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The World’s Worst Volcanic Eruptions

The World’s Worst Volcanic Eruptions
As Measured by Death Toll

This list of the world’s worst volcanic eruptions includes only those whose death toll can be reasonably documented. The death toll from some of the worst eruptions in history can only be guessed. The eruption of Santorini in Greece in 1650 BC destroyed competely destroyed entire civilizations. Scientist also theorize that an eruption of Tuba around 75,000 years ago caused a volcanic winter that came close to wiping out mankind.

1.
Mt. Tambora, Indonesia
April 10 – 15, 1816
Death Toll: 92,000

The eruption of Tambora killed an estimated 92,000 people, including 10,000 from explosion and ash fall, and 82,000 from other related causes.

The concussion from the explosion was felt as far as a thousand miles away. Mt. Tambora, which was more than 13,000 feet tall before the explosion was reduced to 9,000 feet after ejecting more than 93 cubic miles of debris into the atmosphere.

The effects of the eruption were felt worldwide: 1816 became known as the “year without a summer” because of the volcanic ash in the atmosphere that lowered worldwide temperatures. It snowed in New England that June, and crop failures were common throughout Northern Europe and North America. As many as 100,000 additional deaths from starvation in these areas are thought to be traced to the eruption.

2.
Mt. Pelee, West Indies
April 25 – May 8, 1902
Death Toll: 40,000

Thought to be dormant, Mt. Pelee began a series of eruptions on April 25, 1902. The primary eruption, on May 8 completely destroyed the city of St. Pierre, killing 25,000. The only survivors were a man held in a prison cell, and a man who lived on the outskirts of the town. Several ships also were destroyed with all hands.

3.
Mt. Krakatoa, Indonesia
August 26 – 28, 1883
Death Toll: 36,000

The August 1883 of Mt. Krakatoa (Krakatua) destroyed 2/3 of the island, ejecting more than six cubic miles of debris into the atmosphere. The sound of the explosion was the loudest ever documented, and was heard as far away as Australia.

Interestingly, it’s probable that no one died in the initial explosion. The casualties all came from the resulting tsunami.

4.
Nevado del Ruiz, Columbia
November 13, 1985
Death Toll: 23,000

A small eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano melted part of the volcano’s ice cap, creating an enormous mudslide that buried the city of Armero, killing 23,000.

5.
Mt. Unzen, Japan
1792
Death Toll: 12,000 – 15,000

The eruption of Mt. Unzen was followed by an earthquake, which collapsed the east flank of the dome. The resulting avalance created a tsuanami which killed 12,000 to 15,000 in nearby towns.

6.
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy
April 24, AD 79
Death Toll: 10,000+

In one of the most famous eruptions of all time, Mt. Vesuvius erupted and completely destroyed the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The eruption, which is said to have lasted 19 hours, buried Pompeii in ten feet of volcanic ash. The intense heat—perhaps as much as 750 degrees—carbonized much of the organic material in the area. Many of the victims have been found with the tops of their heads missing—their brains having boiled and exploded.

7.
The Laki Volcanic System, Iceland
June 8, 1783 – February 1784
Death Toll: 9350

Nearly a year of constant eruptions created a dusty volcanic haze that created massive food shortages. Iceland suffered 9,350 deaths mostly due to starvation.

8.
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy
December 1631
Death Toll: 6,000

The notorious Mt. Vesuvius has erupted more than a dozen times since it destroyed the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The 1631 eruption killed as many as 6,000 people when lava flows consumed many of the surrounding towns. Boiling water ejected from the volcanos added to the destruction.

9.
Mt. Kelut, Indonesia
May 19, 1919
Death Toll: 5,110

Most of the casualties apparently were the result of mudslides.

10.
Mt. Galunggung, Java, Indonesia
1882
Death Toll: 4,011

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:24:26.

The Deadliest US Floods

Worst US Floods
The Deadliest US Floods By Death Toll
The disasters listed here exclude hurricane-caused flooding. See the list of deadliest US hurricanes for these.

1.
Johnstown, PA
May 31, 1889
Death Toll: 2,200

Several days of extremely heavy rainfall, brought about the collapse of the South Fork Dam, which was 14 miles upstream of Johnstown, PA. It was the first major disaster relief effort handled by the new American Red Cross, led by Clara Barton. Support for victims came from all over the United States and 18 foreign countries. It remains one of the greatest disasters in U.S. history.

The Johnstown Flood also became a social cause celebre, because the dam that collapsed had been built to create a lake for vacationing millionaires, such as Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon, while the inhabitants of the town were Welsh and German immigrants.

2.
Mississippi Valley
January and February 1937
Death Toll: 1,100

Heavy rains flooded 12,700 square miles, destroying 75,000 homes, and leaving 600,000 refugees.

