Tag Archives: worldwide

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.

Worst Worldwide Spree Killings

The Worst Spree Killers (Worldwide)

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. Its also useful to distinguish between spree killers and mass murderers who committed their heinous crimes as part of a systemic effort by a government or organization. This list also does not include acts of terrorism, but “criminal” activity. Here is a list of the world’s worst spree killers in modern history from around the world:

1.
Uiryong, South Korea, 1982
Woo Bom Kon kills 57 with rifles and grenades over an eight hour period outside Seoul. He blew himself up to end the rampage.

2.
Port Arthur, Australia, 1996
Martin Bryant Kills 35 and wounds 18 at a tourist attraction with semiautomatic rifles. Currently serving 35 life sentences.

3.
Blacksburg, Virginia, 2007
Seung-Hui Cho kills 32 on the campus of Virginia Tech. Commits suicide.

4.
Kaio, Japan 1938
Mutsuo Toi killed 30 with sword and shotgun after having been rejected for military service because of tuberculosis. Committed suicide.

5.
Bogota, Columbia, 1986
Campo Delgado killed his mother, seven people on the street and 22 more in a restaurant for a total of 30 dead and 12 wounded. Killed by police.

6.
Hebron, West Bank, 1994
Dr. Baruch Goldstein opened fire on a mosque, killing 29 and wounding 150. He was beaten to death by the crowd.

7.
Killeen, Texas, 1991
George Jo Hennard drove his truck into Luby’s diner, then killed 23 with a pair of pistols before committing suicide.

8.
Beijing, China, 1994
Tian Mingjian kills 23 with a rifle in Tiananmen square before being killed by a police sniper.

9.
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

10.
Dunblane, UK, 1996
Thomas Hamilton kills 17 at a primary school with pistols before committing suicide.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 03:10:08.

Worst School Killings

The Worst School Massacres, Shootings and Killings

The Worst School Massacres In the United States and In the World

Tragedy too often strikes our schools and universities in the form of a crazed killer or killers. Here is a list of the worst school and university massacres, shootings and killings, both in the United States and around the world.

Beslan, Russia
September 1, 2004

The worst school massacre of all time took place when Cechen rebels took more than 1,100 hostage at School Number 1 in Beslan, an autonomous republic of the Russian Federation. After the third day of a standoff, Russian forces stormed the building; the rebels set off explosives and a gunbattle ensued. 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children.

Peshawar, Pakistan
December 16, 2014

Taliban militants attacked a school in Pakistan, killing 145, including 132 children

Bath, Michigan
May 18, 1927

By far the worst school massacre in US history took place in the tiny town of Bath, Michigan in 1927. There, an angry school board member named Andrew Kehoe blew up the town’s school, killing 45 and wounding 58. Most of the victims were kindergarten through sixth grade students. A secondary explosion killed Kehoe and the school Superintendent.

April 16, 2007
Blacksburg, Virginia

A student gunman killed 33 in dorms and a nearby classroom building. He then killed himself.

April 26, 2002
Erfurt Germany

A former student kills 18, including himself at a school in eastern Germany.

March 13, 1996
Dunblane, Scotland

Sixteen children and a teacher are killed by a gunman, who then kills himself.

April 20, 1999
Littleton, Colorado

In what now is known as the Columbine Massacre, 13 are killed and 22 wounded by two gunmen.

August 1, 1966
Austin, Texas

From the observation deck of the University of Texas’ tower, Charles Whitman killed 16 and wounded 31 in a shooting rampage that lasted for 96 minutes.

March 21, 2005
Red Lake, Minnesota

A sixteen year old kills his grandfather and a friend, then heads to school where kills seven others. The massacre ends when he turns the gun on himself.

October 2, 2006
Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania

A gunman shot eleven Amish girls in a one-room schoolhouse, killing six.

January 1, 1989
Stockton, California

Five children are killed and 30 others wounded in a massacre at Cleveland Elementary. As is typical, the gunman also killed himself.

March 24, 1998
Jonesboro, Arkansas

A pair of boys, aged 11 and 13 shoot fifteen. A teacher and four students die.

November 1, 1991
Iowa City, Iowa

A Chinese graduate student, upset at being passed over for academic honors, kills five University of Iowa employees before turning the gun on himself.

April 15, 1995
San Diego, California

A 36-year-old graduate engineering student kills three professors while defending this thesis before a faculty committee.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 03:08:41.

