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Worldwide Disasters Report | 2021 Quarter 1

All disastrous events fit into three classifications:

  1. Natural - Caused from natural processes of the earth (floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.)

  2. Man-made - Crime, arson, civil disorder, terrorism, war, biological/chemical, cyber attacks, etc.

  3. Hybrid - technical failure or sabotage, disaster planning and management, and warning systems

Disasters can strike at any time and in any place in the world. You are probably aware of local news breaking disasters. Many of us are myopic, only able to see what is happening in our own area. It is important to be informed of disasters affecting other areas of the world because they may affect your own life indirectly. The CDP (Center for Disaster Philanthropy) keeps an eye on the status of disasters worldwide and compiles disaster information.

Considering the ongoing worldwide Coronavirus pandemic that started in China and spread to every corner of the world, COVID-19 still affects humankind on a global scale.

The World Health Organization (WHO) keeps track of disasters and reports them by region on a weekly basis.

How do disasters affect people’s lives?

  • Homes and possessions lost

  • Financial burden

  • Physical injury or death

  • Emotional trauma

Many lessons are learned from each disaster. Relief officials use knowledge gained from past experiences to help prepare for future disasters.

In January 2021, the following natural or man-made disasters were recorded:


  • January 12 - Floods in Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania, and Kosovo

North America

  • January 6 - Powerful winter storms in Alaska, Pacific Northwest, and Canada

  • January 13 - Deadly windstorm through Pacific Northwest left many without power


  • January 27 - Malarial mosquito widespread in the Horn of Africa

  • January 14 - 25 - Cyclone Eloise affected more than 300,000 people.


  • January 24 - Earthquake hit South Shetland Islands


  • January 24 - Salmonella cases in Salta province

  • January 13 - 4.2 M quake northwest of Chilecito

  • January 18 - 6.4 M quake in San Juan, Argentina


  • January 4 - Tropical Cyclone “Imogen” brought floods and disruption to Queensland, Australia

  • January 29 - Victoria drenched by a month’s worth of rain in 12 hours in NSW.

  • January 16 - Tropical Cyclone “Kimi” in Queensland


  • January 14 - Large fire in Bangladesh


  • January 3 - Storm caused power outages to thousands of Nova Scotia power customers

  • January 29 - Pertussis outbreak in Northwest Territories


  • January 20 - Miners trapped in gold mines


  • January 8 - Large earthquake causes fatalities


  • January 18 - Locust invasion


  • January 30 - Tropical depression intensified into a tropical cyclone


  • January 12 - Heavy snow causes deaths in Jammu and Kashmir

  • January 21 - Fire at world’s largest vaccine producer: Serum Institute


  • January 11 - Flooding in Indonesia’s Capital

  • January 27 - Significant Merapi Volcano eruption

  • January 18 - Worst floods in 50 years hit South Kalimantan

  • January 16 - Semeru Volcano spewing lava


  • January 2 - Etna’s Southeast Crater eruption


  • January 7 - Severe weather and heavy snow


  • January 12 - Drought causes humanitarian crisis


  • January 13 - Attack in Mali leaving United Nation peacekeepers dead


  • January 26 - Tropical Cyclone “Chalane” in Beira, Mozambique

  • January 27 - Tropical Cyclone “Eloise” near Beira with fatalities


  • January 11 - Heavy Rain causing flash floods in Windhoek


  • January 19 - Lassa fever in Nigeria


  • January 4 - Landslide


  • January 14 - Avalanches in Pakistani and Indian Kashmir killed dozens

Papua New Guinea

  • January 1 - Landslide engulfed Papua New Guinea Village


  • January 12 - New variant of COVID-19 detected in Lima

  • January 15 - Worst dengue epidemic since 2017


  • January 9 - Worst snowstorm since 1971

  • January 11 - Mad Cow disease reported in Spain

  • January 28 - Huge wind storm “Hortense” hits Mallorca (winds up to 105 mph

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

  • January 3 - Soufriere Volcano activity


  • January 19 - Heavy rains turn into lakes


  • January 21 - Blaze guts home for elderly

United Kingdom

  • January 6 - Crawley gas leak

  • January 21 - Storm Christoph causes historic flooding

United States of America

  • January 6 - Trump Supporters stormed US Capitol

  • January 7 - Powerful rare winter storm in Florida leaving thousands without power

  • January 26 - Tornado in Fultondale, Alabama causes significant damage

  • January 27 - Strong winter storm with floods and blizzard in California

  • January 17 - Rabies alert in Fairmount Heights, Maryland

February 2021 was a short month, but it definitely was not devoid of disasters affecting millions worldwide. The following disasters were recorded (by area) impacting thousands throughout the globe:


  • The central Daykundi province had an avalanche that killed 31 and damaged many homes and killed many animals.


