Tag Archives: disaster

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.

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.

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.

The Ten Deadliest Hurricanes World Wide

The Ten Worst Hurricanes Worldwide

The Deadliest Worldwide Hurricanes
The Ten Worst Cyclones

1.
November 13, 1970
East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
500,000 – 1,000,00
The deadliest hurricane on record struck East Pakistan, flooding the low lying areas. At least 500,000 deaths are blamed on the storm, with some estimates rising as high as 1 million. The storm also had historical consequences: the apparent indifference of Muslim West Pakistan to the plight of the East Pakistanis has been blamed in part for the eventual separation of East Pakistan, which now is Bangladesh.

2.
October 7, 1737
Bengal, India
This hurricane killed at least 300,000.

3.
1881
Haiphong, Vietnam
The Haiphong Hurricane killed approximately 300,000

4.
1876
Bengal, India
200,000 casualties.

5.
May 3, 2008
Burma (Myannmar)
138, 366
The true count from Cyclone Nargis may never be known.

6.
June 6, 1882
Bombay, India
At least 100,000

7.
October 5, 1864
Calcutta, India
50,000 to 70,000

8.
June, 1965
East Pakistan
35,000 to 40,000

9.
October 16, 1942
Bengal, India
35,000

10.
May 28 – 29, 196
East Pakistan
22,000

11.
October 10 – 12, 1780
The Caribbean
This is another hurricane with historical consequences. The worst hurricane in Atlantic history, it killed more than 20,000 when it slammed into Martinique and the Barbados. It also severely damaged a British fleet in the area, shifting the balance of power to the French. This ultimately led to the defeat of the British fleet in the Battle of the Chesapeake and Washington’s victory at Yorktown.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:59:36.

The Ten Strongest Hurricanes In US History

The Ten Strongest Hurricanes In United States History

The Ten Worst Hurricanes As Measured By Intensity
1.
The Great Labor Day Storm
September 2, 1935
Florida

One of just three Category 5 Hurricanes to make landfall in the US, the Great Labor Day Storm had a minimum pressure of 892 millibars (26.35 inches). It caused 423 deaths in Florida. It also was notable for providing the setting for the Humphrey Bogart – Lauren Bacall movie, Key Largo.

2.
Hurricane Katrina
August, 2005
Louisiana and Mississippi

Katrina had a minimum pressure of 904 millibars (26.64 inches), making it the second most intense storm to hit the US, as well as the most costly, and the third dealiest.

3.
Hurricane Camille
August 17 – 22, 1969
Mississippi, SE Louisiana, Virginia

Camille, a Category 5, was the second most intense Hurricane ever to hit the United States, with a minimum pressure of 909 millibars (26.84 inches). The final windspeed will never be known because all measuring devices were destroyed, but it is thought to exceed 200 mph.

4.
Hurricane Andrew
August 24 – 28, 1992
Florida and Louisiana

A Category 4 when it hit Florida, Hurricane Andrew hit Louisiana as a Category 3. At its peak, Andrew had a minimum pressure of 922 millibars (27.23 inches).

5.
Unnamed Hurricane
August 29, 1886
Indianola, Texas

This Category 4 Hurricane turned Indianola into a Ghost Town. Today, the Court House lies 300 feet out in Matagorda Bay. The storm had a recorded minimum pressure of 925 millibars (27.31 inches).

6.
The Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane
Florida, Texas
September 10 – 14, 1919

This hurricane struck the Keys as a Category 4, and Texas as a Category 3. At its peak, it had a minimum pressure of 927 millibars (27.37 inches).

7.
San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane
September 16 – 17, 1928
Florida

The fourth strongest Hurricane to hit the US mainland caused a lake surge on the inland Lake Okeechobee in Florida that rose as high as nine feet, flooding nearby towns. A Category 4, it had a minimum pressure of 929 millibars (27.43 inches)

8.
Hurricane Donna
September 8 – 13, 1960
Florida to New England

Donna is the only hurricane known to have produce hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic states, and New England. At its peak, it had a minimum pressure of 930 milibars (27.46 inches).

9.
Unnamed Storm
September 30, 1915
New Orleans, Louisiana

This unnamed Category 4 Storm reached a minimum pressure of 931 millibars (27.49 inches). It flooded Lake Pontchartrain, causing it to overflow its banks and killing 275 people.

10.
Hurricane Carla
September 11, 1961
Texas

A Category 4, Carla had a minimum pressure of 931 millibars (27.49 inches), tying it with the 1915 Louisiana storm.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:54:09.

