Noteworthy Natural Disasters
With all of the hubbub surrounding super-storm Irma that is dead-set for destruction of Florida’s coast, a lot of news reporters are bound to make comparisons to previous hurricanes that have made their way through the United States and foreign lands. These previous storms from which they draw comparison have created a path of death and destruction, ruining almost everything in their path as they blow through. Some of the most notable storms have changed the landscape of the areas they hit and some have yet to fully recover.
If there is any other way to prove the incredible power of Mother Nature, it’s shown in the world’s natural disasters. Full of fury, her superstorms have dramatically altered the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. There’s no prediction system that can accurately pinpoint, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the actual intensity of any storm but they make a valiant effort to try and give people enough warning to evacuate. It doesn’t always work, and a lot of lives are lost as a result, but at least they try. While the destruction is horrifying, there is a beauty in what nature can truly do.
The Worst Natural Disasters
• Haitian Earthquake – On January 12, 2010, the island nation of Haiti was rocked to its core with a 7.0 earthquake. The quake alone did serious damage to Port Au Prince and surrounding areas, and then the 59 aftershocks completed the job. There were over 200,000 souls lost, over two million people left homeless, and over three million people who required emergency aid.
• Hurricane Katrina – On August 23, 2005 a tropical storm named Katrina formed over the Bahamas. She made landfall and created a path of destruction before crossing back into the Gulf of Mexico. While she continued to build up steam over the Gulf, she strengthened into a category five storm, but ultimately made landfall in Southeast Louisiana as a category three storm on August 29. Katrina was one of the deadlist and most costly storms to ever hit the United States, doing nearly 81 billion dollars worth of property damage.
• Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake – On December 26, 2004 an earthquake with a strength of 9.15 on the Richter Magnitude Scale hit in the Indian Ocean. The quake only lasted for a couple of seconds, but the after-effect was a tsunami that blasted the coast of Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, and South India causing over 200,000 people.
• Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami – In 2011, a 9.0 earthquake hit the coast of Japan, quickly followed by a massive tidal wave. Considered one of the top five most powerful earthquakes in the world, this quake caused almost 16,000 deaths and the collapse of over a hundred and twenty thousand buildings. However, the worst part of this storm was the nuclear collapse that was caused that resulted in a meltdown in 3 reactors.
• East African Drought – Beginning in July of 2011, the Horn of Africa experienced a horrific drought, noted as the most severe in over 50 years. Not only did the drought cause widespread famine across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, it was one of the longest lasting natural disasters as its wrath went on for over a year before emergency efforts were ceased and people were declared safe again.
Whatever the reason for these natural disasters, their effects have been widespread and massive loss of life was the horrific results. Hopefully, someday we will learn a better way to detect nature’s true fury so there can be some advanced warning for the victims of earthquakes, tsunamis, and tornados. Unless then, we focus on the victims and do everything we can to help. Blessings go out to those in Irma’s path as they are predicting Katrina level devastation on the Florida coast and lower islands.