Worst Ship Disasters

Worst Maritime Disasters – Civilian

The Worst Maritime (Naval, Ship) Disasters

This list contains only disasters involving civilian ships in peacetime. Military vessels and munitions ships are a separate issue.

1.
MV Dona Paz
Philippines
Dec. 20, 1987
4,341 Casualties

4,341 died when the passenger ferry Dona Paz sank after a collision with an oil tanker.

2. SS Kiangya
China
Dec. 4, 1948
2750 – 3920 casualties

While the cause of the sinking of the Kiangya is unknown, the suspicion is that it was the result of a left-over WWII Japanese mine. The exact death toll is also unknown, but the low end it thought to be 2,750 and the high 3,920.

3. Le Joola
Senegal
Sept. 26, 2002
1,800 casualties

Rough seas cause the sinking of the ferry Le Joola, leaving an estimated 1,800 dead.

4. Sultana
United States
April 27, 1864
1,800 casualties

Early steamships (as well as early railroads) had issues with boiler explosions, as with the case of the Sultana. 1,800 of the 2,400 passengers died when the steamship exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee.

5. Tek Sing
Indonesia
Feb. 6, 1822
1,600 casualties

When the Chinese junk Tek Sing struck a reef near Indonesia, it sank and left some 1,600 dead.

6.RMS Titanic
Great Britain (North Sea)
April 14, 1912
1,532 caualties

At the time the world’s largest passenger ship, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank. 1,532 were killed. Thanks to books and movies, this is the most famous of shipwrecks, but certainly not the worst in terms of casualties.

7. Toya Maru
Japan
September 26, 1954
1, 153 casualties

The Toya Maru sank during Typhoon Marie in the Tsugaru Strait, taking some 1,153 with it.

8. RMS Empress of Ireland
Canada
May 29, 1914
1,012 casualties

A collision with the SS Storstad on the St. Lawrence River sank the Empress of Ireland, and claimed 1,012 lives.

10. Al salam Boccaccio 98
Egypt
Feb. 3, 2006
1,000

The passenger ferry Al Salam Boccaccio 98 sank on the red sea on its way from Saudi Arabia to Egypt.The incident started with a fire and led to the ship capsizing due to seawater taken in during firefighting efforts.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 03:03:43.

Worst Train Disasters

The World’s Worst Railroad Disasters

The earliest recorded rail deaths may have occurred in 1650 in Whickham, England, when two boys were killed by a wagon on a wood coal tramway. In 1815, also in England, 13 – 16 people were killed by a boiler explosion of the experimental locomotive “Brunton’s Mechanical Traveller”. Since then, things have gotten worse. Here are the worst rail disasters of all time, listed by number of deaths. Note that a great many of these occurred in times of war, when large numbers of people were being transported by rail.

1)
Queen of the Sea Rail Disaster
Sri Lanka, 24 December 2004
1,700 deaths

Stuck by a tsunami wave created by the Indian Ocean earthquake, the Queen of the Sea was caught in the rising waters. Believing that it would be safe from the wave, hundreds of locals climbed aboard. Unfortunately, it was swept away, and 1,700 were killed. The victims primarily were in the eight cars, where they were unable to open the doors and drowned.

2)
Bihar Rail Disaster
India, 6 June 1981
800 – 1,000+ Deaths

A passenger train carrying at least 800 derailed on a bridge and plunged into the Bagmati River. Only 200 bodies were recovered.

3)
Frejus Railway Disasters aka Modane Train Disaster
Near Modane, France, 12 December 1917
600 – 1,000 deaths

An overloaded train carrying 800 – 1000 French soldiers returning home from North East Italy during World War I suffered brake failure and crashed while descending into a valley. As a result of the fire and wreckage, only 425 of the bodies could be identified.

4)
Ciurea Rail Disaster
Ciurea Station, Romania 13 January 1817
600 – 1,000

During the First World War, a train carrying as many as 1,000 passengers—mostly soldiers and civilians fleeing a German advance—suffered brake failure on a 6.7% grade. To avoid collision with a second train at the bottom, the runaway was switched onto a loop. The runaway train derailed and caught fire.