The Ten Costliest US Hurricanes

The Ten Costliest US Hurricanes

The Ten Worst Hurricanes As Measured By Cost
(all figures are in adjusted dollars)

Note that as coastal populations and property building continue to increase, damage figures also will increase. For example, Florida’s population in 1980 was around nine million. In 2017, its population is just over 20 million. Thus, any hurricane that hits will affect twice as many people, and presumably have twice the economic impact (Ceteris paribus). When the legendary 1935 Labor Day Hurricane hit, the state’s population was around one and a half million.

  1. Hurricane Katrina, August 2005. Louisiana
    1. The most destructive hurricane in US History caused an estimated $100 – $200 billion in damage.
  2. Hurricane Harvey, August  – September 2017
    1. The estimated economic impact currently stands at $50 billion
  3. Hurricane Irma, September  2017, Florida
    1. Estimates for damage are at $50 billion.
  4. Hurricane Andrew, August 24 – 28, 1992, Florida and Louisiana
    1. A Category 4 when it hit Florida, Hurricane Andrew hit Louisiana as a Category 3.
    2. Andrew caused an estimated $43.672 billion in damages.
  5. Hurricane Charley, August 13 – 14, 2004, Florida
    1. Although a relatively small hurricane, Charley was very intense, causing $15 billion in damage.
  6. Hurricane Ivan, September 16 – 24, 2004, Southeastern United States
    1. Hurricane Ivan hit Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, producing more than 100 tornados and flooding across the American southeast.
    2. The remnants of the storm hit the Delmarva Peninsula on the 18th, where it picked up speed, passed back down the coast, became a tropical storm again in the Gulf and then hit Louisiana as a tropical depression. Ivan left $14.2 billion in damage in its wake.
  7. Hurricane Hugo, September 22, 1989, Charleston, South Carolina
    1. A Category 4, Hurricane Hugo caused $12.25 billion in damages.
  8. Hurricane Agnes, June 19 – 25, 1972, South and North Eastern United States
    1. Although a Category 1, and at other times not even a hurricane at all, Agnes carved an $11.2 billion path of destruction from the Florida Panhandle to New York, New York. Most of the damage came from heavy rains.
  9. Hurricane Betsy, September 7 – 9, 1965, Southeast Florida, Southeast Louisiana
    1. Falling just short of being classified as a Category 5, Betsy struck the Florida Keys on the 7th, and New Orleans on the 9th.
    2. Flooding from the storm breached the levees in New Orleans, leaving the city flooded for ten days.
    3. Betsy is also called “Billion Dollar Betsy” because it was the first to cause a billion dollars in damage. In today’s dollars, the total would be $10.79 billion.
  10. Hurricane Frances, September 5, 2004, Florida
    1. Frances was a Category 2 that caused $8.9 billion in damage.
  11. Hurricane Camille, August 17 – 22, 1969, Mississippi, SE Louisiana, Virginia
    1. Camille, a Category 5, was the second most intense Hurricane ever to hit the United States.
    2. The final windspeed will never be known because all measuring devices were destroyed. Storm tides, winds, and flash flooding caused by the storm in West Virginia and Virginia caused $8.8 billion in damages.
  12. Hurricane Diane, August 17 – 19, 1955, Northeast coast from Virginia to New York
    1. Diane, along with her sister storm, Connie, which hit the same areas just five days earlier, caused $6.9 billion in damage.
    2. Most of the damage was caused by flooding.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:52:38.

Worst Football Disasters

Worst Soccer/ Football Riots and Disasters

1.
El Salvador and Honduras
July 14 – 18, 1969
3,000 Casualties
Known as the Football, or 100 hours war, this conflict was fought in the wake of rioting following the second round of qualifying for the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Honduras and El Salvador had previous border issues, but the matches were the proximate cause. Honduras suffered 2,100 military and civilian casualties, while El Salvador lost some 900.
2.
Moscow, Russia
Oct. 20, 1982
340 Killed
Confusion caused by fans reentering the stadium and possible police misconduct lead to terrible losses.
3.
Lima, Peru
May 24, 1964
318 Killed, 500 inujured
Sparked by a referee disallowing a goal by Peru in an Olympic Qualifying match
4.
Sheffield, England
April 15, 1989
96 deaths
Fans are crushed to death when police open the gates and fans rush into the stadium
5.
Guatemala City
October 16, 1996
78 killed, 180 injured.
Casualties occurred during a stampede before a World Cup qualifying match.
6.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
June 23, 1968
74 killed, 150 injured
A blocked exit led to fans being crushed
7.
Salvador, Brazil
March 4, 1971
4 dead, 1500 injured
A fight in the grandstands lead to 4 four deaths and 1,500 injuries

8.
Cairo, Egypt
Feb. 1, 2012
at least 73 casualties
The deaths were the result of a riot following a match.

9.
Glasgow, Scotland
Jan. 2, 1971
66 casualties, 140 injuries
Barriers in the stadium collapse when fans returning to a game collide with fans trying to exit.
10.

