There have been some very serious natural disasters experienced in different parts of the world over the past century. They caused untold destruction and deaths in every place they occurred. The effects of such disasters are felt to date while others remain active to occur without advanced warning. People are unaware but it’s always good to prepare yourself for any disaster since you don’t know when it might strike.
The following are ten of the top places to have been hit by such disasters.
This occurred in 2010 thus it’s still vivid in the memories of many people. With a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale, it was one of the worst quakes to have rocked the world in recent times. The aftershocks of the earthquake were felt by many people even beyond Haiti with more than 200,000 people reported dead and millions others displaced from their homes. It left a big mark in the country’s history of disasters.
This was ignited by an earthquake whose magnitude was 9.0 on the Richter scale and it occurred on the coast of Sumatra in December 2004. It came only a day after Christmas thus caught many people still in the festive mood. Up to 14 countries that border the Indian Ocean were affected by the tsunami which claimed approximately 275,000 people. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand were the most affected of the countries with its effects still evoking bad memories on locals.
This continent went through its hardest times between 1981 and 1984 when up to twenty countries suffered drought. It was very serious and many permanent rivers as well as lakes dried up, livestock died and crops failed to mature in the farms. At least 20,000 deaths were reported every month due to starvation prompting other world nations to marshal support for the continent. Official figures showed that the drought claimed more than one million lives across Africa. It is one of the worst disasters to have ever been reported in this continent for many years.
Great Chinese Famine
It was reported that 20 million people lost their lives in China during this famine that extended from 1959 to 1961. In some quarters, it is recorded as a natural disaster but other people believe it was as a result of politics in the country. Whatever the case it is, the famine remains to be one of the worst disasters to have hit the world. The number of people who died in a span of three years was unbelievable. If it was in some other countries, the whole nation would have been eliminated.
This typhoon was another top disaster of the world and it hit Myanmar in 2008 leading to 140,000 deaths. All the heavily populated regions around the Irrawaddy River were washed up in damages estimated to have hit $10 billion. It is rated as the second worst typhoon to that of Nina back in 1975.
This is among the many hurricanes that have been recorded in the United States occurring in 1993. The negative marks it left behind were devastating that locals still reel in pain upon its remembrance. The destructions it caused were enormous including deaths and damage of property worth billions in dollars. Local authorities rank it fifth among the worst hurricanes experienced in the USA.
Flooding of the Yangtze, Yellow and Huai Rivers
This flood was phenomenal. It came just after China had gone through one of its worst famine between 1928 and 1931 thus highly unexpected. There were heavy rains that came down towards the end of 1931 causing the flooding of the three rivers. Close to 4 million people lost their lives due to the floods while 51 million others were directly and indirectly affected. Crops were also destroyed by the raging waters.
The world was hit by an unexpected disaster from 1918 to 1919 when flu broke out. Every continent was affected and most of the countries became victims of the flu. Reports showed that up to 75 million people died since the disease was viral. India was the worst hit country with 16 million deaths being reported and it was the elderly and young children who bore the brunt of this global disaster. This was the first time that a viral disease caught the world by surprise.
There was a famine associated with the Irish potato in the period between 1845 and 1848. There were more than a million deaths reported as a result of the famine. It was a tough time for Irish farmers because most of them depended on this crop for livelihood and had no other option for nourishment. This problem was caused by a fungus that attacked the potatoes with other countries including Britain offering little aid. Actually, millions of people migrated to several other countries to run away from the disaster that was becoming a real threat to livelihoods.
Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster
This one occurred in 1986 in Ukraine at a nuclear power plant. There was an explosion that caused a huge fire resulting in the release of radioactive particles into the air. This affected most parts of the European continent and is still regarded as the worst in terms of casualties reported and cost incurred. The long-term effects of the disaster include cancer cases that are still under probe today. It has not yet been determined on the number of people who succumbed after being exposed to the radiations.
From the above information, the common thing in all these disasters has been deaths and destruction of property. That is the least you can expect from disasters of such magnitude. They all occur naturally thus human beings have no control over that. But, you can take adequate precautionary measures like living away from areas that are prone to earthquakes. As the saying goes, prevention will always be better than cure.