Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History
Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History. Photo KnowInsiders

Climate change has resulted in different types of natural disasters. The consequences of climate change can be seen not only recentl but hundreds years ago, people started to suffer. In the list below, you will find the deadliest natural disasters in history. Majority of them were in China.

What are Natural Disasters?

Natural disasters are violent events that are outside the control of humans. hey are caused by the forces of nature and may result in loss of life, injury, and damage to property.

Natural disasters include all types of severe weather, which have the potential to pose a significant threat to human health and safety, property, critical infrastructure, and homeland security. Natural disasters occur both seasonally and without warning, subjecting the nation to frequent periods of insecurity, disruption, and economic loss. A disaster can happen anywhere, anytime. However, some destinations experience certain types of natural disasters more often.

There are many types of natural disaster, including avalanche, drought, earthquake, flooding, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, and wildfire.

Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In th World History

1. Central China Flood of 1931 (2 Million–3.7 Million Deaths)

From June to August 1931, areas of central and eastern China flooded, including densely populated cities like Wuhan and Nanjing. The death toll of the floods ranges between 422,499-4,000,000, depending on the source.

Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History
Photo China Dialogue

China faced some extreme weather in the late 1920s and early 30s. From 1928 to 1930, the country was in a drought. Then the 1930 winter was harsh, which created substantial deposits of snow and ice around mountainous areas.

At the beginning of 1931, the snow and ice started to melt, flowing downstream into the Yangtze River. The area is used to increased water levels during spring, summer, and fall, but the flow was consistent in 1931.

On Aug. 25, 1931, a dike along Lake Gaoyou was breached. The floods covered around 180,000 square kilometres, approximately the size of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut combined.

The floods destroyed extensive housing and farmland. Approximately 15 per cent of wheat and rice crops were destroyed in the Yangtze Valley. The floods impacted the economy as the price of vital commodities skyrocketed.

2. 1887 Yellow River Flood in China (900,000 Deaths)

Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History
Photo University of Houston

Huang He River, which is also called the Yellow River, is responsible for most hazardous floods in China. The river is three thousand miles long, running from Qinghai province in the northern mountain to the Yellow Sea, which is situated between China and Korea. Thanks to the massive property destruction and the loss of live it has caused, the river has been dubbed ‘’China’s Sorrow’’ by westerners. In 1887 alone, 900,000 people died in the floods. It did not end there as close to four million people died in the 1931 floods and almost one million died in 1938.

Due to the low lying nature of plains near the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province, the waters of the Yellow River are thought to have broken the dikes in Huayankou. This made it possible for the floods to spread quickly in the entire Northern China. The floods covered an area of about 50,000 square miles and destroyed farms, homes, commercial centers and other property whose accurate value is still not known to date. A total of 2 million people were left homeless and without basic amenities. So far, the Yellow River has killed close to 4 million people due to flooding. What a curse!

How to predict natural disasters

The best way to predict or tell when natural disasters will occur is to study ones that have already happened. This gives scientists important information about the events that lead up to disasters. It also helps the scientists understand the forces of nature that cause the disasters.

Scientists have developed a good understanding of the factors that lead to hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding. Predicting events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, however, is much more difficult. Volcanoes may give warning signs, such as leaking gases or spouting lava, before erupting, but sometimes they erupt with no warning at all.

Earthquakes are also difficult to predict. However, scientists are aware of the regions in the world where earthquakes are most likely to occur. In these places they use equipment to monitor any changes that might suggest an earthquake is about to happen.

3. 1556 Shaanxi Earthquake in China (830,000 Deaths)

On January 23, 1556, an earthquake in Shaanxi, China, kills an estimated 830,000 people. Counting casualties is often imprecise after large-scale disasters, especially prior to the 20th century, but this disaster is still considered the deadliest of all time.

The quake struck in late evening, with aftershocks continuing through the following morning. Later scientific investigation revealed that the magnitude of the quake was approximately 8.0 to 8.3, which isn’t close to the strongest tremor on record. However, the quake struck in the middle of a densely populated area with poorly constructed buildings and homes, resulting in a horrific death toll.

