Horrible Disasters in the World

A natural or man-made or technological hazard that cause  physical damage, destructions, loss of life or abrupt changes in the environment is known as disaster. A disaster can be very difficult to define as any tragic event that stemmed from horrible events such as earthquakes, floods, accidents caused by catastrophe, fires such as bushfire or forest fire or explosions. Disasters is a phenomenon causing severe damage to life, property and destroy the economic, social and people’s cultural life. A natural disaster is a major unfavorable event that resulted from natural processes of the Earth, for instance, floods or flashfloods, mudslides, landslides, avalanche, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes and other geologic processes. These kinds of natural disaster can cause loss of life or severe damage of property, and typically leaves some economic damages, which depends on the affected population’s ability to recover. The event of great loss commonly to human life is called a tragedy, and called tragic. However, a tragedy does not necessarily involve massive or tragic death of many people, a single person‘s death, a public figure or a child, may be characterized as a tragedy, although that person, need not necessarily be a famous person. Joseph Stalin, the de facto leader of the Soviet Union during the mid-1920s until his death in 1953, once said, “One death is a tragedy, one million deaths is a statistic.”

1) Avalanche – 2010 Salang Avalanche

Salang tunnel entrance

Salang tunnel entrance

2010 Salang Avalanches (image credit:commons.wikimedia.org)

2010 Salang Avalanches (image credit:commons.wikimedia.org)

The 2010 Salang avalanches composed of at least 36 avalanches series, that struck the southern entrance to the Salang Tunnel, north of  Kabul, Afghanistan, caused by a freak storm in the Hindu Kush mountains. A series of at least seventeen avalanches on February 8, 2010, struck the area around the tunnel, burying miles of road, killing dozens of people and hundreds or more people were stranded, and hundred of cars were buried in the snow. More than a total of 150 people are speculated have died in the avalanche, according to officials, and reported at least 400 injuries at the Salang avalanche. The avalanches were caused by a sudden blizzard that struck the area, closing the tunnel’s entrance and exit, and the roads around it on both side of the tunnel. The Afghan National Army and NATO used their helicopters to rescue at least 2,500 people who were trapped inside their vehicles. On February 12, 20120, the Salang tunnel was reopened. An avalanche also known as  snowslide or snowslip, is a rapid flow of tons of snow down a slop, usually triggered in a starting zone from a mechanical failure in the slab avalanche or snowpack when the forces on the snow exceed its strength but sometimes only with gradually widen loose snow avalanche.

2012 Siachen Glacier avalanche

Avalance dry snow

Avalance dry snow

Siachen glacier avalanche covered hundreds of soldiers and civilians (iamge credit: www.miamiherald.com)

Siachen glacier avalanche covered hundreds of soldiers and civilians (iamge credit: www.miamiherald.com)

The Siachen Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains where the Line of Control or the Siachen conflict, sometimes referred to as Siachen War, a military conflict between India and Pakistan, and known as the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest non-polar areas in the world. An avalanche hit a Pakistani Military camp near the disputed Siachen Glacier region in Kashmir, where 140 soldiers and civilians contractors were trapped under deep snow on April 7, 2012 and considered as the worst avalanche that the Pakistani military has experienced in the area. Pakistan declared and confirmed on May 29, 2012, that the 129 soldiers and 11 civilians were dead. In 2003, a cease-fire went into effect between India and Pakistan for several decades. The Siachen Avalanche occurred on April 7, 2012, around 2:00 am Pakistan Standard Time (PKT), a massive ice avalanche struck a Pakistani military headquarters at Gayari, west of the Siachen Glacier, near the disputed Siachen glacier region. Some initial reports showed that at least 100 Pakistani soldiers, which includes a colonel and a commander was trapped under an estimated 70 feet of snow, and number of people missing was later reported to be at least 135 at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilian contractors. The Pakistan Army has named all the Gayari victims sector as Shuhada martyrs.

2012  Manaslu Avalanche

2012 Manaslu avalnche debris (image credit:powdercanada.com)

2012 Manaslu avalnche debris (image credit:powdercanada.com)

Manaslu avalanche in 2012 (image credit:fishtailair.com)

Manaslu avalanche in 2012 (image credit:fishtailair.com)

Manaslu also known as Kutang, is the eighth highest mountain in the world, and is located in the Mansiri Himal, part of the Nepalese Himalayas, in the west-central part of Nepal. Manaslu means Mountain of the Spirit, comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa, meaning intellect or soul. The Manaslu Avalanche which killed eleven climbers on early morning of September 23, 2012, in the Himalaya mountains, overwhelmed camp 3, killing 11 climbers, and skiers.

2) Blizzard

1972 Iran Blizzard (image credit: mindblowingscience.com)

1972 Iran Blizzard (image credit: mindblowingscience.com)

In February 1972, the horrible Iran Blizzard which lasted for five to seven days, resulted in the deaths of approximately 4,000 people. The Iran Blizzard remained the deadliest disaster in history, a week-long period of low temperatures and were hardest hit, with no survivors in Kakkan or Kumar. In the northwest part of Iran, near the border with Turkey, the 100 inhabitants of the Sheklab village were buried. The 1972 Iran Blizzard covered 200 villages with blizzard ice dropping as much as 26 feet of snow. After a heavy snowfall that lasted for nearly a week, an area the size of Wisconsin was buried in deep snow.

2008 Afghanistan Blizzard

Afghanistan Blizzard in an Army Military base (image credit:www.militaryphotos.net)

Afghanistan Blizzard in an Army Military base (image credit:www.militaryphotos.net)

The 2008 Afghanistan blizzard although described as fierce snowfall, but not a record-breaking blizzard that hit Afghanistan in February 2008, were the cold temperatures dropped to a low of -30 C, with up to 180 centimeters of snow in mostly the mountainous regions, killing at least 926 people. At least 100 people across the country underwent a frostbite amputations, as majority of the Afghans walked barefooted in the freezing cold mud and snow. The extremely cold weather also claimed more than 100,000 sheep and goats, and almost 315,000 cattle died.

The February 2013 nor’easter also known as Winter Storm Nemo

Winter Blizzard 2013,Billerica MA

Winter Blizzard 2013,Billerica MA

New York Blizzard 2013 Snow

New York Blizzard 2013 Snow

Shoveled sidewalk after February 2013 nor'easter blizzard in Walden,NY

Shoveled sidewalk after February 2013 nor’easter blizzard in Walden,NY

The February 2013 nor’easter also known as Winter Storm Nemo or the Blizzard of 2013, was a powerful winter storm that developed from the combination of two low pressure areas, affecting primarily the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada which resulted in heavy snow blizzard and hurricane-force winds. The winter snow storm crossed the Atlantic Ocean and affected the United Kingdom and Ireland. The nor’easter was ranked as Category 3 on the NESIS Scale, making it a Major Winter Storm. The blizzard has a combination of strong winds and heavy, wet snow which left 700,000 customers without electricity at the height of the storm. There were reported at least eighteen deaths attributed to the storm. In Ontario, Canada, an 80-year-old woman in Hamilton, and an 80-year-old man in Niagara Falls collapsed while shoveling snow and died. An Oshawa man, 49 years old, was killed in multi-vehicle collision in Pickering City located in Southern Ontario, Canada, while a 57-year-old man from Ottawa died when his car crashed near Prescott. An 81-year-old woman removing the snow using a snowblower was hit by a car in Prospect town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. A man was found dead under snow at his home in Bridgeport, a man died after he suffered a heart attack while plowing snow in New Milford, and another man from Shelton died while digging his truck out of the snow, and a police said, a man was found dead on his back porch on February 9 in Danbury, a city in northern Fairfield County, Connecticut. In Maine, a 75-year-old man crashed his pickup truck into a tree in Passadumkeag, then his pickup ended up in the Penobscot River. A 13-year-old boy and a man was reported killed separate locations in Boston, Massachusetts due to carbon monoxide poisoning while inside their cars because the tailpipes were blocked by snow. A man was plowing his driveway with a tractor on February 8 in Germantown, New York, when the tractor went off the edge of the road and fell on top of him killing him.