3.
Ohio River
March, 1913
Death Toll: 700

Heavy rains brought severe flooding. The disaster led to the nation’s first flood control board and programs.

4.
Santa Paula, CA
March 12, 1928
Death Toll: 450

Collapse of the St. Francis Dam

5.
Rapid City, SD
June 9 – 10, 1972
Death Toll: 237
Flash flood

6.
Kansas City, Missouri
May 16 – June 1, 1903
Death Toll: 200

Heavy rains brought flooding that raised the level of the Missouri River 35 feet.

7.
Mississippi Valley
April – May 1912
Death Toll: 200

The Mississippi River overflows its banks.

8.
Willow Creek, OR
1903
Death Toll: 200
Flash flood sweeps away a third of the town.

9.
Man, WV
Feb. 26, 1972
Death Toll: 118
Slag pile dam collapses under torrential rains.

10.
Loveland, CO
August 1, 1976
Death Toll: 139
Flash flood in Big Thompson Canyon

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:22:22.

The World’s Worst Floods By Death Toll

The World’s Worst Floods
The Deadliest Floods As Measured By Death Toll
The World’s Worst Floods
The Deadliest Floods As Measured By Death Toll

Throughout history, floods have proven to be the deadliest natural disasters. This is mainly due to the high population densities around rivers. When well-behaved, rivers provide the resources needed for agriculture, transportation, and industry. It is no accident that all of the ancient civilizations rose around rivers.

It also should be noted that not all of the dead were the victims of the initial floodwaters. Disease and famine that followed the disasters probably killed more than the floodwaters themselves.

Flooding disasters primarily as a result of typhoons or hurricanes have been excluded from this list and are instead included on the list of worst hurricane disasters.

1.
Huang He (Yellow) River, China
1931
Death Toll: 1,000,000 to 3,700,000

The Huang He River is prone to flooding because of the broad expanse of plain that lies around it. One of the major reasons for the flooding is the high silt content that gives the river its yellow tint (and thus its name). The silt—which constitutes as much as 60% of its volume—builds up until the river actually is higher than the surrounding land. The tendency to flood is exacerbated by ice dams which block the river in Mongolia; the dams back up the water, and then release devastating walls of water when they break.

The history of flooding has prompted the Communist Chinese government to embark on a program of building dams for flood control. The dams, however, have not proven entirely effective and have been the target of criticism from environmentalists.

2.
Huang He (Yellow) River, China
1887
Death Toll: 900,000 to 2,000,000

3.
Huang He (Yellow) River, China
1938
Death Toll: 500,000 – 900,000

The 1938 flood of the Huang He was caused by Nationalist Chinese troops under Chiang Kai-Shek when they broke the levees in an attempt to turn back advancing Japanese troops. The strategy was partly successful. By 1940, the Japanese were essentially in a stalemate with Chinese forces.

4.
Huang He (Yellow) River, China
1642
Death Toll: 300,000

Chinese rebels destroy the dikes along the city of Kaifeng, flooding the surrounding countryside.

5.
Ru River, Banqiao Dam, China
1975
Death Toll: 230,000

This flood was caused by the collapse of the Banquia Dam, along with several others, following a heavy rain caused by a typhoon. It is the worst dam related collapse in history.

6.
Yangtze River, China
1931
Death Toll: 145,000

Although the Huang He has caused more deaths, the Yangtze has had more than 1,000 recorded floods.

7.
The Netherlands and England
1099
Death Toll: 100,000

A combination of high tides and storms flooded the Thames and the Netherlands, killing 100,000.

8.
The Netherlands
1287
Death Toll: 50,000

A seawall on the Zuider Zee failed, flooding the low-lying polder.

9.
The Neva River, Russia
1824
Death Toll: 10,000

An ice dam clogged the Neva, flooding nearby cities.

10.
The Netherlands
1421
Death Toll: 10,000

The failure of a seawall on the Zuider Zee flooded the Dutch lowlands.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:20:22.

Understanding The Richter Scale

The Richter Scale

The now-famous Richter scale was developed in 1935 by Charles Richter of the California Institute of Technology. The scale was intended only for use in California to separate the large number of small earthquakes from the small number of larger ones. The scale is derived from astronomy’s stellar magnitude scale.

The scale assigns a number to quantify the size of the earthquake. The number is derived by calculating the logarithm of the combined horizontal amplitude of the largest displacement from zero on a seismogram. It is a logarithmic scale, so an earthquake of five is ten times greater than a four, and an eight is 10,000 times greater than a four.

The energy of the earthquake is proportional to the square root of the cube of the amplitude. So each step of of the scale has an energy 31.6 times that of the previous. A nine, therefore, has 10,000 times the amplitude of a five, but a million times more energy.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:18:28.