READ MORE: Recent Eartquake In Dehli India: What To Know?

4. 1970 Bhola Cyclone in Bangladesh (500,000 Deaths)

Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History
Photo Weather Channel

In 1970, Bangladesh (at that time known as East Pakistan) was hit by the Bhola tropical cyclone. The wind speed, based on data by NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, reached 205 km/h, making it the world’s deadliest tropical cyclone to date.

According to the 1971 report produced by the National Hurricane Center and the Pakistan Meteorological Department, there was a serious challenge in providing the exact numbers of the storm’s victims mainly due to the increased number of seasonal workers who had arrived in the region to harvest rice.

5. 1839 Coringa Cyclone (300,000 Deaths)

On 25th November 1839, a furious tropical cyclone hit Coringa. The speed remains unknown to date but the storm surge that rose were up to 40 feet high. It completely dismantled the city and ravaged 20,000 vessels.

Coringa wasn't a place that was new to such disasters. Even 50 years ago a cyclone hit the city and took 20,000 lives but the city was able to rejuvenate. However, after this particular episode Coringa never fully recovered to its former glory and remains a small village to date. Being so prone to cyclones the British renamed this place to 'Hope Island' hoping it would catch some luck that prevents it from future disasters.

Preparing for Natural Disasters

Developed countries that suffer from earthquakes, such as Japan and the United States, have buildings that can stand up to all but the most powerful earthquakes. Storm shelters can be built to provide a safe place for people to stay during hurricanes and tornadoes.

The Thames Barrier, in England, was built to protect London from flooding. This type of preparation is less common in developing countries because it can be very expensive.

6. 526 Antioch Earthquake in Turkey (250,000–300,000 Deaths)

When did the Antioch earthquake happen: Late May AD 526

Where did the Antioch earthquake happen: Antakya, Turkey

What was the Antioch earthquake death toll: Although the population had declined since its heyday, it is estimated that the city’s entire population of some 250,000 perished in the earthquake.

Its location made Antioch a key strategic bulwark of the Eastern Roman Empire against the Persian threat from the east. When Justinian assumed the Byzantine throne the year after the earthquake he spent lavishly on rebuilding the city. It was to little avail, however, as just a dozen years later it was sacked by the Persians.

7. 1976 Tangshan Earthquake in China (255,000 Deaths; 700,000 Injured)

Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History
Photo Getty

At 3:42 a.m., an earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 magnitude on the Richter scale flattens Tangshan, a Chinese industrial city with a population of about one million people. As almost everyone was asleep in their beds, instead of outside in the relative safety of the streets, the quake was especially costly in terms of human life. An estimated 242,000 people in Tangshan and surrounding areas were killed, making the earthquake one of the deadliest in recorded history, surpassed only by the 300,000 who died in the Calcutta earthquake in 1737, and the 830,000 thought to have perished in China’s Shaanxi province in 1556.

8. 1920 Haiyuan Earthquake in China (273,400 Deaths)

On December 16th, 1920, a catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Haiyuan Country, Ningxia Province, Republic of China killing an estimated 273,400 people (including individuals that died months later from complications). The quake resulted in a large number of aftershocks and landslides that contributed significantly to the overall damage. Moreover, numerous rivers were dammed from the sudden jarring motion of the quake, resulting in extreme flooding as the course of some rivers were completely diverted.

Reducing the Effects of Natural Disasters

The effects of natural disasters can be reduced in two main ways. Warning systems can tell people to prepare for a disaster, and relief agencies can help deal with the problems caused by the disaster.

Sensible planning can also prevent deaths from natural disasters. For example, people can choose not to build towns on the sides of volcanoes, in active earthquake zones, or on floodplains.