2011 Halloween nor’easter

October 2011 snowfall, Walden, NY or the 2011 Halloween nor'easter

October 2011 snowfall, Walden, NY or the 2011 Halloween nor’easter

October 2011 nor'easter, trees down, blocking the roadsGranby, Connecticut

October 2011 nor’easter, trees down, blocking the roadsGranby, Connecticut

The 2011 Halloween nor’easter, sometimes referred to as Snowtober and Storm Alfred was a large low pressure area that produced unusual or strange early snowfall across the northeastern United States and the Maritimes, which formed early on October 29 along a cold front to the southeast of the Carolinas. The Halloween blizzard moved up the East Coast, its related heavy snowfall broke records resulting in a rare white Halloween after two days, in at least 20 cities for total snow accumulations. Snow fell covered the trees that have still in leaf, adding extra weight, and causes trees and branches to collapsed under resulting to damages, particularly to power lines. In the Western Massachusetts’ case, where the 2011 New England tornado outbreak and Hurricane Irene hit, trees were already weakened from these previous record setting storms. As a result of the 2011 Halloween blizzard, massive power outrages occurred in 12 states and three Canadian provinces, particularly in Connecticut, where the power lines lasted throughout the next week. Due to wet and icy roads, traffic accidents killed at least six people. Two were electrocuted by collapsed power lines. There were total of 39 deaths  reported. Numerous traditional Halloween activities were affected by the storm and just stayed home. In some cities and communities without electricity, where wires were down and the tree limbs, trick-or-treat celebration was delayed until some few days when it was expected the electricity is restored back and repairs had made the streets safer.

3)  January 2009 ice storm

Frozen rain covering crabapples

Frozen rain covering crabapples

Ice Storm Kentucky

Ice Storm Kentucky

Ice Storm covering a car

Ice Storm covering a car

January 2009 ice storm was a major ice storm that occurred in many parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky, which the ice storm resulted in power outrages affecting over 2 million of people due to heavy ice accumulation over the business and residential areas. The Western Kentucky was the most hardest hit areas with over 500,000 residences without electricity power during the height of the storm, and another 100,000 without electricity for over one week, and northern Arkansas, with 300,000 residences without power. This 2009 ice storm killed total of 65 people nation-wide, 35 in Kentucky, were most of the deaths were attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to kerosene heaters or power generators used indoors without proper ventilation. The ice storm consist of heavy showers of freezing rain which is one of the most dangerous types of winter storm. Freezing rain is the name given to rain that falls when surface temperatures are below freezing degrees, which differs from rain and snow mixed also known as sleet, hail, or ice pellets, freezing rain is made entirely of liquid droplets, and the raindrops become supercooled while passing through a sub-freezing layer of air hundreds of feet above the surface, and then freeze upon impact covering any object with ice they encounter. The covering of ice is known as glaze, or glaze ice is an ice coating with smooth, transparent and homogenous ice that can accumulate to a thickness of several centimeters of ice, occurring when the surface will be hit by drizzle or freezing rain.

1999 Sydney hailstorm

1999 Sydney hailstorm stones

1999 Sydney hailstorm stones

1947 Sydney hailstorm

1947 Sydney hailstorm

1999 Sydney hailstorm (image credit:www.digplanet.com)

1999 Sydney hailstorm (image credit:www.digplanet.com)

The 1999 Sydney hailstorm was the most expensive natural disaster in terms of Australian insurance, which cause extensive damages with properties along the east coast of New South Wales. On April 14, 1999 afternoon, the storm developed south of Sydney, Australia which hits the eastern suburbs in the city, the central business district, later in the evening. The hailstorm dropped an estimated 500,000 tonnes of hailstones in its path. During the hailstorm, a lightning claimed one life, and this disaster caused approximately 50 injuries. The storm was classified as a supercell (sometimes referred to as rotating thunderstorms) following further analysis of its erratic nature and extreme attributes. The 1947 Sydney hailstorm was a natural disaster which hits Sydney, Australia on January 1, 1947, which the storm cell developed on the New Year’s Day morning, a public holiday in Australia, over the Blue Mountain, hitting the city and dispersed east of Bondi  in the mid-afternoon. The disaster caused around 1000 injuries, with between 200 and 350 people required to have treatment in the hospitals or other medical attention, particularly caused by broken glass pieces. The majority of the people who sustained severe injuries, was people on the beaches in Sydney were they stayed without shelter.

4) 2013 Bohol Earthquake

Loon church, Bohol before 2013 earthquake

Loon church, Bohol before 2013 earthquake

The rubbles of Loon Church after the earthd quake

The rubbles of Loon Church after the earthquake

Basilica del Santo Nino before 2013 earthquake

Basilica del Santo Nino before 2013 earthquake

Basilica of the Holy Child after 2013 Bohol earthquake

Basilica of the Holy Child after 2013 Bohol earthquake

On the fateful morning of October 15, 2013 at about 8:12 a.m., a massive earthquake named as the 2013 Bohol earthquake, were a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hits Tagbilaran, Bohol an island province located in Central Visayas, Philippines, with the earthquake’s magnitude at the epicenter was recorded at moment magnitude scale (abbreviated as MMS; denoted as MW or M) 7.2, located 6 kilometers  or 3.7 miles South West of Sagbayan town, at a depth of 12 kilometres (7.5 mi). The earthquake affected the whole Central Visayas region, particularly Bohol and Cebu, was felt in the whole Visayas area and as far as Masbate Island to the north and Cotabato provinces in southern Mindanao. There were 222 dead, 8 people missing and 976 injured people, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) official reports, a total of more than 73,000 structures were damaged, of which more than 14,500 were totally destroyed. The 2013 Bohol earthquake was the deadliest earthquake in the Philippines in 23 years, which the quake’s energy is compared to the equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs. On February 8, 1990, Bohol was hit by an earthquake that damaged several buildings and caused a tsunami. After the 2013 destructive earthquake, on November 7, some 3 weeks after the quake, Super Typhoon Haiyan also known as Typhoon Yolanda hit the Bohol region. Although the typhoon Yolanda’s storm’s eye missed the affected areas by the earthquake, there are still 40,000 Boholanos living in temporary shelters back to evacuation centers and disrupted relief efforts in the province, and the most casualties and damages occurred in Bohol. According to reports, a total of 209 people were confirmed dead, 877 people were confirmed injured, and 8 confirmed missing. The 2013 Bohol earthquake destroyed most of the belfry, a structure commonly the bell tower or steeple, and facade and walls and frescoes, a technique of mural painting.

damage in the Sendai region with black smoke coming from the Nippon Oil Sendai oil refinery

damage in the Sendai region with black smoke coming from the Nippon Oil Sendai oil refinery

 Minato, Japan, a week after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the area. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ethan Johnson/Released)

Minato, Japan, a week after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the area. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ethan Johnson/Released)

2011 Japan Earthquake

2011 Japan Earthquake

An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the crust of the Earth composed of a great variety of igneous or Oceanic crust, metamorphic rocks and sedimentary rocks underlying by the mantle, creating seismic waves. The earthquakes apparently move the earth surface by vibration which vary in magnitude, shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground, and the underground point of earthquake’s origin is known as focus, and the point directly above the focus on the surface is known as the epicenter. Earthquakes are caused mostly by instance of slipping within geological faults, also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests. Earthquakes rarely cause lost of life of people and wildlife, but commonly, earthquake movement can trigger collapse of buildings, fires from blasts, tsunamis or seismic sea waves and volcano eruptions, and known as the human disaster. The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku sometimes referred to as the Great East Japan Earthquake, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, and the 3.11 Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the Japan’s coast that occurred on Friday of March 11, 2011, at 14:46 JST or (05:46 UTC). According to Japanese National Police Agency report, on September 12, 2012, there are about 15,883 deaths, 6,150 sustained injuries and 2, 651 people missing across 20 Japan’s prefectures. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami have caused extensive and severe structural damage in north-eastern Japan, fires in many areas caused by an unknown blasts, heavy damage to roads and railways, and a dam collapse. The electricity powers were out causing blackouts around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan and 1.5 million without water. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake was known as the most costliest natural disaster in world history according to World Bank‘s estimated economic cost was US$235 billion.