Earthquake Facts

  • Several million earthquakes occur every year. Most go unnoticed because they are very small, or because they occur in very remote areas. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that animals can predict earthquakes.
  • The moon does not influence earthquakes.
  • California is NOT going to fall into the ocean. The Pacific Plate and North American plates are moving sideways to one another. California earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault are strike-slip quakes. However, sometime in the very distant future, San Francisco and Los Angeles will be adjacent to each other.
  • There is no evidence that we are having any more or less earthquakes than in the past. If it seems like there are more, that is because areas that formerly were unpopulated now have people, and because sensitive instruments now can detect previously undetectable tremors.
  • Volcanos do not cause earthquakes. However, they often occur in the same areas because the same forces that cause volcanos (plate tectonics) also cause earthquakes.
  • Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:16:56.

    Worst Earthquakes Worldwide by Magnitude

    Largest Earthquakes Worldwide
    In Terms of Magnitude

    1.
    Chile
    May 22, 1960
    Magnitude: 9.5

    2.
    Prince William Sound, Alaska
    March 28, 1964
    Magnitude: 9.2

    3.
    Aleutian Islands
    March 9, 1957
    Magnitude: 9.1

    4.
    Kamchatka, Russia
    Nov. 4, 1952
    Magnitude: 9.0

    5.
    Sumatra, Indonesia
    Dec. 26, 2004
    Magnitude: 9.0

    6.
    Japan
    March 11, 2011
    Magnitude: 8.9

    7.
    Ecuador
    Jan. 31, 1906
    Magnitude: 8.8

    Chile
    February 27, 2010
    Magnitude: 8.8

    8.
    Aleutian Islands
    Feb. 4, 1965
    Magnitude: 8.7

    9.
    Sumatra, Indonesia
    March 28, 2005
    Magnitude: 8.7

    10.
    India-China border
    Aug. 15, 1950
    Magnitude: 8.6

    11.
    Kamchatka, Russia
    Feb. 3, 1923
    Magnitude: 8.5

    Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:15:36.

    The Worst US Earthquakes By Death Toll

    The Worst US Earthquakes
    Deadliest US Earthquakes

    As Measured By Death Toll

    The United States’ Worst Earthquakes
    As Measured By Death Toll

    1.
    The Great San Francisco Earthquake
    April 18, 1906
    Magnitude: 7.8
    Death Toll: 3,000

    The Great San Francisco Earthquake is by far the deadliest ever to hit the United States.

    2.
    Aleutian Islands, Alaska
    April 1, 1946
    Magnitude: 8.1
    Death Toll: 165

    Most of the deaths from this earthquake were in Hawaii, as the resulting tsumami killed 159. Five were killed in Alaska; 1 in California.

    3.
    The Good Friday Earthquake
    Prince William Sound, Alaska
    March 28, 1964
    Magnitude: 9.2
    Death Toll: 125

    The strongest earthquake to ever hit the United States caused a tsunami that killed 98 in Alaska, 11 in California, and one in Oregon. Fifteen were killed in Alaska as a direct result of the quake. The effects of the quake were felt worldwide: several fishing boats were reported sunk off of Louisiana, and wells were seen sloshing water in South Africa.

    4.
    Long Beach, California
    March 11, 1933
    Magnitude: 6.3
    Death Toll: 115

    Poor building design led to the deaths of 115 as people were killed by falling debris as they ran out of buildings. The quake led to a mandate in California that scool buildings be earthquake resistant.

    5.
    Hawaii Island, Hawaii
    April 3, 1868
    Magnitude: 7.9
    Death Toll: 77

    Thirty one died from landslides; 46 from the resulting tsunami.

    Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:12:22.

    Worst Spree Killers In the United States

    Worst US Spree Killings

    The FBI classifies a “spree killer” as having committed two or more murders without a cooling off period. This distinguishes spree killers from serial killers. Here is a list of the worst spree killers in modern history from the United States

    1. Las Vegas, Nevada, 2017: Stephen Paddock kills at least 59 and injures more than 400 firing at a crowd from a hotel window.
    2. Orlando, Florida, 2016: Omar Mateen kills 49 and wounds 58 in a hate crime/terrorist killing spree at a gay nightclub.
    3. Blacksburg, Virginia, 2007: Seung-Hui Cho kills 32 on the campus of Virginia Tech. Commits suicide.
    4. Killeen, Texas, 1991: George Jo Hennard drove his truck into Luby’s diner, then killed 23 with a pair of pistols before committing suicide.
    5. San Ysidro, California, 1984: James Oliver Huberty killed 21 in a local McDonald’s with a submachine gun and rifle before being killed by police.
    6. San Bernadino, 2015: Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married couple living in the city of Redlands, targeted a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health training event and Christmas party, killing 14.
    7. Edmond, Oklahoma, 1986: Patrick Sherrill, an angry postal worker, killed 14 at the post office before killing himself.
    8. Austin, Texas, 1966: Charles Whitman kills 14 at the University of Texas with a rifle before being killed by a police sniper.
    9. Fort Hood – Killeen, Texas, 2009: Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of killing 13 and wounding 30 before bring brought down by a police officer.
    10. Camden, NJ, 1949: Howard Unreh, a WWII veteran, kills 13 with a captured Luger. He was arrested and committed to an asylum for the insane. He died in 2009. He is considered by some criminologists to be the first “spree” killer in modern US history.
    11. Littleton, Colorado, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylon Klebold shoot thirteen before killing themselves.
    12. Geneva County, Alabama, 2009, Michael McLendon kills ten, and then himself with a handgun and rifle.
    13. Red Lake, Minnesota, 2005: Jeff Wiese kills nine and then himself on the Red Lake reservation. Seven were killed at a school.