9. 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake (230,000–280,000 Deaths)

A disastrous earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 on the Richter scale just off the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia in the Indian Ocean, provoked a massive tsunami that struck 12 countries in South Asia and East Africa, traveling at a speed of around 800 km/h and generating waves as high as 30 meters. Due to its speed, people had little time to escape the dangerous regions.

10. 1975 Typhoon Nina (over 200,000 deaths) in China

One of the most devastating floods in history occurred in central China as a result of the heavy rains brought by Typhoon Nina that poured down over a three-day period. The typhoon was followed by the Banqiao dam failure on the River Ru in the western Chinese province of Henan on August 8 and 61 dams and reservoirs failures in other regions.

11. 2010 Haiti Earthquake (100,000–230,000 Deaths)

Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History
Photo history

On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck approximately sixteen miles west of Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. Occurring at approximately 4:53 PM, the earthquake was felt by nearly three million people and set off an additional 52 aftershocks during the two weeks that followed (4.5 magnitude or higher). Poor housing conditions, lack of preparation, and a lack of earthquake retrofitting proved catastrophic for the small island nation, resulting in the destruction of 250,000+ homes, along with the collapse of 30,000+ commercial buildings.

Death tolls are difficult to estimate and have been a matter of dispute for years. The Haitian government claims that approximately 222,000 people were killed. However, several investigations by foreign organizations have charged the Haitian government with artificially inflating numbers to receive greater humanitarian aid. More modern estimates place the number of dead at approximately 100,000.

12. 1815 Mount Tambora Eruption (100,000 deaths)

Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History
Photo SciTechDaily

When the Mount Tambora volcano in Indonesia blew its top on April 10, 1815, it was the climax of the largest eruption in recorded history. It's estimated that 36 cubic miles (150 cubic km) of exploded rock blasted into the atmosphere and could be seen from as far as 808 miles (1,300 km) away, according to NASA(opens in new tab).

The explosion expelled so much volcanic ash into Earth's atmosphere that it reduced the amount of sunlight reaching Earth's surface. As a result, the temperature in the Northern Hemisphere at the time, fell by 1 degree Fahrenheit (approx 0.56 degrees Celsius), according to NOAA (opens in new tab), and 1816 became known as "the year without a summer." Records indicate that the eruption caused 11,000 immediate deaths from pyroclastic flows (fast-moving solid lava, hot gas and ash), and a further 100,00 people died from food shortages over the preceding decade caused by the reduction in sunlight, according to NOAA(opens in new tab).

13. Kashmir Earthquake, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan on October 8, 2005 (87,000 deaths)

Top 13 Worst Natural Disasters In History
Photo US Air Force

This disastrous earthquake struck at 8:50 am (local time) with a registered magnitude of 7.6 points on the Richter scale. The most affected regions were Kashmir and the North-West Frontier Province (called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after 2010) in Pakistan and nearby regions in India and Afghanistan. Around 90% of all buildings in Balakot were demolished by the quake, according to the BBC(opens in new tab).

In total, it's estimated that 3 million homes were destroyed throughout Kashmir; more than 87,000 people were killed and a further 100,000 were injured, according to NASA(opens in new tab). It's believed that the sudden and rapid release of seismic stress between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates was the cause of the earthquake.

Cryptos Unusually Bullish - Taking Advantage of Luna Disaster Cryptos Unusually Bullish - Taking Advantage of Luna Disaster

The memecoins that followed LUNA's collapse have many unusual signs, high risks for investors.

Amazing Facts About Thunderstorms: Causes, Types and How to Stay Safe Amazing Facts About Thunderstorms: Causes, Types and How to Stay Safe

Whether you enjoy stormy weather or not, thunderstorms happen anyway. But how much do you really know about thunderstorms?

Update: Japan Earthquake shaking Tokyo, Tsunami Warning Update: Japan Earthquake shaking Tokyo, Tsunami Warning

Japan Earthquake Latest News - A strong earthquake struck Saturday off northern Japan, shaking buildings even in Tokyo and triggering a tsunami advisory for a ...