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What a Disaster!

Disasters cause human, material, economic, and environmental loss. History reveals the havoc and desolation caused by disasters throughout the world. The two major types of disasters are natural and man-made (either accidental or intentional). Are you ready for the next disaster?

What are the four types of disasters?

Four types of natural disasters include:

  1. Geophysical - earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and tsunamis

  2. Hydrological - floods and avalanches

  3. Climatological - extreme hot and cold temperatures, wildfires, and drought

  4. Meteorological - storms including hurricanes, cyclones, hurricanes, and wave surges

What are 5 man made disasters?

Humanity can be quite foolish and occasionally make tremendous mistakes that impact the earth and its population. Besides wars, there have been many man-made disasters that were very devastating around the globe throughout history. The following disasters were very notable for their magnitude, expense, and the number of people killed.

  • The Bhopal Gas Leak occurred in India as recently as 1984. The Union Carbide India Limited chemical plant had broken dozens of safety regulations and was in deplorable condition. As the errors accumulated, a safety release system activated and emptied a storage tank into the air, and 30 metric tons of toxic methyl isocyanate escaped into the atmosphere. It officially killed 3,787 people in Bhopal and neighboring areas. The unofficial death toll was estimated at 8,000 deaths.

  • The Jilin Chemical Explosion occurred in November of 2005 at a petrochemical plant in China. It resulted from poor handling of operating systems, which led to blasts shattering windows up to 200 meters away. Thousands were evacuated, dozens injured, and six people died. Benzene and nitrobenzene escaped into the environment. Toxic sludge covered the Songhua and Amur Rivers, which caused immune system impairments and leukemia. The explosion cut off water supplies, and many more people died as a result.

  • The Tennessee Coal Ash Spill happened in 2008 and resulted from poor management resulting in costing an estimated 675 million dollars of damage.

  • The Gulf War Spill still impacts the environment from Iraq’s attempt to thwart the advance of U.S. forces to land in their territory. Seven hundred twenty thousand cubic meters of oil into the Persian Gulf. Many local species of marine wildlife disappeared.

  • The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill occurred in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the sea. It left the drill hole open and resulted in petrol blowing directly into the waters. It discharged 780,000 cubic meters of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and claimed seven lives. It took more than two months for the U.S. to cap the hole.

What is the most famous disaster?

The Galveston Texas Hurricane of 1900 is considered the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. With winds of more than 135 mph and storm surges up to 15 feet, it destroyed more than 3600 buildings and devastated thousands of lives, killing around 8000 people.

Worldwide, the rating of natural disasters results from the death toll, profound environmental effect, and financial loss. Some of the deadliest natural disasters recorded in world history include:

  • 1931 China floods - killed an estimated 4,000,000

  • 1931 Yangtze River floods - (China) - killed 3,700,000

  • 1887 Yellow River flood (China) - killed an estimated 2,000,000

  • 1556 Shaanxi Earthquake (China) - killed an estimated 830,000

  • 1976 Tangshan Earthquake (China) - killed an estimated 655,000

  • 1970 Bhola cyclone (East Pakistan - now Bangladesh) - killed more than 500,000

  • 2010 Haiti earthquake (Haiti) - killed 316,000

  • 526 Antioch earthquake (Byzantine Empire (now Turkey) - killed more than 300,000

  • 1881 Haiphong typhoon (Vietnam) - killed an estimated 300,000

  • 1920 Haiyuan earthquake (China) - killed an estimated 273,400

  • 1975 Typhoon Nina (China) - killed an estimated 229,000

Many more disasters have made it into the history books. Earthquakes, famines, wildfires, avalanches/landslides, blizzards, floods, heat waves, pandemics/epidemics, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, tsunamis, and volcano eruptions occur sporadically. However, those listed above had the most considerable death toll (excluding epidemics and famines)

What disasters happened in 2020?

2020 was a year filled with disasters, either man-made or natural. A world-wide pandemic, the deadly Coronavirus, COVID-19 took a big toll on the world population. Locust swarms affected East Africa and India.

Ten devastating natural disasters in 2020 include:

  • Bushfires of Australia devastated the country’s state of New South Wales and were one of the worst on record for the country. It killed at least 33 people and burned more than 13 million acres. Smoke from the fires resulted in at least 445 deaths.

  • Hurricane Et a devastated Central America, including Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica on November 3, 2020. It killed at least 150 people,

  • Flash floods in Afghanistan on August 26, 2020, killing more than 150 people.

  • 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Greece on October 30, 2020, killing 117 people.

  • Cyclone Amphan hit India and Bangladesh on May 20, killing more than 85 people.

  • Hurricane Laura ravaged Haiti, Louisiana, The Dominican Republic, and Texas killing 77 people in 2020.

  • Flash floods in the capital city of Jakarta, Indonesia killing 66 people. It was just a handful of floods that occurred in Indonesia in 2020.

  • Taal Volcanic Eruption forced thousands to evacuate on January 12, 2020, killing 39 people.

  • A colossal earthquake located on the North Anatolian Fault of Turkey on January 24, 2020, killing 41 people and displacing thousands.

  • Typhoon Vamco killed 42 people on November 13 in the Philippines. The Philippines had a total of 21 typhoons in 2020.

According to, you should have a plan in place for you and your family in case of a disaster. You should know what disasters could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where to go if you need to evacuate.

In preparation for a disaster, you can order free materials from FEMA’s platform. They offer hazard information sheets regarding what to do in natural and man-made disasters. You should take steps to get ready for a disaster. It is essential to know where to get alerts and warnings.

Three influential organizations also help people prepare for disasters, including:

  • American Red Cross

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • Salvation Army

Which countries have the least natural disasters?

According to, the following countries have the least natural disasters in the world:


Saudi Arabia







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