Most natural disasters hit us when we least expect. Sometimes we get lucky and avert tragedy, but all too often, they can do massive damage, and even claim innocent lives. It can be hard to predict the climate.
This is a list of the top 10 of the worst natural disasters to ever strike, from brutal floods, deadly hurricanes, tsunamis, blizzards and volcano eruptions! brought to you by Zero2Hero.
Transcript provided by YouTube:
From devastating floods, to ground shattering earthquakes…find out which
natural disaster still plagues us today, more than six years after it occurred!
Number 10: Hurricane Katrina – 2005.
Hurricane Katrina did a lot of
damage when it made landfall in the southern United States. Touching down in
2005, this hurricane ripped up the Gulf Coast and wrecked everything in its path.
Being the sixth strongest hurricane that has ever hit the United States at the
time, Katrina really managed to land a few
shots on the jaw of the red, white, and blue. The casualty count alone made
Katrina a true tragedy, with the physical damage that the ocean storm caused also
made it a financial disaster. Over 81 billion dollars in damages have
been directly attributed to the hurricane, making it one of the most
expensive natural incidents that the United States has ever had to grapple
with. And cleanup was not easy, nor was moving past the disaster. Over a million
residents were estimated to have been displaced as a result of this event. Even
to this day, most Americans still remember Katrina and that’s for a reason!
Number 9: Haiti Earthquake.
Thousands of earthquakes strike countries all over
the world every year. Most of the seismic activity is harmless, and doesn’t do
anything that’s worth the notice of anyone but seismologists. Occasionally,
however, the planet gives us a wake-up call and reminds us that it’s very very
much alive underneath our heels. Even having said that, an earthquake with a
magnitude of 7.0 is extremely rare and insanely powerful. Terrifyingly so,
actually! But, this level of earthquake was exactly what ripped through Haiti
back on January 12th of 2010. With an epicenter that was located just off the
southwest section of Port-Au-Prince, the earthquake rattled Haiti with around 59
additional aftershocks the ranged between a 4.2 and a 5.9
magnitude and strength. Around 200,000 people died that day, two million were
struck homeless in a single moment, and three million found themselves in need
of emergency assistance. That said, the world responded amiably to
this tragedy, and millions of US dollars were dedicated to the Haiti Relief Fund.
Number 8: European Heat Wave of 2003.
Europe isn’t a hot place the people of
the continent just aren’t used to scorching heat or sizzling hot summers.
The European lifestyle, society, and the economy are all centered around this
fact in ways that most people would never even notice. However, when the
European heat wave of 2003 smacked Europe with all of its hot fury, a crisis
erupted. Health concerns were raised all over the continent. Droughts even struck
multiple countries, resulting in crop shortages everywhere. Ukraine and the
countries around it were especially hit hard, with the former country losing over
75% of its wheat crop! The drought was so bad that there were actually casualties
resulting from the heatwave. A number of senior citizens simply couldn’t take the
weather and passed away, along with some who had never had need of air
conditioning units and did not have other means to cool down their core body
temperature. There hasn’t been a summer that has been hotter than 2003 in Europe
since 1540…and even that’s debatable! The 2003 heatwave was certainly one of
the worst surprise natural attacks to happen in the 2000s and, until all of the
smoke cleared, nobody even expected how bad it was going to be.
Number 7: Afghanistan Blizzard Of 2008.
Agonizing heat isn’t the only thing Mother Nature
can cook up to throw at humanity. Sometimes crackling cold can be just as
bad, if not worse, than the Sun deciding to bear down on everything and everyone
under its fiery gaze. Back in the winter of 2008, a blizzard, almost unlike
anything that’s ever been seen in modern history, loudly whipped itself up into a
fury over the skies of Afghanistan. Temperatures in the region fell to below
minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit, and over 70 inches of snow were recorded to
have fallen in the Middle Eastern country. The cold was so chilling that a great
number of people froze to death! Over 1337 people, give or take a few, are
estimated to have died due to this freak storm. As was mentioned a moment ago,
some of these casualties have been attributed to people being frozen
solid by the chill, while others were caused by people becoming trapped in
their vehicles and shelters by snowdrifts. Among the Afghan people that
did survive, a number were struck even harder still with numerous frostbite
amputations having to take place. In fact, over 100 amputations were reported in
medical stations across the country. The damage to livestock was also staggering,
and in this society that depends on livestock to eat, like Afghanistan does,
this is a big deal!
Number 6: Bhola Cyclone – 1970.
Hurricanes, tsunamis, and cyclones are some of the deadliest phenomenon on this planet.
The Bhola Cyclone, however, was an especially vicious storm system that decided to
take its wrath out on Bangladesh back in the 1970s. The storm lashed down at the
Indian City with windy arms that cracked and spun up to 115 miles per hour. The
storm was so horrendous that over 85% of the homes in the area where the cyclone
tore through were left in shambles, leaving those who survived its fury
homeless. To make matters worse, it also summoned up a number of powerfully
destructive storm surges that swallowed entire coastal villages without any
semblance of mercy. The total death toll of this single storm is estimated
somewhere near half a million people.
