Frazer Blog

Mother Nature’s wrath: The world’s deadliest disasters

by | Aug 23, 2016 | For Families

A person holding a black umbrella

The recent flooding in Louisiana has been named the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The floods were caused by torrential downpours, reaching two to three inches per hour in some areas. In total, the flooding damaged or destroyed nearly 61,000 homes, displaced more than 100,000 people, and claimed the lives of at least 13.

Mother Nature has proven, yet again, that nobody can stop her; but this isn’t the first time she’s done so. Here are the 10 deadliest natural disasters ever recorded:

10. Antioch Earthquake

In the year 526, an earthquake hit Syria in late May, killing approximately 250,000 people.

9. Haiyuan Earthquake

On December 16, 1920, an earthquake hit Haiyuan County in the Ningxia Province of the Republic of China, causing total destruction to some areas. The death toll was originally estimated at around 200,000 people but later found to be around 273,400 people.

8. Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami

The most recent of these 10 disasters was in 2004, when an undersea earthquake triggered a series of tsunamis that killed nearly 280,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The earthquake was so powerful that it caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 centimeter.

7 and 6. Calcutta/Coringa Cyclone

Though some of the facts are unclear due to the historic nature of these disasters, it is believed that the Calcutta Cyclone of 1737 and the Coringa Cyclone of 1893 both killed nearly 300,000 people in India each.

5. Bhola Cyclone

In 1970, a devastating tropical cyclone hit Pakistan, killing nearly half a million people. Most were killed as a result of the floods that followed the cyclone.

4. Tangshan Earthquake

On July 28, 1976, an earthquake with a 7.8 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Tangshan in Hebei of the People’s Republic of China, killing around 650,000 people.

3. Shaanxi Earthquake

In 1556, 830,000 people were killed in the deadliest earthquake ever recorded. Part of the reason this earthquake was so deadly was because much of the population in the area at that time lived in artificial caves, which collapsed.

2. Yellow River Flood

In 1887, a flood on the Yellow River in China covered an estimated 50,000 square miles. There were 900,000 casualties, caused both by the flood itself as well as the following widespread sickness and disease in those who were displaced.

1. China Floods

From 1928 to 1930, a drought afflicted China — but following a heavy snowfall in 1930 and heavy rainfall coupled with nine cyclones in 1931, much of China began to flood. The Yellow River, Yangtze River, and Huai River all flooded, causing as much as 4 million deaths, though no number has ever been confirmed.

If you would like to help those affected by the flooding in Louisiana, there are several ways for you to do so, most of which involve helping the families that have lost everything get back on their feet:

  • If you are nearby, you can help shelter and feed those displaced by helping the local Red Cross provide these services.
  • You can donate money to the Red Cross here by selecting “Louisiana Floods” or by texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 contribution.
  • You can volunteer with or donate money to the Salvation Army’s Gulf Coast Fund to help families that have been displaced.
  • You can donate to or volunteer with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
  • You can donate money to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans & Acadiana to help provide food.
  • You can help Convoy of Hope provide water, food, and supplies by donating here and specifying that you would like your donation to go toward the flood relief.
  • You can volunteer with Operation Blessing International or help them financially.
  • You can assist Louisiana State University students who have been affected by the floods by donating to the LSU Fund.
  • You can donate to the Gulf Coast Floods Children’s Relief Fund through Save the Children.
  • Many animals were displaced as well — you can donate to Companion Animal Alliance or Denham Springs Animal Shelter Fund to help.
  • If you are in the area and wish to donate items, click here for a full list of locations that are accepting donations.


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