2010 Haiti Earthquake

2010 Haiti Earthquake building damage

2010 Haiti Earthquake building damage

January 12, 2010, Haitians pull out a body from the rubbles of a school

January 12, 2010, Haitians pull out a body from the rubbles of a school

2010 Haiti Earthquake, LA County Rescuers pulls Haitian woman from earthquake

2010 Haiti Earthquake, LA County Rescuers pulls Haitian woman from earthquake

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a natural disaster recorded the earthquake having catastrophic moment magnitude scale  7.0 ( MW ) earthquake, with an epicenter near the Léogâne (Ouest Department) town, approximately 25 kilometers west of the capital of Haiti, the  Port-au-Prince. The deadly earthquake occurred on January 12, 2010, Tuesday at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC). There were at least 52 aftershocks felt in many areas, on January 24, measuring 4.5 or even greater that had been recorded. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake, with death toll reported with estimates ranging from 100,000 to 159,000, while the Haitian government marked by the rise of body counts and missing persons, figures from 220,000 to 316,000 that have been widely characterized. The government of Haiti have also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had were severely damaged. The Refugees International characterized in October 2010, that the aid agencies as dysfunctional and inexperienced. There were reports of rising violence in Haiti after the earthquake, that gang leaders and land owners were intimidating the displaced people and that sexual, domestic, and gang violence in and around the evacuation center or refugee camps. The Haitian officials, claimed that Haitian women and girls living in camps, were being raped and abused, since the January earthquake was increasing, blaming and accusing that the United Nations wasn’t doing enough to protect them. In October, A cholera epidemic broke out, probably contaminated by foreign aid workers. Cholera most often affects poor countries with limited access to clean water and foods and proper sanitation. According to reports, by the end of 2010, there were more than 3,333 had died at a rate of about 50 deaths a day. On August 25, 2012, the Tropical Storm Isaac, interfered the nation’s  recovery that hit the Haiti’s southern peninsula, caused flooding and 29 deaths according to local reports. There were more than 400,000 Haitians evacuees continue to live in tents since the 2010 earthquakes and experienced the storm without adequate shelter. Over 370,000 evacuees are still living in tent camps, in late October, when a second tropical storm, Hurricane Sandy, killed 55 and large areas of Haiti was under water. The American Red Cross reported in 2013, that almost all of the money collected for quake relief has been spent or has been scheduled for development and progress for Haitians, by ensuring people can leave the evacuation camps and can return to stable communities, with new commercial buildings, new homes, repairing homes, completion of a new hospital and clinic, and signing an agreement for reconstruction of a second hospital.

2010 Chile earthquake

2010 Chile earthquake ,damages at Vespucio Norte Highway after earthquake

2010 Chile earthquake ,damages at Vespucio Norte Highway after earthquake

2010 Chile earthquake, Car destroyed in Temuco

2010 Chile earthquake, Car destroyed in Temuco

2010 Chile earthquake, Building destroyed in Concepción

2010 Chile earthquake, Building destroyed in Concepción

On February 27, 2010, Saturday, the 2010 Chile earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile at 03:34 local time (06:34 UTC), having a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale (MW), with intense shaking lasting for about three minutes. The earthquake triggered a tsunami,  devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile and damaged the Talcahuano port. The Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries, and the tidal wave caused minor damage in some areas in San Diego, California. Chile President Michelle Bachelet (Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria) declared a state of catastrophe, sent military troops in the most affected areas, to take control of rescue and relief centers. According to government official reports, 525 people lost their lives, 25 people went missing and estimate of 9% of the affected regions or populations, lost their houses.

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

2004 Earthquake and Tsunami. strikes Ao Nang, Thailand.

2004 Earthquake and Tsunami. strikes Ao Nang, Thailand.

2004 earthquake and tsunami damages in Phuket, Thailand

2004 earthquake and tsunami damages in Phuket, Thailand

2004 earthquake and tsunami damaged a village near the coast of Sumatra lays in ruin after the Tsunami struck South East Asia

2004 earthquake and tsunami damaged a village near the coast of Sumatra lays in ruin after the Tsunami struck South East Asia

2004 earthquake and tsunami affecting Chennai beach in India

2004 earthquake and tsunami affecting Chennai beach in India

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that occurred on December 26, 2004, Sunday at 00:58:53 UTC, was an undersea megathrust earthquake with an epicenter off the Sumatra west coast, Indonesia. The quake is named by the scientific community as the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake.The deadly tsunami was given various names, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, South Asian tsunami, Indonesian tsunami, the Christmas tsunami and the Boxing Day tsunami. The caused of the earthquake, is when the Indian Plate was subducted (a geologic process in which one edge of one crustal plate is forced below the edge of another) by the Burma Plate and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the landmasses coasts, bordering the Indian Ocean, killing over 230,000 people in fourteen neighboring  countries, and covering with floods along the coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (98 ft) high. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Indonesia was the most hardest-hit country, followed bySri Lanka, India and Thailand. With a 9.1 to 9.3 magnitude of Mw,  the 3rd largest and deadly earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph, with the earthquake being observed,  having the longest duration of faulting, between 8.3 and 10 minutes.

1990 Luzon Earthquake

Luzon Earthquake 1990, (image credit:http://www.cityofpines.com/baguioquake/quake35.jpg)

Luzon Earthquake 1990, (image credit:http://www.cityofpines.com/baguioquake/quake35.jpg)

1990 Luzon Earthquake (image credit: http://www.cityofpines.com/baguioquake/quake30.jpg)

1990 Luzon Earthquake (image credit: http://www.cityofpines.com/baguioquake/quake30.jpg)

The Luzon earthquake occurred on Monday, July 16, 1990, at 4:26 PM, Philippine local time. The densely populated island of Luzon was struck by an earthquake with a 7.8 Richter magnitude scale (often shortened to Richter scale), or MS (surface-wave magnitude). The earthquake produced a 125 km-long ground rupture stretching from Dingalan, Aurora to Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, as a result of strike-slip movements along the Philippine Fault and the Digdig Fault within the Philippine Fault System. The earthquake epicenter was placed at 15° 42′ N and 121° 7′ E near the Rizal, Nueva Ecija, towns, and northeast of Cabanatuan City. According to reports, there were estimated 1,621 people killed in the earthquake, and most of the fatalities are from Central Luzon and the Cordillera region, and most affected city is Baguio City. Some volcanologists, believed that this deadly earthquake may have triggered to the Mount Pinatubo eruption, one year later.

5)  Flood and Flashfloods

2012 Russian floods

2012 Russian floods

2010 Ladakh floods

2010 Ladakh floods

Jeddah, KSA, Flood King Abdullah Street

Jeddah, KSA, Flood King Abdullah Street

A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land which is usually dry, in the sense of flowing water, the word may also be applied to the tide inflow. Massive flooding may occur as an overflowing of water from any large water bodies, such as a river or lake, in which the water overtops or breaks levees or dikes, or due to accumulation of heavy rain water, on saturated ground in an aerial floods, resulting in some of that water escaping its usual boundaries. While a rapid flooding of geomorphic low lying areas, washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins is called the flash flood. Floods sometimes is due to heavy rain caused by severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm or ice or snow meltwater flowing over ice sheets or snowfields. Flash floods can occur after heavy rain that causes the collapse of a natural ice, debris dam or a man-made dam structures, flashing the overflowing water in the dam, as what happened before in  the 1889 Johnstown Flood. Flash floods are characterized from a regular flood by a timescale of less than six hours. On August 6, 2010, the  2010 Ladakh floods occurred across a large area of the northernmost Indian Sate of Jammu and Kashmir and part of Ladakh region, affecting 71 towns and villages were damaged, including the main town in the Leh area, with reported of casualties 255 people have died, six of whom were foreign tourists, after a cloudburst and heavy overnight rains triggered flash floods, mudslides and debris flows, were 200 people were reported missing in the initial aftermath of the storm, with a total of 9000 people were directly affected by the natural disaster.

