The world’s worst natural disasters have claimed many lives and have caused millions in property damage. While there are many criteria as to what would be considered the “worst” of these disasters; the earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunamis on this natural disasters list are all horrific in their own right. So what are some of the worst disasters? Find out with these 25 Worst Natural Disasters Ever Recorded.
Nevado del Ruiz Volcano Eruption (1985)
Also famed as La Mesa de Herveo, this stratovolcano holds the distinction of causing the second largest volcano-related disaster of the 20th century. The volcano produced an enormous flow that buried and devastated the town of Armero in Tolima on November 13, 1985. What became known as the “Armero tragedy” caused the death of 25,000 people.
Tangshan Earthquake in China (1976)
The Great Tangshan earthquake struck China on July 28, 1976 causing the death of 240,000 people and injuring 164,000 more. Regarded as the deadliest earthquake of the 20th century, it also rocked, both literally and politically, the seat of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing. The 7.8 earthquake obliterated the city of Tangshan and was caused by the 25-mile long Tangshan Fault, which runs near the city.
Hurricane Andrew (1993)
Probably one of the most infamous natural disaster examples, hurricane Andrew was formed by a tropical wave that moved to the west coast of Africa on August 14, 1992. During the next few days, it developed into a destructive tropical cyclone. The storm was responsible for 65 fatalities and US $26 billion in property damages. Hurricane Andrew became the 5th costliest hurricane in US history after hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Ike. The name Andrew was retired from the hurricane names list in the spring of 1993.
Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami (2011)
A 9.0 – 9.1 magnitude quake followed by a tsunami hit the east coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. With an underwater depth of 29 km, this was the largest earthquake to ever strike Japan in recorded history. Documented as the 4th most powerful earthquake in the world, it was responsible for the death of 15,894 people with 6,152 injured and 2,562 people missing. It also affected 20 prefectures, with over 127,000 buildings completely destroyed and over 272,000 buildings half collapsed. The earthquake also caused a near nuclear disaster when there was a partial meltdown in 3 reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which is the 2nd largest nuclear disaster after Chernobyl.
Aleppo Earthquake (1138)
The deadliest earthquake in history, the Aleppo earthquake occurred on October 11, 1138 and was named after the city of Aleppo in Syria, now called Halab. Its death toll was approximated at 230,000 as the city was destroyed along with its surrounding areas.