top of page

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:


Europe

  • 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


Africa

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

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


Antarctica

  • January 24 - Earthquake hit South Shetland Islands


Argentina

  • 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


Australia

  • 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


Bangladesh

  • January 14 - Large fire in Bangladesh


Canada

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

  • January 29 - Pertussis outbreak in Northwest Territories


China

  • January 20 - Miners trapped in gold mines


Croatia

  • January 8 - Large earthquake causes fatalities


Ethiopia

  • January 18 - Locust invasion


Fiji

  • January 30 - Tropical depression intensified into a tropical cyclone


India

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

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


Indonesia

  • 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


Italy

  • January 2 - Etna’s Southeast Crater eruption


Japan

  • January 7 - Severe weather and heavy snow


Madagascar

  • January 12 - Drought causes humanitarian crisis


Mali

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


Mozambique

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

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


Namibia

  • January 11 - Heavy Rain causing flash floods in Windhoek


Nigeria

  • January 19 - Lassa fever in Nigeria


Norway

  • January 4 - Landslide


Pakistan

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

Papua New Guinea

  • January 1 - Landslide engulfed Papua New Guinea Village

Peru

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

  • January 15 - Worst dengue epidemic since 2017

Spain

  • 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


Syria

  • January 19 - Heavy rains turn into lakes


Ukraine

  • 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:

Afghanistan

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


Australia

  • 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.


Bolivia

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


Brazil

  • 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.


Chili

  • Record rainfall, hail, and severe storms

Colombia

  • 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


Europe

  • A Saharan dust plume moved over Europe


Fiji

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


Greece

  • Historic snowstorm left three dead


Guinea

  • Ebola cases emerged, and Guinea started a vaccine campaign


Guatemala

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


Guinea

  • Ebola outbreak


India

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


Ireland

  • Reykjanes peninsula hit by intense earthquakes


Indonesia

  • 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


Iran

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


Israel

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


Italy

  • Etna Volcano eruption


Japan

  • 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


Libya

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

  • Snow disrupted life in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel


Mozambique

  • Tropical Cyclone “Guambe” intensified over the Mozambique Channel


New Zealand

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


Oceania

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


Pacific

  • Tropical Cyclone affecting Vanuatu and New Caledonia reaching Category 2


Paraguay

  • Severe flooding and landslides killed at least ten people


Peru

  • Heavy rain brought flooding and damaged hundreds of homes.


Philippines

  • A strong shallow 6.0 earthquake hit Mindanao

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


Rawanda

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


Russia

  • 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