Cloudburst

Cumulonimbus cloud

Cumulonimbus cloud

Damage at Kedarnath town, Mandakini left bank broken bridge rudraprayag sangam

Damage at Kedarnath town, Mandakini left bank broken bridge rudraprayag sangam

Darchula flood Rajendra

Darchula flood Rajendra

Yamunotri temple and Ashram, pilgrimage site

Yamunotri temple and Ashram, pilgrimage site

A cloudburst is an extreme amount of abrupt or rapid, sometimes with hail and thunderstorm, usually lasts no longer than a few minutes but is capable of creating massive flood or flashflood, in colloquial term, the cloudburst is used to characterized any sudden heavy, brief, and usually unforecasted rainfall. A cloudburst in the Indian subcontinent, usually occurs when a forming monsoon cloud drifts northwards, from the Arabian Sea or the Bengal Bay, across the plains, then onto the Himalaya and bursts, bringing moderate to heavy rainfall as high as 75 millimeters per hour, and sometimes, there are cloudburst’s results that can be disastrous, as this is responsible for forming flashfloods. On August 6, 2010, in Leh, town of Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir, a series of cloudbursts left over 1000 persons dead and over 400 injured. In Almora in Uttarakhand suffered a cloudburst on September 15, 2010, creating flash floods that has drowned away two villages one of them is the village of Balta, leaving a few people alive and the rest of the entire village dead and drowned. Almora has been declared as a town suffering as the cloudburst’s main impact by Uttarakhand authorities. Cloudburst in Rudraprayag district causing flash floods and killed 39 people on September 14, 2012. A multi-day cloudburst occurred in June 15, 2013, in Kedarnath and Rambada region of the Uttarakhand, a North Indian state and cause devastating floods and landslides becoming worst natural disaster in the country’s history killing over 1000 people in initial report, fearing the death toll may rise to 5000, since the 2004 tsunami. Tons of debris were still being cleared and thousands of people are still missing as of June 30, 2013, leaving with an estimate of approximately 84000 stranded in the valleys.  Some parts of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in India, some regions of Western Nepal, Western Tibet also experienced heavy rainfall, with numbers of casualties over 95% occurred in Uttarakhand. According to figures provided by the Uttarakhand government, as of July 16, 2013, more than 5,700 people were presumed dead. About 100,000 pilgrims, tourists and local residents were reported trapped and stranded in the valleys leading to three of the four Hindu Chota Char Dham pilgrimage sites, due to destruction of bridges and roads. More than 110,000 people from the flood was rescued and evacuated  by the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the paramilitary troops.

April 2010 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides

2010 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides natural disasters in Rio de Janeiro

2010 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides natural disasters in Rio de Janeiro

The April 2010 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides was an extreme weather disturbance affecting the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in April 2010. Reports claimed that at least 212 people have died, 161 people have been injured that includes rescuers, and left about 15,000 people homeless. According to reports there are risks for the 10,000 residential homes, may face danger from mudslides, most of them living in the favela or shanty towns term in Brazil, or slum areas built on the hillsides above downtowns.

January 2010 Rio de Janeiro Floods

January 2010 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides  Angra dos Reis-Morro da Carioca

January 2010 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides Angra dos Reis-Morro da Carioca

The extreme weather affecting Rio de Janerio in Brazil known as the January 2010 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides, leaving  at least 85 people died, including at least 29 people buried in the Hotel Sankey after it was destroyed and covered by landslides, and many more have been injured, and about over 4,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes. The Angra dos Reis municipality was the worst affected, about 150 kilometres or 93 mi southwest of Rio de Janeiro city. There were also report of at least 35 people were killed at a resort on Ilha Grande, about forty people were staying in the hotel which was buried under a mudslide, and the death toll is expected to rise further.

  January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides

January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides

January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides

In January 2011, a series of floods and mudslides took place in several towns of the Região Serrana Mountainous Region, in Rio de Janeiro, in the state of Brazil, were reported casualties of ate least 903 deaths including in the cities of Nova Friburgo about 424 deaths, and 378 deaths in the town of TeresópolisPetrópolis  also known as The Imperial City of Brazil, Sumidouro and São José do Vale do Rio Preto. While local media claimed that in Rio de Janeiro, the floodsmudslide and landslide became the worst and horrible natural disaster in the history of Brazil. Between January 11 to 12 of 2011,  a 24-hour period, registered more rainfall than expected for the entire month by the local weather service, followed by massive and rapid flooding in many areas in the region. The horrible disaster caused widespread property damage and the supply of electricity, running water and phone lines was severely affected. Around 2960 people lost their homes and properties in the flooding, landslide and mudslide.

Flashflood in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Riyadh flood November 26 2013 (image credit:english.alarabiya.net)

Riyadh flood November 16 2013 (image credit:english.alarabiya.net)

Riyadh flashfloods (image credit:www.adaderana.lk)

Riyadh flashfloods (image credit:www.adaderana.lk)

Riyadh KSA, over 16 people feared-dead in flashfloods (image credit:www.qatarchronicle.com)

Riyadh KSA, over 16 people feared-dead in flashfloods (image credit:www.qatarchronicle.com)

On November 17, 2013, Sunday, a very rare heavy downpours triggered flash floods in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where schools, universities and other business establishments were advised by local government to close and remain indoors. Since Saturday night heavy downpour of rains are experienced in Riyadh, followed by knee-deep flooding roads and causing traffic congestion. The heavy rains, accompanied by thunderstorms, hit Riyadh triggering flash floods in several districts and cutting off electricity power supply in the city and other areas, according to residents. There were reported casualties of at least 15 people death and eight others are still missing in flash floods in the last twenty four hours. In the Northern Border Province there were report that the Civil Defense officers found the body of a missing Filipino contact worker on Monday, where he was reported missing after his truck fell on a damaged road and drowned in deep waters. Traveling along with the missing Filipino worker, are other two Filipino contract workers and an Arab, survived the drowning. The Civil Defense rescued 121 residents and eight families in Riyadh on Monday. In May 2012, there were report of casualties about 20 people’s death in flooding that swept many areas of Saudi Arabia, which was not experienced in 25 years with such a high volume of rainfall. While in 2011, about 10 people died in a flash flood in western city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where also 123 people died in 2009 flooding. Saudi Arabia or any country known for desert regions, heavy rain downpour is very rare, thus most religious leaders organized prayers for rain for their country.

6)  Volcanic Eruptions

1980 Mount St Helens eruption plume, July 22, 1980

1980 Mount St Helens eruption plume, July 22, 1980

Mt St Helens Eruption in March 8, 2005

Mt St Helens Eruption in March 8, 2005

Reid Turner Blackburn car buried in lahar

Reid Turner Blackburn car buried in lahar

Dave Johnston going into Mount St. Helens crater to sample lake, April 30,1980

Dave Johnston going into Mount St. Helens crater to sample lake, April 30,1980

The 1980 Mount St. Helen’s eruption, is a major volcanic eruption occurred at Mount St. Helens, a volcano located in Washington, United States.The eruption, a Volcanic Explosivity Index 5 (VEI5) event was the only significant one to occur in the close proximity of 48 U.S. states since the 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California. On May 18, 1980, Sunday at about 8:32:17 a.m. PDT(UTC-7) an earthquake caused the entire north areas slide away, with sudden exposure of partly molten gas and steam-rich rock in the volcano to lower pressure. The molten rock followed by exploding a hot mix of lava and pulverized older rock toward Spirit Lake rapidly that it overtook the avalanche on north face. Report of casualties of 57 people were killed, including innkeeper 80-year old Harry Randall Truman (October 30, 1896 – May 18, 1980) was a resident of Washington, United States, living on Mount St. Helens and became famous for a little while, when he was asked to leave his home but refused months before the 1980’s eruption. Harry R. Truman was the owner and caretaker of Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake. Another casualty, Reid Turner Blackburn (August 11, 1952 – May 18, 1980) was a photographer killed in the 1980 Mount Saint Helens volcanic eruption, where his car along with his body were found four days after the eruption and geologist David Alexander Johnston (December 18, 1949 – May 18, 1980) was an American volcanologist. It was determined on July 10, 2008, that the eruption of Mount Helens that began in 2004 had ended.

