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