25 Worst Natural Disasters Ever Recorded

Posted by on August 26, 2013

The world has witnessed numerous disasters over the centuries and although most are man-made due to wars and terrorism, mother nature certainly dishes out her fair share of damage. While there are many criteria as to what would be considered the “worst” natural disaster ranging from lives lost to cost incurred, the earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunamis you are about to witness are all horrific in their own right.  Here are the 25 worst natural disasters ever recorded.


Haiti Earthquake (2010)

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake that has a depth of 8.1 miles rocked Haiti on January 12, 2010. Its epicenter was located just south west of Port-Au-Prince with 59 aftershocks ranging from 4.2 to 5.9 magnitudes in strength. The strongest earthquake to hit the country since 1770, it had led to over 200,000 deaths, 2 million homeless, and 3 million people in need of emergency aid. At least US $195 million have been given with another US $120 million pledges from different countries, along with a large number of aid workers to help with rescue operations.


Cyclone Nargis (2008)

The first cyclone in 2008 to hit the northern Indian Ocean, Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar and devastated the Ayeyarwady Delta region along with its 37 townships for two days. Official figures showed that 84,500 people were killed with 53,800 missing. An equivalent of a category 3 or 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, it led to numerous storm surges and flooding.


Pakistan Earthquake (2005)

The 2005 Pakistan earthquake, that registered 7.6 in the Richter scale, had its epicenter in Kashmir near the city of Muzaffarabad. It occurred on the morning of October 8, 2005 and the official death toll was 75,000 people with 106,000 people injured. The severity of the damage was attributed to the poor construction of the buildings. Over US $5.4 billion in aid arrived from all over the world to help with rescue and relief efforts.


Hurricane Katrina (2005)

The deadliest hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, it was ranked as the sixth strongest overall to hit the United States. It was also one of the costliest with estimated property damages of US $81 billion.


Indian Ocean Earthquake (2004)

Also known as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, it was estimated to be a magnitude 9.15, and occurred on December 26, 2004. While the earthquake itself lasted for only 10 seconds, it caused a tsunami that killed 200,000 to 310,000 people along the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, and Thailand with one death even occurring at Port Elizabeth in South Africa, 8,000 miles away from the epicenter.