The worst calamities that history witnessed


The worst calamities that history witnessed

Since the dawn of civilization, worst calamities have been a part of life on Earth, but the death tolls from the oldest of these worst calamities have been lost to history. According to a 2020 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, the Minoan civilization was completely wiped out around 1600 B.C. on the ancient Mediterranean island of Thera (currently Santorini, Greece). But precisely how many people perished? The answer is unknown.

ALEPPO EARTHQUAKE: worst calamities

The worst calamities that history witnessed


On October 11, 1138, tremors started to be felt beneath the Syrian city of Aleppo. The city is vulnerable to temblors because it is at the meeting point of the African and Arabian plates, but this one was exceptionally destructive. Although the exact size of the earthquake is lost to history, chroniclers of the time noted that Aleppo’s citadel and many of the city’s homes collapsed. According to a 2004 paper in the journal Annals of Geophysics, the historian who reported the death toll may have confused the Aleppo earthquake with one that occurred in what is now the modern-day Eurasian nation of Georgia. The death toll is estimated to be around 230,000, but that number comes from the 15th century.


The worst calamities that history witnessed


A devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 that occurred off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, on December 26, 2004, is tied for tenth place. Almost 230,000 people were murdered and nearly 2 million people were affected by the earthquake’s enormous tsunami, which hit 14 South Asian and East African nations. Residents had little time to flee to higher ground since the tsunami, which could reach land at up to 500 mph (804 kph), arrived only 15 to 20 minutes after the earthquake.

A humanitarian aid organization called World Vision claims that the tsunami wave was over 100 feet (30 meters) high in several areas, particularly in Indonesia, which was most severely affected.

TANGSHAN EARTHQUAKE: worst calamities

The Chinese city of Tangshan was destroyed by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 at 3:42 in the morning on July 28, 1976, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Almost 240,000 people lost their lives at Tangshan, an industrial city with a population of about 1 million at the time of the accident. Although this was the reported death toll, some experts believe that it is significantly understated and that the actual number of fatalities was probably closer to 700,000. According to reports, 85% of Tangshan’s buildings fell, and tremors could be felt more than 100 miles (180 km) away in Beijing, China. It took several years for Tangshan to be reconstructed to its former splendour.


On December 16, 1920, an earthquake that struck Haiyuan County in north-central China also shook the nearby provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi. On the Richter scale, it was allegedly a 7.8, although China now says it was an 8.5. Also, there are differences in the number of fatalities. According to a 2010 study by Chinese seismologists, the death toll may have reached as high as 273,400. The USGS estimated that there were 200,000 overall victims. According to a 2020 study published in the journal Landslides, the region’s heavy concentrations of loess soils (a porous, silty material that is particularly unstable) caused major landslides that were responsible for almost 30,000 of these deaths.

CORINGA CYCLONE: worst calamities

The worst calamities that history witnessed


According to the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, the Coringa cyclone made landfall at the port city of Coringa on India’s Bay of Bengal on November 25, 1839, whipping up a storm surge of 40 feet (12 m). The hurricane’s category and wind speed are unknown, as is the case with many storms that occurred before the 20th century. Together with the estimated 300,000 lives lost, about 20,000 ships and boats were sunk.


One of the three deadliest earthquakes in recorded history was the horrific magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12, 2010, just northwest of Port-au-Prince.

Since Haiti is one of the most impoverished nations in the Western Hemisphere and has only seen a few significant earthquakes. It is particularly vulnerable to damage and casualties. Three million individuals may have been impacted by the earthquake. Estimates of the death toll varied widely. Initially, the Haitian government put the number of dead at 230,000, but in January 2011, they increased it to 316,000. Over 160,000 deaths were reported in a 2010 study that was published in the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival; however, the USGS reported even lower figures, around 100,000.


The worst calamities that history witnessed


On November 12–13, 1970, this tropical cyclone made landfall in East Pakistan, which is now Bangladesh. The storm’s maximum sustained winds. According to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division were 130 mph (205 kph). Which is the equivalent of a Category 4 major hurricane according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale. A storm surge measuring 35 feet (10.6 meters) poured over the low-lying islands. Lining the Gulf of Bengal before it made landfall, resulting in extensive flooding.

And the failure to evacuate. The difficulty of precisely determining the death toll. SHAANXI EARTHQUAKE: worst calamities

According to the Science Museums of China, the quake, known as the “Jiajing Great Earthquake”. After the emperor whose reign it happened in, destroyed a 621-square-mile (1,000-square-kilometer) portion of the nation. As the yaodong, or cave dwellings dug into the region’s loess plateaus. Which fell, an estimated 830,000 people perished.  But, geophysicists of the present day estimate it to have been approximately magnitude 8.

YELLOW RIVER FLOOD: worst calamities

The worst calamities that history witnessed


Due to a number of dikes constructed to control the river as it flowed through farmland in central China. The Yellow River (Huang He) in that country. These dikes had become progressively more silted over time. Raising the river’s elevation. According to the “Encyclopaedia of Disasters: Environmental Catastrophes and Human Tragedies”. When the river swelled in September 1887 due to severe rains. It overflowed these dikes and flooded 5,000 square miles (12,949 square km). Of the nearby low-lying area (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008).


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