  • After the many fires in Australia in 2020, it was hit in February 2021 by the heaviest rainfall in 30 years brining widespread flooding. Thousands of homes lost power.

  • Perth bushfires caused evacuations and destroyed homes.

  • Victoria drenched when a month’s worth of rain fell in 12 hours.


  • The government reported that rain and flooding affected 700 families in an indigenous community


  • Record flooding in northwestern Brazil affected more than 100,000 people

Central Africa

  • The Central African Republic experienced the return of Monkeypox

Central Europe

  • Storm Ciara with near-hurricane winds battered Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany.


  • Record rainfall, hail, and severe storms


  • Flooding and landslides killed eight people after heavy days-long rain.

Cook Islands

  • Dengue outbreak declared

East Africa

  • Local farmers were left helpless when swarms of locusts destroyed 170,000 acres of crops


  • A Saharan dust plume moved over Europe


  • Tropical Cyclone “Ana” left one person dead and five missing


  • Historic snowstorm left three dead


  • Ebola cases emerged, and Guinea started a vaccine campaign


  • Pacava volcano alert level raised to yellow due to increased explosive activity


  • Ebola outbreak


  • Rock and ice avalanche hit Uttarakhand hit with a loss of more than 150 people


  • Reykjanes peninsula hit by intense earthquakes


  • South Sumatra province experienced heavy rainfall, flooding thousands of homes.

  • Ten students killed when many students hit by flash floods while they were trekking along a river.

  • Jakarta under 2.7 m of water due to extreme monsoon rains


  • Heavy rain spurred widespread flooding in the Lorestan province where rivers overflowed damaging roads, bridges, cutting off numerous villages.


  • Oil spill after heavy storms and unusually high waves was the worst environmental disaster in decades


  • Etna Volcano eruption


  • Mt. Shindake experienced pyroclastic flows, ash, and smoke after a massive volcano eruption. Ash and smoke spewed 2,300 feet, and flow reached 3,000 on the southwest of the crater.

  • A very severe snowstorm was the strongest in years


  • First snow in 15 years also affecting parts of northern Africa and the Middle East.

  • Snow disrupted life in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel


  • Tropical Cyclone “Guambe” intensified over the Mozambique Channel

New Zealand

  • Steam explosions at White Island followed increase in volcano Treme levels


  • Shallow 7.7 earthquake hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands and put New Caledonia on a tsunami watch


  • Tropical Cyclone affecting Vanuatu and New Caledonia reaching Category 2


  • Severe flooding and landslides killed at least ten people


  • Heavy rain brought flooding and damaged hundreds of homes.


  • A strong shallow 6.0 earthquake hit Mindanao

  • Widespread flooding and disruption sends more than 59,000 people fleeing


  • Thirteen people lost their lives due to floods and landslides. The country has seen dozens of deaths due to heavy rains.


  • Record snow and major winter storm hit Moscow

South Africa

  • The massive Brakpan Fire engulfed nine stores, hotel, and flat

  • Heavy rains lasted weeks, killing more than 30 people

South Sudan

  • Famine, fighting, and floods caused a crises in South Sudan


  • State of emergency declared over soaring food prices


  • Salmonella outbreak sickens 12 people


  • Unexplained deaths caused fears of Lake Victoria fish

The United Kingdom

  • Several warnings were issued as Storm Dennis approached and killed at least three people.

  • Extreme freeze causing mass disruption of services

  • Scotland reported H5N1 avian influenza in a flock of game birds


  • Two deadly avalanches in the eastern Van province took the lives of 41 people\

  • Flash floods resulted from more than a month’s worth of rain in just six hours, causing destructive flash flooding in Izmer.


  • Heavy rain and flooding took 40 lives and caused food shortages.

Uganda and Kenya

  • Swarms of deadly desert locust ravaged the land accelerated by climate change. It affected many by causing food shortages.

United States of America

  • St. Clair River rose to record levels due to ice jam pushes which triggered devastating floods in Michigan

  • Damaging mudslides in California resulted from major winter storms

  • An E-coli outbreak sickened man, including one death in Washington

  • Avalanches caused 15 death considered the deadliest week of avalanches in over a century

  • Ice accumulation from mid-Mississippi Valley to Ohio and Tennessee Valleys

  • North America experienced extreme cold knocking out electricity. Heating prices surge as infrastructure failed to deliver

  • An unprecedented winter storm hit Texas, leaving more than 3.8 million homes without power.


  • The northern regions experienced flooding, damaging roads, bridges, and nearly 200 homes.