Mount Pinatubo

Pinatubo eruption seen at Clark Air Base, June 12 1991

Pinatubo eruption seen at Clark Air Base, June 12 1991

1991 Pinatubo eruption, lateral blast plume June 15, 1991

1991 Pinatubo eruption, lateral blast plume June 15, 1991

Ashfall after the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption

Ashfall after the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption

Ash from Mount Pinatubo covers Naval Base Subic Bay, Zambales

Ash from Mount Pinatubo covers Naval Base Subic Bay, Zambales

Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon near the tri-border area of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. Mount Pinatubo is located in the Cabusilan Mountains separating from the west coast of Luzon from the central plains. Before the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption, most people from Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga has no idea on any volcanic eruption history, and unaware of the powerful eruption that many residents were not aware of and prepared for the natural disaster obstruction. On June 15, 1991, the mushroom smoke emits by Mount Pinatubo became a nightmare for the residents followed by the eruption at 1:42 p.m. local time, and total darkness covered the three provinces. The volcanic eruption lasted for nine hours, followed by frequent numerous large earthquakes due to the collapse of the summit of Mount Pinatubo and the creating a caldera. The entry of Typhoon Yunya (typhoon Diding) gave mush complication with the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo, that brought lethal combination of sulfuric ash falls and heavy rain. Ten of thousands of evacuees were moved, but the surrounding areas were severely damaged by pyroclastic flows, ash deposits and lahars caused by heavy downpour of  rainwater triggered the volcanic deposits to flow massively into the river channels, causing destruction to infrastructure such as roads and bridges, and altering the river systems months to years after the eruption. A reported 847 deaths and thousands of missing people were reported, and some deaths recorded caused by the eruption mostly by collapsed roofs under the weight of accumulated wet ash, a hazard that was caused by heavy rains of Typhoon Yunya. However, the death tolls rise in the following months due to damage of healthcare facilities, and the spread of illnesses in several evacuation centers and relocation facilities due to poor sanitation. After the eruption, There were about 500,000 residents in Zambales and Tarlac, continued to live within 40 km (25 mi) of the mountain, with population centers including the 150,000 people in Angeles City and 30,000 at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. The Mount Pinatubo caldera formed the Lake Pinatubo and  has since become a tourist attraction with the preferred route via Barangay Santa Juliana in Capas, Tarlac. In 1957, long before Mt. Pinatubo became famous for its cataclysmic eruption, the 7th Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay (August 31, 1907 – March 17, 1957) a native of Zambales, named his C-47 presidential aircraft as Mt. Pinatubo. However, in the early morning hours of March 17, 1957, the presidential plane was reported missing. Newspapers had reported that the airplane had crashed on Mt. Manunggal in Cebu by late afternoon, and that 36 passengers of the 56 aboard were killed, but was later reported as the actual number on board was 25, including President Ramon  Magsaysay, with only one survivor, Filipino journalist and newspaperman Nestor Mata.

Evacuees from Mount Pinatubo collect supplies during evacuation of Clark Air Base

Evacuees from Mount Pinatubo collect supplies during evacuation of Clark Air Base

Operation Fiery Vigil  Evacuees from Mount Pinatubo on board the USS Abraham Lincoln

Operation Fiery Vigil Evacuees from Mount Pinatubo on board the USS Abraham Lincoln

Operation Fiery Vigil was the non-essential military and United States Department of Defense civilian personnel and their dependents emergency evacuation from Clark Air Base and U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay in the Philippines, during the Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption on June 1991. This noncombatant evacuation operation (NEO) resulted in the transfer of roughly 20,000 people from Clark Air Base and U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay back to CONUS (The contiguous United States refers to the 48 adjoining U.S. states on the North America continent, South of Canada and north of Mexico, and the District of Columbia), via Cebu,Philippines. The 13th USAF Commanding General, was in command of the Joint Task Force.

Lake Pinatubo

Lake Mount Pinatubo

Lake Mount Pinatubo

The 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption forming caldera was subsequently filled with water from monsoon rains and a crater lake and was named Lake Pinatubo. The growth of a lava dome formed an island in 1992, which was eventually flooded by the lake which was hot and highly acidic, with a minimum pH of 2 and a temperature of about 40 °C (104 °F). In 2003, frequent rainfall cooled and dissolved the lake, lowering the temperature to 26 °C (79 °F) and raising the pH to 5.5. The lake increased in depth by about 1 m (3.3 ft) per month on average eventually submerging the lava dome, until September 2001, it was feared that the walls of the crater might collapse, prompting the government officials, to order a controlled draining the lake, and about estimated 9,000 people evacuated from nearby areas in case a big flood if triggered accidentally causing overflowing and collapsing of the crater. Workers cut a 5 m (16 ft) notch signaling pathway in the crater rim, and successfully drained about a quarter of the lake’s volume. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck close to Pinatubo, on July 26, 2011, however no major damages or casualties were reported.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Volcano, June 1983

Puu Oo Volcano eruption in 1983

Puu Oo Volcano eruption in 1983

Puu Oo Crater Lava pond 1990

Puu Oo Crater Lava pond 1990

Puʻu ʻŌʻō (often written Puu Oo, is a cinder/spatter cone or Volcanic cones in the eastern rift zone (is a feature of some volcano such as shield volcanoes of Hawaii, in which a linear series of fissure vent also known as volcanic fissure, in the volcanic edifice allowing lava to be erupted from the volcano’s flank instead of from its summit) of the Kilauea volcano of the Hawaiian Islands. Since January 3, 1983, the  Puʻu ʻŌʻō volcano, has been erupting continuously making it the longest-lived rift-zone eruption of the last two centuries. Although the name is often translated as Hill of the ʻŌʻō-Bird in Hawaiian, there is a different explanation of the Hawaiian appellation. The word ʻŌʻō also means digging stick, because in some legends in Hawaii,  the volcano goddess Pele, is also the goddess of fire, lightning, and wind uses her magic rod pāoa to create volcanic pits. The volcanologists in Hawaii, named the cone originally as Puʻu O, and assigned letters to vents as the magma was arising during the first part of the eruption. The magma arose at, 2.7 cubic kilometers (0.65 cu mi) of magma covered an area of more than 117 square kilometers (45 sq mi) and added 230 acres (0.93 km2) of land to the Southeast coast of Hawaii in January 2005. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption has destroyed 189 buildings and highways of about 14 kilometers (8.7 mi), damaging structures as church, store, the Wahaʻula Visitor Center, and many ancient Hawaiian sites, including the Hawaiian temple Wahaʻula heiau. The coastal highway has been buried under lava up to 35 meters thick (115ft) and was closed since 1987. On September 21, 2011, Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater lava fed a series of lava flows that traveled down the west lava lake of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The floor of the crater continued to subside in September 26–27, opening up cracks in the north crater floor.

