25 Worst Natural Disasters Ever Recorded

Posted by , Updated on September 20, 2017


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.

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Haiyuan Earthquake (1920)


Also known as the 1920 Gansu Earthquake, this is the 4th worst earthquake ever recorded. With a death toll of 240,000, this quake occurred in December 16, 1920. Its epicenter was located in Haiyuan County, in the Ningxia Province of China.


Antioch Earthquake (526)


The third worst earthquake disaster in the world happened in the year 526. With no specific date on record, it’s thought that it may have struck late in May between the 20th and 29th. This major earthquake hit Syria and Antioch with a death toll between 250,000 to 300,000.


Bhola Cyclone (1970)


Reaching wind speeds of 185 km/h, the Bhola Cyclone in Bangladesh led to over US $490 million in damages, destroying 85% of the homes in the region. It also fetched storm surges that wiped out entire villages, killing 45% of the population in Tazumuddin. Nearly 500,000 people died during that cyclone.


New Zealand Earthquake (2011)


Also known as the Christchurch earthquake, this magnitude 6.3 quake occurred on February 22, 2011, severely damaging New Zealand’s second-largest city. It also killed 185 people, 238 were reported missing, and 164 patients were treated for injuries. One of the nation’s deadliest peacetime disasters, this caused significant damage to Christchurch and the central Canterbury region. There was an estimated US $16 billion worth of damages incurred, even though it was of lesser strength than the 7.1 magnitude quake that hit Canterbury six months earlier on September 4, 2010.


Afghanistan Blizzard (2008)

The second worst blizzard in modern history with regards to casualties, it had an estimated death toll of 1,337 due to temperatures that fell below -30°C with up to 180 centimeters of snow in the mountainous regions. Some were frozen to death, and a number died when their vehicles were blocked by snowdrifts. At least 100 people underwent frostbite amputations in hospitals across the country. It also claimed more than 100,000 sheep and goats and 315,000 cattle.

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