Bradford, England
Mary 11, 1985
56 deaths
A wayward cigarette lights up a wooden grandstand.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:47:06.

The Ten Deadliest US Hurricanes

The Ten Deadliest US Hurricanes

The Worst Hurricanes In Terms of Loss of Life In the United States
1.
The Great Galveston Hurricane
Galveston, Texas
September 8, 1900

This unnamed hurricane caused the greatest loss of life of any Hurricane in recorded US history. First tracked in Cuba as a tropical storm on Sept. 3, it hit Galveston as a Category 4 Hurricane. An estimated 6,000 – 12,000 people died as storm tides of eight to 15 feet washed over the barrier island. The tragedy was documented in the recent book, Isaac’s Storm.

2.
San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane
Florida
September 16 – 17, 1928

The fourth strongest Hurricane to hit the US mainland caused the second highest number of casualties. A lake surge on the inland Lake Okeechobee in Florida rose as high as nine feet, flooding nearby towns. A total of 1,836 people died in Florida; another 312 died in Puerto RIco, and 18 in the Bahamas.

3.
Hurricane Katrina
Louisiana, Mississippi
August 25 – 29, 2005

Making landfall as a Category 4, Hurricane Katrina caused immense flooding in New Orleans. More than 800 deaths currently are being blamed on Katrina.

4.
The Long Island Express
North Carolina to New York
September 20 – 22, 1938

The Long Island Express roared past North Carolina on September 20, and hit Long Island on September 22 as a Category 3. Storm surges of 12 – 16 feet killed at least 600.

5.
The Great Labor Day Storm
Florida
September 2, 1935

One of just three Category 5 Hurricanes to make landfall in the US, the Great Labor Day Storm was responsible for 423 deaths in Florida. Most of those occurred when a train carrying World War I veterans was overturned. The Hurricane also was notable for providing the setting for the Humphrey Bogart – Lauren Bacall movie, Key Largo.

6.
Hurricane Audrey
Texas and Louisiana
June 26, 1957

Audrey was a Category 4 that caused eight to 12 foot storm surges that moved inland as far as 25 miles through low-lying areas of Louisiana. The storm is blamed for 390 deaths.

7.
The Great Miami Hurricane
Florida
September 18, 1926

The Great Miami Hurricane struck Miami directly with little warning. The town of Moore Haven on the south side of Lake Okeechobee was completely flooded by lake surge from the hurricane. Hundreds of people in Moore Haven alone were killed by this surge, which left behind floodwaters in the town for weeks afterward. The Red Cross lists the death toll at 373, although the total may be higher because much of the population at the time was either new, or transient, with no one to account for them.

8.
The Grand Isle Hurricane
Louisiana
September 20, 1909

This Category 4 storm struck the mainland between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It is blamed for at least 350 deaths.

9.
The Atlantic-Gulf Hurricane
Florida, Texas
September 10 – 14, 1919

This hurricane struck the Keys as a Category 4, and Texas as a Category 3. US mainland losses are recorded as 287, but more than 500 more people apparently were lost at sea as the storm destroyed ten ships.

10.
Unnamed Storm
New Orleans, Louisiana
September 30, 1915

In a frightening precursor to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, this unnamed Category 4 Storm flooded Lake Pontchartrain, causing it to overflow its banks and killing 275 people.

11.
Unnamed Storm
Galveston, Texas
August 5, 1915

In spite of a seawall built following the devastating 1900 storm, this Category 4 hurricane once again devastated the city of Galveston, Texas. It killed 275.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:50:53.

Widest US Tornados

On Friday, May 31, 2013, an EF5 tornado near El Reno, Oklahoma was 2.6 miles wide. That is the widest ever recorded, and was more than twice the size of the storm which hit Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013.

The old record width for a tornado was the 2.5 mile wide F-4 tornado at Wilber-Hallam, Neb., on May 22, 2004.

The El Reno storm was on the ground for 16.2 miles.

Sixty EF5 tornadoes have been recorded since the system was established in 1950.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 01:45:03.