10 Deadliest Natural Disasters In History
Mother nature can be much deadlier than we think. Throughout the history of mankind, many natural disasters occurred and took millions of lives but the death counts of the most ancient of these disasters are lost to history. Around 1500 B.C a volcanic eruption that triggered a horrific tsunami completely wiped out the entire Minoan civilization.
Humans also created many deadly disasters such as the 1938 Yellow River flood, created by the Nationalist Government in central China, causing 400,000 to 500,000 deaths. And the way global warming and climate change have been taking over the environment, its high time for all of us to take steps to save our nature. Or the next natural disaster might be the deadliest of all. Here are the 10 Deadliest Natural Disasters In History that killed the largest number of the population.
Deadliest Natural Disasters In History
1. 1931 China floods, China:
The 1931 China floods are the deadliest natural disaster of all time. It was a series of devastating floods that started in July 1931. Excluding pandemics and famines, it is estimated that the floods killed between 1,000,000 to 4,000,000 people. It is suggested that from 25 million to 53 million people were affected by the floods. The flood began when the Yangtze River overtopped its banks as the spring melt mingled with heavy rains. The aftermath of the flood was even more horrifying as many areas descend into famine. While some people sold their children to survive and others resorted to cannibalism, many diseases broke out and swept through the refugee population.
2. 1887 Yellow River flood, China:
The Yellow River between dikes above the broad plains surrounding it is prone to flooding due to the elevated nature of the river. In September 1887, the river swollen by days of heavy rain overcame the dikes which resulted in a massive flood. The flood spread very quickly throughout Northern China, covering an estimated 50,000 square miles and leaving more than two million people homeless and killing between 900,000 to 2,000,000 people.
3.1556 Shaanxi earthquake, China:
On Jan 23, 1556, China’s Shaanxi province got hit by the deadliest earthquake. It is estimated that 830,000 people lost their lives because of this natural disaster. The earthquake happened during the Ming Dynasty and the magnitude is estimated, was around 7.9. The earthquake affected more than 97 counties of the country killing 60% of the population of those areas. It also triggered landslides contributing to the death toll.
4. 1970 Bhola cyclone, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh):
On November 13, 1970, Bangladesh which was then known as East Pakistan and West Bengal of India got affected by a devastating cyclone that took lives of around 500,000 people. The cyclone formed over the central Bay of Bengal and reached its peak with winds of 185 km/h. It was the sixth cyclonic storm of the 1970 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. The Pakistani government was criticized for its delayed handling of the relief operations by the international media.
5. 2010 Haiti earthquake, Haiti:
With catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw, the 2010 Haiti earthquake took the lives of 316,000 people. The earthquake hit Haiti on 12th January 2010 and by 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks were recorded measuring 4.5 and greater. The Port-au-Prince’s morgues were overwhelmed with tens of thousands of bodies, thousands of residential, commercial buildings and landmarks were destroyed. The disaster also triggered looting and occasional violence in people.
6. 1839 India cyclone & 1737 Calcutta cyclone, India:
The North Indian tropical cyclone season is considered to be one of the most dangerous on earth in terms of numbers killed and it has no bounds. On 25 November 1839, an enormous cyclone caused a 40-foot storm surge that hit Coringa, Andhra Pradesh taking the lives of 300,000 people and wiped out the harbor city with 20,000 ships and vessels.
On October 7, 1737, Calcutta or modern-day Kolkata, India was hit by a devastating cyclone that also estimated to have killed 300,000 people.
On Oct. 8, 1881, Haiphong, Vietnam was also a typhoon that has killed about 300,00 people.
8. 1920 Haiyuan earthquake, China & 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami:
On December 16, 1920, China was hit by another destructive earthquake. The earthquake hit the Haiyuan County reportedly 7.8 on the Richter magnitude scale and was followed by a series of aftershocks for three years. The earthquake estimated to have killed 273,400, people and triggered landslides and ground cracks, even some rivers were dammed, others changed course. Effects of the earthquake were even observed in two lakes and three fjords in western Norway.
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami occurred on Dec. 26 that killed between 230,000 to 280,000 people. A magnitude-9.3 triggered a destructive Tsunami that killed people in 14 different countries. Indonesia took the hardest hit and the tsunami wave reached 98 feet in height.
9. 526 Antioch earthquake, Byzantine Empire (now Turkey):
In late May, 526, the region of Syria and Antioch in the Byzantine Empire was hit by a mortifying earthquake which killed approximately 250,000 to 300,000 people. The earthquake also triggered a fire that destroyed whatever was left after the earthquake followed by 18 months of aftershocks. The estimated magnitude for the earthquake is 7.0 on the surface wave magnitude scale and between VIII (Severe) and IX (Violent) on the Mercalli intensity scale.
10. 1976 Tangshan earthquake, China:
On July 28, 1976, China’s Tangshan and Hebei was affected by a natural disaster created by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake. The deadly earthquake completely destroyed the city of Tangshan, killing between 242,769 to 655,000. The 1976 Tangshan earthquake was violent, complex and one of the deadliest natural disasters of all time.
IMAGE SOURCE: Wikipedia