Our planet Earth is a very dangerous and violent place, and its inhabitants often become victims of its violence. These are the worst natural disasters of the 20th century.
10. Bangladesh Cyclone
On 29 September 1991 Bangladesh was struck with one of the worst tropical cyclone that is ever recorded. The cyclone hit Chittagong district of Bangladesh with wind speeds of 250 km/h and produced a storm surge over 6 meters high. The total number of casualties were estimated to be around 130,000 and over 10 million people were displaced or rendered homeless.
9. Nevado Del Ruiz Volcano
It is an active colombian volcano situated on the borders of Caldas and Tolima which erupted in 1985, causing a huge pyroclastic flow which completely engulfed the town of Armero in the province of Tolima. It was the second largest volcano disaster of the 20th century killing almost 25,000 people.
8. Hurricane Andrew
In August 1992 hurricane andrew hit the Bahamas, louisiana and south Florida and at that time it was the largest hurricane in the history of USA. Only 44 people died but the destruction it caused cost almost US$250 million. Florida faced the greatest impact as hurricane andrew landed here as a category 5 hurricane with wind speeds of over 177 mph.
7. Great Kanto Earthquake
This earthquake hit the main island of Honshu, Japan on september 1923 measuring 7.9 on the richter scale. The earthquake destroyed Tokyo and the port city of Yokohama killing 142,000 with 40,000 missing or presumed dead. The earthquake was so intense that it moved a 93-ton Great Buddha statue which was 60 km from the epicenter, two feet forward.
6. Haiyuan Earthquake
The Haiyuan earthquake rattled China on 16 December 1920, measuring 7.8 on the richter scale followed by a series of aftershocks for three years. The total number of casualties were 273,40o, over 73,000 of which belonged to Haiyuan county, the Guyuan county suffered 30,000 thousand casualties and a village in Xiji county got buried by a landslide.
5. Bhola Cyclone
This devastating tropical cyclone hit Bangladesh previously known as East-Pakistan on the november of 1970. It is still the deadliest cyclone ever recorded and one of the worst natural disasters of modern times. It was a category 3 cyclone with wind speeds of 185 km/h and killed almost 500,000 people which was estimated to be 46% of the country’s whole population.
4. Tangshan Earthquake
Occurred on July 27, 1976 with its epicentre near Tangshan in Hebei, People’s Republic of China the tangshan Earthquake is considered the deadliest earthquake of 20th century by death toll.The death toll was estimated to be at 655,000 which was later reduced by the government. The destruction was caused by the initial shock of 8.2 magnitude followed by an aftershock of 7.1 magnitude only after 16 hours.
3. North Korea Famine
A series of floods and droughts combined with economic mismanagement and loss of soviet support resulted in a deadliest famine in 1994, which left North Korea dependant on UN member countries for its food. An estimated 240,000 to 3.5 million people died during this period due to starvation and other hunger related issues.The more distant the area was from the capital the more devastating effect it had from the famine.
2. China Floods
Also known as Central China Floods, these were a series of floods that occurred in People’s Republic of China in 1931. After a series of odd weather patterns the yangtze river overflew affecting 51 million people and killing 4 million of them through drowning, starvation, disease and lack of shelter. These floods are considered the most deadliest of natural disasters ever recorded by death toll.
1. Spanish Flu
In 1918, the N1H1 flu virus turned into a pandemic which killed 4% of the entire population of the world. It affected 500 million people worldwide and left 50 to a 100 million dead. Luckily the virus died as quickly as it grew. Scientist speculated that it was due the rapid mutation of the virus which turned it into a less lethal strain.