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.
East Africa Drought (2011)
The worst drought in 60 years, the Horn of Africa experienced a severe drought starting in mid-July of 2011. There was an estimated 12.4 million people in need of food. It resulted in a food crisis across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. It threatened the livelihood of more than 9.5 million people and caused widespread death and famine.
North Korean Famine (1994)
Recognized as the “Arduous March,” this famine devastated North Korea from 1994 to 1998. It had an estimated death toll of between 240,000 and 3,500,000 due to starvation and hunger-related illnesses. Out of its 24 million people, 5 million were malnourished, including 800,000 children with 80,000 on the brink of starvation. Everyone felt the impact of the famine, but those who were further from the capital suffered greater. Food assistance was given by the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, and other European Union countries. This aid continued until 2002, when the North Korean government requested to stop the deliveries of these food supplies.
European Heat Wave (2003)
Europe is not too used to scorching hot summers, so when the 2003 European heat wave struck, it resulted in a health crisis in several countries as well as a drought which led to a crop shortage. In the Ukraine, 75% of wheat crops were lost, and at least 14,802 casualties were recorded in France alone. The extreme temperatures also resulted in forest fires and counter-intuitively, even flooding.
Yangtze River Floods (1931)
When torrential rains hit southern China in August 1931, it caused the Yangtze River to flood, killing nearly 3.7 million people. This was considered the worst natural disaster of the 20th century.
Hurricane Irma (2017)
Hurricane Irma is the latest natural disaster to reach the North American shores. Rampaging through the Caribbean and finally arriving off Florida’s west coast at category 5, Irma left behind a trail of destruction unlike any other. Estimates are still coming in, but some believe the overall costs could range up to $100 billion.