Halemaʻumaʻu crater

Halemaumau Crater, in March 2013

Halemaumau Crater, in March 2013

Halemaʻumaʻu crater is a pit crater or collapse crater (a depression formed by a sinking or collapse of the surface lying above a void or empty chamber, rather than by the volcano eruption or lava vent located within the larger summit caldera of Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park). Halemaʻumaʻu in the Hawaiian mythology is home to goddess Pele, Hawaiian Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes. The  Halemaʻumaʻu crater is currently active, with lava in an open vent fluctuating from 70 to 150 meters below the crater floor according to Hawaii Volcano Observatory. In 1790, an unusual explosive eruption killed several people, and left footprints in hardened ash called 1790 Footprints, referring to a set of footprints found near the Kilauea volcano of some ancient Hawaiians killed by pyroclastic flows. The crater’s vent is in an active state and has been active since March, 2008 according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in 2011, and release reports and images in September 5, 2008 with confirmed first recorded images of a lava lake 130 feet below the lip of the vent. On April 9, 2008 night,  episode of an explosion began that widened the hole by an additional 15 to 30 feet, of debris ejected over some 200 ft and further damaged the overlook as well as scientific monitoring instruments. On April 9, 2008 hundreds of people were advised to evacuate from the Park and nearby villages because the sulfur dioxide concentration levels reaching a critical level and a hazardous Vog (a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases plume extended downwind from the crater. The massive evacuation lasted two days. The Halemaʻumaʻu crater long-term lava lake activity continues in the crater as of March 7, 2012.

The Armero tragedy

Armero tragedy, Lahars covered the town of Armero. More than 20,000 people died.

Armero tragedy, Lahars covered the town of Armero. More than 20,000 people died.

Armero tragedy aftermath

Armero tragedy aftermath

Omayra Sanchez, 13 years old victim

Omayra Sanchez, 13 years old victim

The Armero tragedy was one of the major natural disaster of the eruption of the stratovolcano Nevado del Ruiz in Tolima, Colombia, on November 13, 1985. The eruption of Nevado del Ruiz  volcano, after 69 years of being dormant, caught nearby towns unaware, even though the government had received warnings from multiple volcanologists and government organizations to evacuate the area when in September 1985, when volcanic activity had been detected. Casualties in other towns, especially the town of Chinchiná, brought the overall death toll to 23,000. Footage and photographs of Omayra Sánchez Garzón (August 28, 1972 – November 16, 1985) was a 13 year-old Colombian girl, who died after being trapped by water and concrete up to her neck for three days, in Armero, department of Tolima, by the Nevado del Ruiz volcanic eruption in 1985. After the eruption, a heavy flow of lahar destroyed her home, and Sánchez was pinned down beneath her damaged house’s debris, she remained trapped in water for three days with calmness into her agony, wither courage and dignity that touched the heart of relief workers, rescuers and journalists, who gave their full effort to comfort Sanchez which was documented. Omayra Sánchez died after 60 hours of struggling, may be as a result of either gangrene or Hypothermia (a condition in which body temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions). After the eruption, the first lahar flows erased the small town of Armero in Tolima, which lay in the Lagunilla River valley, and estimated the survivors as one quarter of its 28,700 residents. The second lahar, flowed through the Chinchiná River valley, killing estimated 1,800 people and demolished and covered with lahar and mudflows of about 400 homes in the Chinchiná  town, in the department of Caldas. The town of Guayabal a town in Cundinamarca Department in Colombia was assigned as the seat of the Armero municipality after the eruption covered the entire Armero town with lahar and was named a ghost town. The Nevado del Ruiz volcano eruption was recorded as the 20th century second- deadliest volcanic disaster , surpassed only by the 1902 Mount Pelée volcano eruption, and is the fourth-deadliest volcanic event recorded since 1500 AD.

Mount Pelée

Mount Pelée eruption in  May 8,1902

Mount Pelée eruption in May 8,1902

Mount Pelée

Mount Pelée

Mount Pelée which means Bald Mountain is an active volcano located at the northern end of the island and French overseas department  of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles (also known as the Caribbees) are a long, partly volcanic island arc in the Caribbean Sea. Mount Pelée‘s volcanic cone is composed of volcanic ash layers and hardened lava. The 1902 stratovolcano Mount Pelée is famous for its eruption and the destruction that resulted to death of 30,000 people within minutes of eruption that occurred on May 8, 1902, Ascension Day, a destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre, about 6.4 kilometres (4.0 mi) south of the summit. The huge amount of horizontal black and heavy, glowing hot pyroclastic surge, covered the ground and rushed down towards the Saint-Pierre city, appeared black and heavy, glowing hot, consisted of volcanic gases and superheated steam and dust,with temperatures exceeding 1,075 °C (1,967 °F).  The pyroclastic flow reached and covered the entire city in just a minute, igniting instantly everything that is flammable when in contact. Most deaths were caused by pyroclastic flows occurred mostly in the largest city on the island of Saint-Pierre. Before the eruption on May 2, 1902, at 11:30 p.m., the mountain had a loud explosions, earthquakes, bolts of volcanic lightning and a mushroom cloud, followed by ash falls and fine-grained Pumice (called pumicite in its powdered or dust form, a volcanic rock consisting of highly volcanic rock texture rough volcanic glass, that may or may not contain crystals) covering the half of the northern island. The volcano currently lies calm and inactive as of 2010, above Saint-Pierre and Martinique. Pelée is one of the most active volcanoes in the West Indies and might erupt again according to reports.  Mount Pelée is under continuous watch currently, by geophysicists and volcanologists of the (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP ). A second eruption of Mount Pelée occurred on May 20, 1902, with equal explosions to the first one with same type and force obliterated what was left of Saint-Pierre. On August 30, 1902 powerful eruption, a pyroclastic flow extended further east than the flows of May 8 and 20, 1902, though the eruption is not as powerful as the previous two eruptions, the August 30 pyroclastic flow hit Morne Rouge leaving at least 800 fatalities, in Ajoupa-Bouillon with 250 fatalities, and parts of Basse-Pointe with 25 fatalities and Morne-Capot  with 10 fatalities, while in Carbet a tsunami caused some damage. This eruption of Mount Pelée was the last fatal eruption recorded until the present time.

Mount Sinabung

Mount Sinabung Indonesia volcano eruptions (image credit:guardianlv.com)

Mount Sinabung Indonesia volcano eruptions (image credit:guardianlv.com)

ashfalls from Sinabung volcano covering trees and houses at Mardingding village in Karo district, Indonesia's north Sumatra province, November 5, 2013 (reuters roni bintang)(image credit:www.businessinsider.com)

ashfalls from Sinabung volcano covering trees and houses at Mardingding village in Karo district, Indonesia’s north Sumatra province, November 5, 2013 (reuters roni bintang)(image credit:www.businessinsider.com)

Mount Sinabung  in Indonesian it is known as Gunung Sinabung, is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano (known as a composite volcano a conical volcano) of andesite (an extrusive igneous volcanic rock) and dacite volcanic rock with total four volcanic craters with only one active recorded, in the Karo plateau of Karo Regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia. In the year 1600, the last known eruption, many old lava flows are on its flanks. The Solfataric activities (cracks where the steam, gas,and lava are emitted) which was last observed in 1912 at the summit, but no other reported natural disaster that had taken place until an eruption in August 29, 2010 in the early morning hours.  On  August 29, 2010 (local time), the volcano experienced a minor eruption after several days of rumbling, where 6,000 of the 30,000 villagers who had been evacuated returned to their homes on August 31, 2010. On September 7,  2010,  Tuesday, Mount Sinabung erupted again, was recorded as the biggest eruption since it became active on August 29, 2010 and experts warned of more blasts to follow. Indonesia’s chief vulcanologist, Surono, stated that the eruption was the biggest eruption and the explosion sound was heard from 8 kilometers away with black thick smoke was 5,000 meters in the air, mixed with heavy rain with ash forming muddy formation of a solid in a solution that covered a centimeter thick on buildings and trees. Electricity power in one village was cut off, but there were no recorded casualties. On September 15, 2013, Sunday, the Mount Sinabung volcano erupted at around 3 a.m local time. More than 3,700 people were evacuated from areas within a three-kilometer or two-mile radius of the volcano, and five halls normally used for traditional Indonesian cultural ceremonies were converted into shelters with at least 1500 being temporarily given shelter. A pyroclastic flow, a fast-moving avalanche of ash, lava fragments and air, was seen racing down the peak of Mount Sinabung volcano on November 11, 2013, the volcano has blasted out one to two ash explosions every day since the eruptions.