    Originally posted 2015-01-05 03:11:22.

    The World’s Deadliest Earthquakes

    The World’s Worst Earthquakes

    As measured by the death toll.

    The worst earthquakes in history, in terms of the death toll have  occurred in China. In addition to lying along the earthquake prone “ring of fire”, China also has historically had a high population density. This virtually ensure that the highest earthquake casualties will be in China. It also is helpful that the Chinese have long had efficient bureaucracies, which were able to document the casualties as long ago as the 1500s.

    1.

    Shaanxi Province, China
    January 23, 1556
    Magnitude: approximately 8
    Death Toll: 830,000

    2.
    Tangshan, China
    July 28, 1976
    Magnitude: 7.5
    Death Toll: 242,000
    The casualties in this may have been higher. The Chinese government is thought to have deliberately understated the numbers for political reasons.

    3.
    Aleppo, Syria
    August 9, 1138
    Magnitude: ?
    Death Toll: 230,000

    4.
    Haiti
    January 12, 2010
    Magnitude: 7.0
    Death Toll: 222,517

    5.
    Xining, China
    May 22, 1927
    Magnitude: 7.9
    Death Toll: 200,000

    6.
    Damghan, Iran
    December 22, 1856
    Magnitude: unknown
    Death Toll: 200,000

    7.
    Gansu, China
    December 16, 1920
    Magnitude: 8.6
    Death Toll: 200,000

    8.
    Ardabil, Iran
    March 23, 893
    Magnitude: ?
    Death Toll: 150,000

    9.
    Kwanto, Japan
    September 1, 1923
    Magnitude: 8.3
    Death Toll 143,000

    10.
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, USSR
    October 5, 1948
    Magnitude: 7.3
    Death Toll: 110,000

    11.
    Messina, Italy
    December 28, 1908
    Magnitude: 7.2
    Death Toll: 100,000

    Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:10:17.

    Interesting Hurricane Facts

    Interesting Hurricane Facts

    • Typhoon Tip (1979) also was the most intense storm on record, with a recorded minimum pressure of 870 millibars.
    • The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 was the first recorded to hit New England.
    • It’s a myth that hurricanes have been increasing in intensity in recent years.The five seasons with the most Atlantic storms and hurricanes were: 2005, with 22 tropical storms and 12 hurricanes (at most recent count); 1931 (21 storms, 10 hurricanes); 1995 (19 storms, 11 hurricanes); 1969 (18 storms, 12 hurricanes); and 1936 (16 storms, 15 hurricanes). Note that 3 of the 5 worst occurred in 1969 or before.
    • A major hurricane is a Category 3 or higher.
    • Retired Hurricane Names (organized by date of the hurricane, earliest first): Carol, Edna, Hazel, Connie, Diane, Ione, Janet, Audrey, Gracie, Donna, Carla, Hattie, Flora, Cleo, Dora, Hilda, Betsey, Inez, Beulah, Camille, Celia, Agnes, Carmen, Fifi, Eloise, Anita, David, Frederic, Allen, Alicia, Elena, Gloria, Gilbert, Joan, Hugo, diana, Klaus, Bob, Andrew, Luis, Marilyn, Opal, Roxanne, Cesar, Fran, Hortense, Georges, Mitch, Floyd, Lenny, Keith, Allison, Iris, Michelle, Isidore, Lili, Fabian, Isabel, Juan, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne.
    • The deadliest Atlantic Hurricane was Hurricane Mitch, which struck Central America, killing 18,000
    • The Newfoundland Hurricane of 1775 was the first recorded to hit Canada. It killed 4,000. It also is known as the Independence Hurricane.
    • The Perfect Storm of 1991, made famous by the book and movie was created out of the remnants of Hurricane Grace
    • The 1899 Bathhurst Bay Hurricane in the South Pacific caused a storm surge of 42 feet, the highest ever recorded.

    Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:06:04.