Worst Natural Disasters of the Decade (2000-2010)

Any natural hazard which results in loss of life is called as natural disaster. Earthquakes, Snow storms, Volcanic eruptions, Landslides, Floods, Tornadoes, Hurricanes in the inhabited places results in maximum losses – Human, Environmental, and Financial. It’s usually not the natural calamities that directly result in the losses, but the consequences like collapsing buildings, landslides, fires etc., that are more fatal.

Worst Natural Disaster (Earthquakes)

  • Gujarat, India
    When: January 26, 2001.
    What happened: Earthquake measuring 7.6-7.7 magnitude on Richter scale. It was the second largest earthquake in India that devastated the Indian state Gujarat.
    Loss of life: Around 200,00 lives lost. Injured around 167,000.
    People Displaced: Around 400,000.
    Total financial loss: US $ 5.5 billion.
  • Kashmir,Pakistan (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir)
    When: October 8,2005.
    What happened: Earthquake measuring 7.6 magnitude on Richter scale. One of the deadliest earthquakes of all time. The tremors of this quake were so strong that the neighboring countries were also affected.
    Loss of life: 75,000 lives lost. Injured around 106,000.
    People Displaced: 120,000.
    Total financial loss: US $ 5.4 billion
  • Java,Indonesia
    When: May 27, 2006, and July 17, 2006.
    What happened: The earthquake in the Southwestern coast of Java, Indonesia was the result of thrust-faulting. First Earthquake of 6.3 magnitude, and the second earthquake measured 7.1 on the Richter scale.
    Loss of life:5,782 deaths. 36,299 injured. 640 deaths in the second earthquake, and 9,299 injured.
    People Displaced: 1.5 million homeless. 135,000 homes damaged.
    Total financial loss: US $ 110.3 million.
  • Sichuan,China
    When: May 12, 2008
    What happened: Also known as Wenchuan earthquake was a deadly earthquake that affected around 15 million people. Earthquake measuring 7.9 magnitude, and floods.
    Loss of life:69,180 deaths reported. 374,176 injured.
    People Displaced: Estimated 5-11 million people. Millions of livestock.
    Total financial loss: US $ 20 billions.

Worst Natural Disaster (Diseases)

  • H1N1 Influenza: Also known as Swine Flu, is caused by the virus H1N1, and by all its 4 strains.
    When: 2009
    What happened: Outbreak of a pandemic caused by H1N1 virus.
    Loss of life: More than 10,000 deaths.
    People affected: Millions of people affected.
    Total financial loss:US $ 1.5 billion.

Worst Natural Disaster (Hurricane)

  • Hurricane Katrina:
    When: August 29, 2005.
    What happened: High tides of over 15 feet inundated 3 states. It was one of the most costliest and deadliest hurricanes USA experienced. Also, it was the 6th strongest hurricane.
    Loss of life: 1,836 lives.
    People affected: 60,000 people displaced. 100,000 homes damaged.
    Total financial loss: US$ 150-200 billion.

Worst Natural Disaster (Tsunami)

  • 2004 Indian Ocean
    When: December 26, 2004.
    What happened: Undersea earthquake of magnitude 9.1-9.3 on Richter scale triggered tsunami which resulted in huge human, environmental, and financial losses. Over 10 countries experienced the adverse effects of the undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean.
    Loss of life: 230,000 deaths.
    People affected: 51,000 homes damaged.
    Total financial loss:US $ 4.8 billion.
  • 2010 Sumatra
    When: 26 October, 2010.
    What happened: Earthquake measuring 7.7 magnitude on Richter Scale triggered tsunami. A high magnitude earthquake occurred off the western coast in Sumatra, Indonesia, resulting in a localized tsunami.
    Loss of life: 435 reported dead.
    People affected:20,000 people were displaced. 4000 damaged houses.
    Total financial loss: US $ 694 million
  • Chile
    When: February 27, 2007.
    What happened: 8.8 Richter earthquake resulted in tsunami. About six Chilean regions felt the intense earthquake shakes, which almost makes 80 percent of the population. It caused in infrastructure, life, and economical losses.
    Loss of life: 525 people dead.
    People affected: Normal life was chaotic.
    Total financial loss: US $ 66.7 millions.

Worst Natural Disaster (Floods)

  • Haiti
    When: May 18, 2004 to 25 May 2004.
    What happened: Floods inundated. The Caribbean floods caused landslides. Many lives, and buildings, and infrastructure was lost due to it.
    Loss of life: More than 2000 lives were lost.
    People affected: 100 Homes displaced, 2939 damaged, and affected 33,794.
    Total financial loss: US $ 677,308.

Nature is beautiful when calm, quiet, and nourishing. That’s why we call it mother nature. As a part of this beautiful universe we too shall accept and respect it in it’s full glory, instead of exploiting it.

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