7)  Limnic eruption

Lake Nyos

Lake Nyos

Exploding Lake Monoun

Exploding Lake Monoun

Cow killed by Lake Nyos gasses

Cow killed by Lake Nyos gasses

A limnic eruption, also referred to as a lake overturn, is a rare type of natural disaster, where the carbon dioxide (CO2) is dissolved then erupts suddenly from deep lake water, suffocating wildlife, livestock and humans. This kind of eruption can also cause tsunamis in the lake displacing the water due to the rising CO2. Scientists believe such eruption can trigger landslides, volcanic activity or explosions. Lakes with such activity occurs may be called as limnically active lakes or exploding lakes. Scientists have recently determined, From investigations into the 1980’s mass casualties, Scientists determined, that limnic eruptions and volcanic eruptions, at Lake Monoun and Lake Nyos though indirectly related, are commonly separate types of disaster events. Though a sudden outgassing of CO2 had happened in 1984, at Lake Monoun, killing 37 local residents, and a similar threat from Lake Nyos was not expected. On August 21, 1986, a limnic eruption occurred at Lake Nyos which triggered the sudden release of about 100,000 to 300,000 tonnes, where poisoning gases lead to burning pains in the eyes and nose, coughing and signs of asphyxiation the feeling as being strangled. After the horrible disaster, the lake was named the Deadliest lake by Guinness World Records in 2008. Despite of the deaths reported and the risks from carbon dioxide and collapse of the lake’s retaining wall, the nearby area is being resettled, where former settlers cite the wish to return to their ancestral lands (although some of the said settlers are newcomers) and the fertility of the land is one reasons for their return. The Lake Nyos, Lake Kivu and Lake Monoun is one of only three lakes in the world known to have high gas concentrations dissolved deep below the surface.

8)  2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan or Typhoon Yolanda

Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda) (image credit:thewire.sheknows.com)

Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda) (image credit:thewire.sheknows.com)

Hurricane Haiyan (image credit:www.allvoices.com)

Hurricane Haiyan (image credit:www.allvoices.com)

Hurricane Haiyan's disaster (image credit:www.allvoices.com)

Hurricane Haiyan’s disaster (image credit:www.allvoices.com)

Typhoon Haiyan aftermath (image credit: www.policymic.com)

Typhoon Haiyan aftermath (image credit: www.policymic.com)

International name Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, is the second-deadliest typhoon in the Philippines on record, killing at least 3,982 people which was rising to 7,000 as of the current news report, in that country alone. The 30th named storm of the 2013 Pacific typhoon season. Typhoon Haiyan originated from a low pressure area several hundred kilometers east-southeast of Pohnpei ((formerly known as Ponape) is an island of the Senyavin Islands which are part of the larger Caroline Islands group) Typhoon Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan) caused catastrophic destruction in the central Philippines, on the Samar Island and Leyte. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) assessed the system as a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale by November 6, 2013, the Haiyan storm passed over the Kayangel island in Palau shortly after attaining this strength, continued to intensify; at 1200 UTC on November 7, the storm was upgraded by Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) maximum ten-minute sustained winds to 235 km/h (145 mph), the highest related to the cyclone. Typhoon Haiyan was unofficially named the 4th most intense tropical cyclone at 1800 UTC, the JTWC estimated the system’s one-minute sustained winds to 315 km/h (196 mph), ever observed. Several hours later, The eye of the Super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), made its first landfall in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Philippines without any change in intensity, making Haiyan as the strongest tropical cyclone (a rapidly-rotating storm system described by a low-pressure area, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms producing heavy rain) to make a landfall on record in the country, if verified, surpassing the old record of 1969 Hurricane Camille with category set by Atlantic at 305 km/h (190 mph). Typhoon Yolanda, gradually weakened, after the storm made five additional landfalls in the country before emerging over the South China Sea, turning northwestward, hitting northern Vietnam on November 10, 2013, as a severe tropical storm, was last noted as a tropical depression the following day by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). On November 6, PAGASA raised Public Storm Warning Signal (PSWS) No.1, the lowest of 4 levels typhoon category for the Visayas and Mindanao region, shortly before Typhoon Haiyan entered the Philippine area of responsibility. As the storm Haiyan, continued to approach the Philippines area of responsibility (PAR), warnings expanded into Luzon increasing in severity for eastern areas. On November 7, early evening, PSWS No. 4, warning was declared as the highest level of warning indicates winds in excess of 185 km/h (115 mph) are expected, was raised for Biliran Island, Eastern Samar,Leyte, northern Cebu, Samar and Southern Leyte.The November 8 coverage of PSWS No. 4 continued to expand,  with areas in southern Luzon being affected. Typhoon Yolanda also-threatened areas which were affected and destroyed earlier by the 2013 Bohol Earthquake.

Typhoon Megi or Typhoon Juan

Typhoon Megi hits Philippines ,2010 (image credit:www.examiner.com)

Typhoon Megi hits Philippines ,2010 (image credit:www.examiner.com)

Typhoon Megi in Taiwan (image credit:www.arabianbusiness.com)

Typhoon Megi in Taiwan (image credit:www.arabianbusiness.com)

Typhoon Megi Kills 11 In Taiwan (image credit:uktodaynews.com)

Typhoon Megi Kills 11 In Taiwan (image credit:uktodaynews.com)

Typhoon Megi rescue workers search for victims underneat mudslides in Taiwan (image credit:www.allvoices.com)

Typhoon Megi rescue workers search for victims underneat mudslides in Taiwan (image credit:www.allvoices.com)

Typhoon Megi (international designation, PAGASA name: Typhoon Juan) was recorded as one of the most intense tropical cyclones. Typhoon Megi, was the only super typhoon recorded in 2010 which Megi in Korean means catfish. Early on October 18, 2010 at 11:25 am, local time, Typhoon Megi (Typhoon Juan) made its first landfall in the Philippines area of responsibility preceded by heavy rains and flash floods, passing over Luzon, and directly hit the province of Isabela. Typhoon Megi weakened but regained strength gradually, in the South China Sea, before weakening and losing its eyewall in the Taiwan Strait, making its second landfall on October 23 over Zhangpu in Fujian, China. In Luzon, typhoon Juan, killing 31 people and caused $255.1 million (2010 USD) in damage, making it one of the costliest typhoons in the Philippines.The air that flows outwards from a storm system of Typhoon Megi and a weather front together brought torrential rainfall, after moving to the South China Sea, caused $42.2 million (2010 USD) in damage, killing 38 people in Yilan, Taiwan, making typhoon Megi the deadliest 2010 typhoon in Taiwan. Megi also caused $411.7 million (2010 USD) in damage over Fujian, China, although there was no casualties recorded by the storm in the province. The province of Isabela was directly hit by the storm particularly  the towns of Municipality of Palanan, province of Isabela and  Municipality of Divilacan, a third class municipality of Isabela province suffering extensive damage and the Municipality of Maconacon was reportedly severely damaged. Electricity was cut off  in the northern provinces of Cagayan, Kalinga, Apayao, Northern Isabela, the Mountain Province, some areas of Benguet, Ilocos Norte, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Aurora and Tuguegarao areas was struck by typhoon Juan, despite the strength of the storm Megi, the loss of life was less unlike during the 2010 Typhoon Basyang (Typhoon Conson) and 2009 Tropical Storm Ondoy. The death toll stood at 19 as of October 20, 2010, making typhoon Juan as the second supertyphoon, 21 years after its first storm, 1989 Supertyphoon Tasing passed this Philippine area of responsibility.

