Catastrophic natural disasters of the last 80 years

tony leather By tony leather, 29th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

So devastating was this unbelievable event that that an estimated 230,000 were killed, 300,000 injured and a million made homeless. A year later, the island is still in a terrible state, badly needing help

Catastrophic natural disasters of the last 80 years

The crisis in Japan last year forced humanity once again to appreciate how fragile we are, be in the face of gigantic natural forces. So much so, in fact, that millions of fatalities are not unknown, as in the central Chinese floods of 1931, sweeping through the country that year, in China, some believe,by far the most catastrophic natural disaster ever, disease pandemics aside, somewhere around four million people killed, devastation too immense to even begin to describe.


Another of the deadliest events took place in 1970, the Bhola cyclone striking Bangladesh and West Benga, with utterly devastating effect, on November 12 that year. Deadliest tropical cyclone that has ever been recorded, Bhola was one of the worst natural disasters of modern history, in the region of 500,000 victims, primarily dying because of the resulting storm surge, flooding and sweeping away many low-lying islands of the Ganges Delta, on the Indian continent.


China once again was to suffer terribly, helpless in the face of nature’s fury, when in 1975, in the Henan province, Banqiao and Shimantan Reservoir Dams both failed disastrously, as Typhoon Nina pounded the area. The abrupt loss of power this catastrophe caused was the equivalent of nine modern power stations worth, 35% of UK peak demand at the time. One years worth of rain fell in one day, water masses pressurizing dams, that simply could not cope the sudden huge demands on them. The dams failed disastrously,, a 20ft tall wave of water, miles wide, sweeping destructively over the land, killing 250,000, and wreaking damage that affected eleven million more poor vivtims.

In a cruel stroke of natural misfortune, Cina underwent the Great Tangshan Earthquake happened on July 28, 1976, only 12 months later. the largest 20th century earthquake, measured by death toll, the catastrophe centered on Tangshan, industrial town of 1,000,000 people, in the early hours of the morning, lasting 10 seconds, 7.8 on the Richter scale. First reports gave news that 655,000 had died, later revised downward to 250,000, 164,000 more severely injured. T


Just before 7AM on December 26, 2004, a force 9.0 earthquake rocked the floor of the Pacific ocean, 150 miles off the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In mere moments, a huge tsunami, one of the most terrifying natural disasters, was created. Shorelines that were thousands of miles away, and unsuspecting, suffered the impact of30 ft waves, people in Hawaii, the Maldives, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and even Somalia overwhelmed by unstoppable natural ferocity, more than 155,000 being killed, two million made homeless d in what was high among the worst of the last century’s natural disasters.


The awful memory of that terrible event was still fresh and raw, when Hurricane Katrina devastated the southern USA, on August 28 2005. 1,800 died, some in horrible ways, whole cities suffering disastrous damage, at least $90 billion dollars worth. Much of the damage this dreadful event inflicted still needs repairing, many people now questioning whether global warming was partly responsible, and if many more such catastrophic weather events are likely in the future, though nobody really knows


May of 2008 saw the Nargis Cyclone striking lethally at Sri Lanka and Burma, in an unprecedented trail of devastation and death. Sri Lanka was so severely flooded that10 districts suffered landslides, Nargis striking the Burmese town of Bogale so catastrophically, that 10,000 died. A dreadful disaster, causing $10 billion worth of damage, killing 135,000, with a further 50,000 unaccounted for, even to the present day, a truly terrible event.


2010 did not pass without a major natural disaster, either, as Haiti was suffered a catastrophic earthquake, 52 aftershocks recorded over the following ten days. So devastating was this unbelievable event that that an estimated 230,000 were killed, 300,000 injured and a million made homeless. A year later, the island is still in a terrible state, badly needing help.

These truly catastrophic events really do help to put the Japan quake of March 2011 into perspective. As awful as it undoubtedly is, with many thousands of dead, misplaced and now homeless, it is by no means the worst such catastrophic natural disaster that humanity has faced, even though, just now, it might seem that way.


Catastrophic, Death, History, Natural Disasters, Tragedy

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author avatar tony leather
mainly non-fiction articles, though I do write short stories, poetry and descriptive prose as well. Have been writing for over ten years now

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