Earthquakes, wildfires, cyclones — these natural disasters have been haunting the human species for as long as we can remember. There has been pretty much no escape from them either, and Mother Nature has been able to get away with anything that she’s wanted to up until now since we’ve got the technology that can predict the severity and location of natural disasters. However, even these days, there are instances when we are unprepared for the onslaught of large natural disasters. For example, the volcano in Yellowstone, USA, is basically waiting to explode. This disaster is going to ground flights for an untold amount of time and will render huge areas of America uninhabitable which will effectively change the world as we know it. Mass immigration will have to take place, and untold casualties will have occurred if we’re not properly prepared for this mishap. Such incidents have occurred in the past as well, and here’s a summary of the worst natural disasters in all of history:
1138 Aleppo Earthquake
In 1138, which is before we had the means to record the intensity of earthquakes on the rector scale, the city of Aleppo lost everything to one of the strongest earthquakes the world has ever seen. Since it happened so long ago, there aren’t many proper details or written accounts of the destruction that occurred. Some people argue that the details of the losses that occurred in Aleppo have been confused with another earthquake that took place in Georgia. Aleppo is located on the Arabian and African tectonic plates which means that earthquakes happen on a regular occurrence there. However, this particular one completely destroyed it, and an estimated 230,000 people lost their lives during the horrific incident.
2010 Haiti Earthquake
The Aleppo earthquake occurred many years ago which is why confusions about the death toll are forgivable. However, the recent Haiti earthquake shows that even these days, accurately estimating the losses that natural disasters cause is a tricky business. The earthquake itself was one of the worst and most devastating disasters in recent history and brought the entire country to its knees. However, the death toll wasn’t at all accurate due to the politics that came in play. The government allegedly tried to overestimate the death count so that they could receive more foreign aid, and some allegations have been made against USAID for leaking a report to discredit the government that was responsible during the reclamation phase after the earthquake had caused its damage. The death toll is between 460,000 to 316,000, and no matter where it is between those numbers, everyone can agree that the event was horrendous and the damage caused was nearly irreversible.
1976 Tangshan Earthquake
Disaster struck the city of Tangshan, China, at 3:42 am when most people in the city were asleep. The Richter scale of the earthquake was an astonishing 7.8, and that was enough to rock the entire city to the ground. An estimated 255,000 people lost their lives due to the monstrous quake, and another 700,000 people were injured during the event. A good number of the buildings in the city were damaged or outright destroyed which rendered many people homeless. This damage took at least six years to fix as that’s when those people received their housing again, although this doesn’t account for all the people who were permanently injured or those who lost their lives.
1970 Bhola Cyclone
The geographic location of Bangladesh means it has to endure huge storms from the ocean which cause flooding every year or so. However, in 1970, a storm brought more destruction to the area than any other before it, leaving a huge number of people with nothing but their lives. These people were lucky as compared to the 300,000-500,000 people who lost their lives during the flood. The storm was so strong that it pushed a surge as high as 20 feet into the Bay of Bengal, from where it caused destruction to the surrounding areas. Crops and livestock were also put to waste which left a lot of people with nothing to eat.
As the years go on, we’re developing technology that helps us withstand the adverse effects of natural disasters, although we have a long way to go before we’re completely impervious to the destruction they bring.