5)
Guadalajara Train Disaster
Guadalajara, Mexico, 22 January 1915
600+ Deaths

In the midst of the Mexican Revolution, a train carrying the families of the troops of Venustiano Carranza left Colima for Guadalajara. The train lost its brakes on a steep descent, jumped the tracks and plunged into a canyon. Some 300 survived.

6)
Ufa Train Diaster
Near Asha, in the Soviet Union 4 June 1989
575 – 645 killed

Two passing trains carrying children on holiday to the Black Sea threw sparks near a leaky liquid petroleum gas pipeline. The resulting explosion—the equivalent of the Hiroshima bomb—killed at least 575 and wounded 700 others.

7)
Balvano Train Disaster
near Balvano, Italy 2/3 March 1944
426 Deaths

After a train stalled on a steep gradient in the Armi tunnel, carbon monoxide fumes from its engines killed 426, many riding the train illegally. The carbon monoxide was exacerbated by the poor grade coal used as a result of war shortages.

8)
Torre del Bierzo Rail Disaster
near Torro del Bierzo, Spein 3 January 1944
500 deaths

The collision of three trains in a tunnel left more than 500 dead. Official counts at the time were much lower for political reasons

9)
Awash Rail Disaster
between Arba and Khora, Ethiopia 14 January 1985
428 deaths

High speed led to a derailment of four of the trains’s five cars as it rounded a curve on a bridge across a ravine. Of the 1,000 on board, 428 were killed and 500 injured.

10)
Al Ayyat Train Disaster
Between Cairo and Luxor, Egypt 20 February 2002
at least 383 deaths

A cooking gas cylinder explosion set the train on fire, burning seven third class carriages to cinders. There was no passenger list, so estimates run to as high as 1,000 deaths on the grossly overcrowded train.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 03:00:29.

The World’s Worst Airline Disasters

While airline disasters are spectacular and often cause tragically large losses of life, it’s worth noting that airline travel remains among the safest modes of travel. In a statistical sense, airplanes are far safer than cars. Each day, three million people fly; In 2000, commercial airliners carried 1.09 billion people on 18 million flights, while suffering only 20 fatal accidents. On the other hand, automobile accidents kill more than 40,000 each year in the United States alone.
1.
New York, New York
September 11, 2001
4,500+ Casualties

The majority of the deaths here were, of course, on the ground, as Islamic terrorists flew two 767s into the World Trade Center buildings.

2.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
March 27, 1977
583 Casualties

583 people were killed when two Boeing 747s collided on a foggy runway.The KLM jet had departed without permission, and struck the Pan Am as it taxied on the same runway.

3.
Mount Fuji, Japan
August 12, 1985
520 casualties

A Japan Airlines 747 crashed near Mount Fuji shortly after takeoff. The crash was blamed on the rupture of a rear bulkhead. The crash wasn’t the end of the deaths, though. A maintenance supervisor later committed suicide over the incident.

4.
Delhi, India
November 12, 1996
349 casualties

Traveling from Kazakhstan, an Ilyushhin IL-76 Cargo plane collided with a Saudia 747. The collision was blamed on the Kazakhstan crew, which ignored instructions.

5.
Orly Airport, France
March 3, 1974
346 casualties

The cargo door of Turkish Airlines DC-10 burst open, causing de-pressurization, the failure of the airplane’s floor, and severing the control cables. The airplane crashed just outside of Paris.

6.
Irish Sea
June 23, 1985
329 killed

Sikh extremists planted a bomb on an Air India 757, which blew up over the Irish Sea enroute to Bombay. A second bomb, intended for another airliner, blew up in the luggage facility.

7.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
August 19, 1980
301 killed

The Saudia L-1011 made a safe emergency landing after an on board fire, then taxied to the end of the runway. Strangely, the plane did not evacuate, and the engines continued to run. Three minutes later, a flash fire ignited the airplane and all aboard were killed.

8.
Persian Gulf
July 3, 1988
290 killed

An Iran Air Airbus A300 is mistakenly shot down by a US Navy Destroyer

9.
Chicago O’Hare
May 25, 1979
273 killed

Until 9-11, the single largest loss of life in a US aviation incident. An engine fell off a DC-10, damaging the wing and rolling the airplane. Crashing a mile from the airport, it exploded in a huge fireball.

10.
Lockerbie, Scotland
December 21, 1988
270 killed

Libyan agents planted a bomb aboard Pan Am flight 103. Casualties included 11 on the ground.

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:56:31.

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 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.