dam was built in the early 1950’s and was designed to cope with up to 12 inches of rainfall per day, but in August 1975 over the rainfall was over 40 inches per day. This led to the dam failing. The flood waters then caused a large wave which was 10km (6.2miles) wide and 3-7m high. The flooding caused over 150,000 and nearly 6,000,000 buildings collapsed.

Nevado del Ruiz Volcano of 1985

On November 13th 1985, the Nevado del Ruiz volcano which had laid dormant for almost 150 years erupted. Even though geologists had warned the authorities of an imminent eruption, the authorities didn’t listen and failed to evacuate the town of Armero where after the eruption 20,000 out of the 29,000 inhabitants died. The eruption cost Colombia $7.7 billion.

Tangshan Earthquake of 1976

On July 28th 1976, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit China with the epicenter being near Tangshan in Hebei. The chinese government initially reported the death toll to be over 650,000 but they later changed that to be roughly 250,000 with over 160,000 severely injured.

Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004

On December 26th 2004 a 9.3 magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami which killed more than 225,000 people in 11 countries. The waves which hit the coastlines were as high as 30m in some areas. The worldwide response was fantastic, more than $7 billion dollars was donated in humanitarian aid.

Mount Vesuvius

On the 24th and 25th of August 79 AD, Vesuvius erupted. The eruption lasted 18-20 hours and produced a rain of volcanic rock which covered the city of Pompeii and also destroyed the city of Herculaneum and killed up to 25,000 people.

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