Number 5: Aleppo Earthquake of 1138.
One of the deadliest earthquakes ever recorded in the history of mankind, the
Aleppo earthquake is often ranked somewhere between the 3rd and 1st most
gruesomely powerful shaking of the earth ever recorded. The earthquake is named
after the city in which it occurred, which happens to be the capital of what
is now Syria. The quake first began to rumble within the depths of the earth on
the 11th of October, 1138. A small quake gave warning to this
coming disaster a day before. Once the quake began to rock Aleppo, it rumbled
the entire city to the ground…striking columns and pillars into dust and
crushing foundations with the weights of the buildings that had previously sat
harmoniously atop them. By the time it was all said and done, the city of Aleppo
was left traumatized and destroyed by what was
no doubt interpreted as a message from the Syrian Gods, themselves. Over 230,000
were counted among the dead of this single tragedy in Aleppo. That said, all
the accounts that we have of the Aleppo disaster are quite dated, and the death
toll there could have been much worse. We just don’t know! One thing is for sure,
though, this earthquake was the kind of travesty that the earth has very seldom
Number 4: Hurricane Andrew – 1992.
Hurricane Andrew came into being
quite humbly. A single tropical wave flowed off the west coast of Africa on
August the 14th of 1992. From such a simple beginning, to a storm that would
cause the world to shake at its eventual fury, on August 16th of that year the
small tropical wave that had left the coast of Africa had formed into a
tropical depression. Picking up steam and force as a wind as it went, it was then that the
world began to take notice of this once humble wave. At first,
Andrews power was drawn off by wind shear, and its growth was stunted. But,
unfortunately, this was a temporary save, for over the next few days, after
becoming a major tropical depression, the storm system began to grow larger and
larger and started to spin faster and faster. By this time, Andrew was set on a
collision course with the United States, its intentions were clear…it was going
to hammer the North American coast with the gale forest of a thousand freight
trains. In the end, Andrew caused 65 fatalities, and around twenty six billion
dollars in property damages. Needless to say, hurricane Andrews name was soon
retired, as at the time it struck, it was the sixth costliest hurricane to ever
hit the continental United States.
Number 3: Nevado del Ruiz Volcano Eruption.
The volcano eruption of Nevado del Ruiz was not that powerful, if one were only
looking at the eruption at mere strength alone. Then, almost no one except an
expert would have expected it to cost so much terrifyingly bad damage!
Unfortunately the Nevado del Ruiz volcano did anything but erupted quietly.
Shortly after the volcano exploded, a great rush of powerful, fast-moving, and
merciless mud flows descended its cliffs. The mud flows then spilled out from the
volcano like dogs of war, crushing and biting down on anything in its path.
Tragically, at the end of it all, nearly 25,000 people lay dead. This makes the
eruption one of the most tragic and costliest to ever strike Colombia.
Number 2: Indian Ocean Earthquake.
The Indian Ocean earthquake was one of the most
powerful earthquakes that had ever registered on the Richter scale. As its
name suggests, the quake struck within the waters of the Indian Ocean, and thus,
didn’t initially do much damage. Also, despite coming in at a magnitude of 9.15
on the Richter scale, the Indian Ocean earthquake only lasted about 10 seconds.
At first glance, it appeared that no one would be hurt…and that was a lucky thing!
To since such a terribly powerful shaking of the earth would have devastated most
countries from the earthquake alone. Unfortunately, this line of thinking
couldn’t have been more wrong. The quake, you see, may not have lasted very long,
but it shook the ocean with enough force to create a massive tsunami that
collided with all the nearby shores around where the earthquake had occurred.
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, and even South Africa were all hit with brute
force, either directly, or with bad weather. All in all, somewhere between
200,000 and 300,000 people died all because of that one earthquake. The power
of the tsunami it created exponentially increased its destructive force, and its reach.
Number 1: Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
In 2001, the strongest earthquake
to ever hit Japan struck the country with a magnitude of 9.0. It was unlike
anything that the Japanese had ever seen before, or since. The quake itself killed
thousands, but the tsunami waves that it had generated
boosted the casualties it cost up to almost 20,000 people. Thousands more were
injured, or needed medical assistance. The number of people who lost their homes
was staggering. Even more so was the number of people who went missing that
day. The Tohoku earthquake was, without a doubt, one of the worst things that the
Japanese had ever had to face as a country, or society. Unfortunately, though,
the destruction did not stop there. The earthquake and the tsunami had damaged
the nuclear power plant of Fukushima, causing it to leak highly radioactive water
directly into the Pacific Ocean at a rate of 300 tons per day! That
radioactive water could not be directly contained, and it still plagues the
wildlife of the ocean today. Long-term effects of this continued radiation leak
have only been estimated, as the currents in that area are so strong that the
contamination is moved far into the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Know any disasters that you think should have made the cut?
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This post was previously published on YouTube.