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Worldwide Disasters Report - January 2021

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. On February 1, 2021, it was reported that there have been 102,584,351 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2,222,647 deaths worldwide, according to WHO World Health Organization.

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

In January 2021, the following natural or man-made disasters were recorded (by area) impacting thousands:


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

That is approximately two disasters every day in January 2021.

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.

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