Top 10 Natural Disasters
Since the beginning of mankind, violent natural disasters have been a part of it, but most of the death count caused by ancient disasters are lost to history. According to Global Change Data Lab, nearly 60,000 people are killed on average in the deadliest natural disasters like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and wildfire. But over time, we have learned lessons from every disaster every time. With technological development, we can understand and forecast some of the natural disasters that can help save some lives. In today's article, we are going to share some of the natural deadliest natural disasters in past years that had a profound impact on the rest of the world and challenge the understanding of people what disasters can be, the damage they can wreck, and how to respond and be aware. Here is the list of Top 10 Natural Disasters:
1. Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami, 2011
Japan is an island country that is vulnerable to earthquakes. There are many earthquakes disasters that this country has gone through, but the earthquake in 2011 was the deadliest of them all. An earthquake of magnitude 9.0 off the coast of Japan also triggered the giant tsunami waves that rose 133 ft at their highest and traveled six miles inland, which was much more powerful and larger QS than expected. This disastrous event also triggered a technological disaster similar to that of the 1986 Chernobyl Crisis. Due to the impact of two deadly disasters at once, a series of nuclear power plants meltdown led to the release of radioactive material on a large scale from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. More than 20,000 people lost their lives in this event.
2. Nepal Earthquake 2015
Nepal, a small neighboring country of India with weak infrastructure, was hit hard by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015. It wreaks havoc on the country and its people. It was so powerful that many Indian states, too, felt the turmoil underneath and also the aftershock waves in the following days. This earthquake toppled the tall building in Kathmandu and destroyed homes throughout the country. The death toll in government records is 9000. The mountainous terrain of the country made it difficult to reach the people in remote areas, which left many of the injured stranded.
3. Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami
It was one of the most catastrophic earthquakes of magnitude 9.1 that struck off the west coast of Indonesia in Dec 2004. This earthquake also created a massive tsunami that killed more than 2,30,000 people. Almost 2 million people got displaced in south East Asian and East African countries. The tsunami traveled as fast as 804 kph and reached land within 15-20 minutes after the earthquake, and due to this, the residents of the area had very little time to move to higher ground. In Indonesia, the tsunami waves were as high as 100ft, and the damages from the tsunami and earthquake are estimated at $ 10 billion dollars.
4. Haiti Earthquake 2010
This country was already going through a faltering economy and political conflict when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit killed more than 2% of the population, i.e., 2,20,000 people were killed, and more than one and a half million of the population were displaced. These events have left the Haitians in poverty and the cycle of instability that continues even today. The initial turmoil was tremendous, but this earthquake also revealed the fault lines in the international aid effort. The forces of UN Peacekeepers responding and helping there brought new strains of disease with them. They also fathered hundreds of children and, in some cases, sexually abused young girls.
5. Hurricane Sandy 2012
Initially, it was predicted as a category one storm. Still, it quickly turned into the largest hurricane on record (at the time) that caused havoc throughout the Caribbean before it crashed into the United State's eastern seaboard, taking large swathes of New York and New Jersey, including New York City, offline. Many were trapped in high-rise buildings, unable to provide supplies or evacuated the building, choked off from power and heat for days. Two hundred eighty-five people died due to this hurricane from the Caribbean to the USA.
6. Typhoon Haiyan 2013
It is one of the most deadly and strongest cyclones ever. It was a super typhoon of category 5 that crashed into the Philippines with the wind speed hovering over 200 miles per hour. In some areas, the storm surge was rising above 20 feet, which shocked the world. Haiyan swept through densely populated areas that also include the major city of Tacloban, leaving devastation in its wake. This deadly typhoon killed more than 7000 people and displaced more than 4 million population.
7. Hurricane Harvey 2017
In August 2017, a devastating category 4 hurricane - Hurricane Harvey, made landfall in Louisiana and Texas. Since Wilma in 2005, this was the first major hurricane that inflicted catastrophic rainfall triggered flooding, and the costliest tropical cyclone on record tied its place with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The speed of this hurricane was 130 miles per hour, but the wind was not the most perilous part of this hurricane; it was the water. It brought trillions of gallons of rain, causing levels of flooding in some places that scientists believed to see once every 5,00,000 years. It caused 100 deaths as critical care health was cut off, and thousands of people were displaced.
8. Hurricane Maria 2017
This hurricane was a category 5 hurricane that was deadly and devastated the whole northeastern Caribbean in September of 2017, particularly Puerto Rico, Saint Croix, and Dominica. These countries were plunged into darkness for about a year. In records, it is one of the worst natural disasters to affect these islands and the third costliest tropical cyclone, causing a total estimated loss of $91.61 billion. For months these people were without power, which also played a major role in the death of 3,000 people. Aid was coming really slowly, which also sparked concern about the unequal treatment of these people by the US.
9. Cyclone Idai 2019
On 14 March 2019, a category 3 hurricane crashed in Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. It was one of the worst tropical cyclones that caused humanitarian crises and catastrophic damage in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi. More than 1300 people died, and a lot more went missing. This devastating cyclone destroyed infrastructure and health facilities, and salty water flooded the agricultural land. On record, it is the 2nd deadliest cyclone in the southwest Indian Ocean basin. This cyclone made it clear that as the climate change, the Sub Saharan African countries will have to be aware and prepared for tropical cyclones and should mitigate plan accordingly.
10. China Earthquake 2008
In 2008 China was hit by a massive rector 8.0 earthquake, which is also known as Wenchuan Earthquake or Sichuan Earthquake. The epicenter of the earthquake was west-northwest of Chengdu, and its focal depth was 19 km. More than 240 km fault was ruptured with several metered surface displacements. This earthquake was so powerful that it was also felt as far away as Shanghai and Beijing, which are 1700 and 1500 km away, respectively. Its aftershock was also strong, sometimes exceeding the 6 magnitude scale, and it continued for a few months, hampered the relief work, and caused further damage and casualties. It also caused more than 800 quake lakes and 2,00,000 landslides, which is the highest number of geohazards on the record.
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