The following disasters were recorded (by area) impacting thousands throughout the globe during March 2021:


  • Flash floods leave 7 dead and 3 missing in Chlef

  • Magnitude 6.0 earthquake strikes off Algeria


  • Wildfires ravage Patagonia leaving 250 homes destroyed and 15 people missing


  • Tropical cyclone developed near the coast of Queensland, Australia

  • Flood evacuations issued in NSW those in Sydney warned to stay indoors

  • Worst floods since 1971 in New South Wales


  • Massive fire leaves 45,000 refugees without shelter


  • Yellow fever kills monkeys in Sana Catarina with two human cases.


  • Persistent heavy rain leaves 7 people dead in Colombia.

  • Severe weather leaves 45 people dead with more than 2,000 homes damaged in Colombia

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • Deadly floods swept through Kinshasa and Brazzaville in Congo

East Asia

  • Mongolia and Northern China hit by worst sandstorm in a decade with six dead

  • Sandstorm from Mongolia affects many parts of Japan


  • Explosive eruption at Sangay volcano with ash up to 12.5 km


  • Equine herpes outbreak


  • Strong explosions at Pacaya volcano


  • Ebola outbreak grows to 17 cases


  • Sudden increase in seismic tremor southwest of Keilir at Reykjanes Peninsula

  • Magma chamber continues to expand with more than 35,000 earthquakes on Reykjanes Peninsula

  • Eruption near Fagradalsfjall on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula

  • High level of volcano gases close to the eruption sit at Fagradalsfjall


  • Mysterious dolphin and whale strandings reaching record highs


  • Major eruption at Sinaburg volcano produced large pyroclastic flows with ash up to 12.2 km


  • Etna Volcano strong activity observed


  • Powerful M 7.2 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan with tsunami warnings issued

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia health officials report two additional MERS cases in Riyadh


  • Severe floods hit Malacca

  • Two human rabies fatalities in Sarawak


  • Massive sandstorm forms over Mongolia, hits Beijing and is the worst in a decade

New Caledonia

  • Severe Tropical Cyclone “Niran” headed toward New Caledonia

New Zealand

  • Very strong earthquake M7.2 hits off the east coast of the North Island

  • Powerful earthquakes hit the Kermadec Islands – Tsunami warning


  • San Cristobal volcano erupts with heavy ash blanketing the city of Chinandega


  • Deadly attack against displaced population in Western Niger


  • 25 additional Lassa fever cases with one death


  • Salmonella outbreak with 10 people hospitalized


  • Extensive damage in New Caledonia from Tropical Cyclone “Niran”


  • Vaccines urgently needed as Palestine struggles under surge of COVID-19


  • Dengue cases continue to increase


  • Persistent heavy rains trigger flooding and landslides affecting more than 3000 homes


  • Taal volcano alert status raised to Level 2


  • H5N8 avian influenza mutation


  • Urgent funding needed to aid 2.7 m people

  • Salmonella outbreak sickens 12

  • Yersinia enterocolitica outbreak over with iceberg lettuce as the suspected source

  • Severe water shortages leave 70 percent of families without safe drinking water


  • Q fever confirmed in Biological Mechanical Treatment plant in Bilbao

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Change in seismic activity associated with the eruption of La Soufriere volcano


  • Salmonella outbreak sickens 12 with iceberg lettuce suspected


  • Thousands of foreigners unlawfully held in JE Syria


  • Typhoid reported in as first domestic case of 2021

  • First imported chikungunya case of the year


  • First human dirofilariasis case reported in Ukraine this year

United Kingdom

  • Brazil COVID-19 variant cases report in the UK

United States of America

  • Maryland reports death in multistate Listeria outbreak

  • Evacuations as heavy rains cause flooding and dam breach in Maui, Hawaii

  • U.K. COVID-19 variant detected at most wastewater treatment plants in Houston

  • Tornado hits South U.S. causing damage in the Southeast

  • Powerful snow storm with high winds in Western US

  • Major severe weather outbreak across lower Mississippi Valley into Alabama

  • Negative polarity sparks G1-Minor geomagnetic storm and auroras in the lower 48

  • 3.1 earthquake 44 miles northeast of Hilo, Hawaii

  • Legionnaires’ Disease cluster in northern New Jersey

  • Very bright fireball over Pennsylvania

West Africa

  • Health ministers join fight against Ebola


  • COVID-19 second wave overwhelms medical facilities with a quarter of casualities children.

  • 20 die after human traffickers force migrants into sea en route to Yemen

At no other time in history have agri-food systems faced more hazards such as extreme weather, locust swarms, megafires, and emerging biological threats than during the Pandemic 2020. This has devastated livelihoods, inflicted negative economic consequences on national levels, that could potentially endure for generations.

According to FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), disasters happen three times more often today than in the 1970s and 1980s.

Agriculture has absorbed 63 percent of the impact, compared to tourism, commerce, and industry.

Make a plan to prepare yourself for ANY future disasters. Live your best life while also being prepared for the worst by partnering with R72.

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