Typhoon Ketsana: Ondoy

Ketsana or Ondoy

Ketsana or Ondoy

Ondoy flooding in Rizal

Ondoy flooding in Rizal

Ondoy relief, US Navy, Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Philippines distributes food packs

Ondoy relief, US Navy, Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Philippines distributes food pack

  In the 2009 Pacific typhoon season, the second most devastating tropical cyclone is known as the international name, Typhoon Ketsana (PAGASA name: Ondoy) with a damage of $1.09 billion and 747 fatalities, only behind 2009 Typhoon Morakot (Typhoon Kiko) earlier in the season, which caused 789 deaths and damages worth $6.2 billion. The storm was the 16th tropical storm, 8th typhoon and the second major typhoon in the season. Typhoon Ondoy (Typhoon Ketsana) was the most devastating typhoon to hit Manila, Philippines, surpassing 1970 Typhoon Patsy (typhoon Yoling). Former Philippine President Gloria Aroyo declared a state of calamity in most affected areas of Luzon after at least 86 people were initially reported dead in landslides and other incidents, flood water levels reaching a record 20 feet (6.1 m) in rural areas. In the Philippines there were officially reported from the typhoon at least 464 deaths as of October 24, 2009. After Ketsana left the Philippine area, it made its landfall in Vietnam on September 29 mid afternoon, about 37 miles (60 km) south of Da Nang, Quang Nam, where the storm’s first two victims were killed by falling trees and electric lines. Typhoon Ketsana killed at least 163 people in Vietnam, 23 during the first hours after landfall, 17 people were missing and 616 injured. Soon the storm weakened as it struck northeastern Cambodia as one of the most severe storms ever to hit heavily the country, with the worst damage in central Cambodia’s Kampong Thom Province, where 43 death tolls was confirmed. In the southern and central provinces of Laos, there was major flooding with some areas experienced heavy rain and light flooding. In the province of Saravane the flood water was up to knee height, and at least 26 people died. The most worst affected by the storm were the cities of Savannakhet and Pakse since they were directly hit on the typhoon’s pathway and directly on the Mekong River. The names Ketsana and Ondoy were later retired, due to severely damages and deaths caused by the storm. At the beginning of 2011, the Western Pacific basin name lists committee have chosen the name Champi to replace Ketsana. While the PAGASA have chosen the name Odette to replace the name Ondoy in 2012. In June 2010, after President Benigno Aquino III took office, PAGASA Chief Administrator Prisco Nilo was fired and removed from his post on August 6, 2010, and was accused by the agency of having a supposedly fool-proof forecast of Typhoon Ketsana as the typhoon heavily hit over Metro Manila. Aquino adding that Nilo lack of preparedness for disaster and slow installation of Doppler weather radar and other weather equipment, and slow response that left the agency unmodernized. Prisco Nilo left PAGASA after Graciano Yumul, Jr., took Nilo’s vacant seat. During the Typhoon Basyang aftermath, this similar accusation also happened in July 2010. The former PAGASA Chief Administrator Prisco Nilo was in Australia for his new post as weather forecaster of the Australian Weather Bureau. 

1991 Tropical Storm Thelma (also known as Tropical Storm Uring (Ormoc Tragedy)

Typhoon Thelma aftermath (image credit:www.bbc.co.uk)

Typhoon Thelma aftermath (image credit:www.bbc.co.uk)

Ormoc Flasflood tragedy

Ormoc Flasflood tragedy (www.nerdygaga.com)

Tropical Storm Thelma (also known as Tropical Storm Uring in the Philippines) was the deadliest tropical cyclone in the history of the Philippines natural disasters, killing at least 5,081 people. On November 1, 1991, tropical storm Thelma, forming out of a tropical disturbance several hundred kilometers north-northeast of Palau, the depression that would soon become Thelma tracking generally westward. After turning southwestward in response to a cold front, the system intensified on November 4 into a tropical storm as it approached the Philippine area of responsibility after hours before moving over the Visayas. Tropical Storm Thelma ultimately degraded to a tropical depression and  succumbed to wind shear.The tropical depression made landfall on November 8, in Southern Vietnam, before dispersing hours later, while passing over the Philippines, the storm’s interaction with the island’s high terrain resulted in torrential rainfall via a process known as Orographic lift occuring when a forced air mass from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising a dimension of land surface in the Visayas with heavy rain, however, there was a heavy downpour accumulating totals to 580.5 mm rainfall in a 3 hour span, creating a flash flood on Leyte Island. The deforestation of the island, or poorly cultivated land, was unable to absorb most of the rain water, creating a large runoff. The flood water overwhelmed the Anilao–Malbasag watershed rushing downstream Ormoc City, suffering the main impact of flash flood. The city of Ormoc was devastated in just three hours, with thousands of homes destroyed with death tolls of a total of 4,922 people were killed in the city alone, with 2,300 losing their lives along the riverbank, while 159 deaths were reported outside of Ormoc City, across Leyte and Negros Occidental. There were at least 5,081 people lost their lives while another estimated 1,941 to 3,084 were still missing and presumed dead throughout the country. Due to these death tolls, missing persons and damages, Thelma (typhoon Uring) became the deadliest tropical cyclone in Philippine history, surpassing a storm in 1867 that killed 1,800, the name Uring and Thelma was retired, and replacing the name Uring to  Ulding and the name Thelma was replaced with Teresa.

9)  2006 Southern Leyte mudslide

Southern Leyte, Landslide at Barangay Guinsaugon

Southern Leyte, Landslide at Barangay Guinsaugon

Southern Leyte mudslide in 2006

Southern Leyte mudslide in 2006

St Bernard, Southern Leyte mudslide, 2006

St Bernard, Southern Leyte mudslide, 2006

On February 17, 2006, a massive rock slide-debris avalanche occurred in the province of Southern Leyte, Philippine that caused widespread damage and loss of life. The deadly landslide was triggered by a heavy rain simultaneously for ten-days period and a minor earthquake (magnitude 2.6 on the Richter scale) with official death toll of about 1,126. On February 17, 2006, around 10:30, a cliff face of a a chain of hills or mountains sitting the Philippine Fault collapsed in a combination of mass movement of rockslide-debris, changing position and following the burying Guinsaugon village in the town of Saint Bernard, a fourth class municipality in the Southern province of Leyte, Philippines. This deadly landslide was the worst tragedy ever recorded in the history, when a local elementary school was buried, while the school was in session and full of children, located nearest to the mountain ridge. According to the Provincial Governor Rosette Lerias, at the time the school was covered with mudslide or landslide, there were 246 students and seven teachers,  with only a child and an adult were rescued immediately after the disaster occurred. There were also about 80 women  who lost their lives in the landslide, who participated in the celebration of the 5th anniversary of the Guinsaugon Women’s Health Association. Experts agree that the main cause of the deadly disaster was due to non stop heavy rains that lasted for two weeks before the mudslide occurred.

10)  2005 Hurricane Katrina

Operation Hurricane Katrina Relief

Operation Hurricane Katrina Relief

Hurricane Katrina' s most damaged , rescue searching for New Orleans Survivor

Hurricane Katrina’ s most damaged , rescue searching for New Orleans Survivor

Katrina New Orleans Flooded

Katrina New Orleans Flooded

New Orleans Superdome shelter

New Orleans Superdome shelter

Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest, costliest natural disaster in the United States history in 2005, and most destructive Atlantic tropical cyclone of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Katrina was the 6th strongest overall among the Atlantic hurricanes recorded, with at least 1,833 people died in the hurricane followed by deep water flooding, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, with total property damage estimated at $81 billion (as of 2005 USD), nearly triple the damage brought by the 1992 Hurricane Andrews. On August 23, 2005, Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, causing deaths and flooding there, before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico, strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane over the warm Gulf water, but weakened to Category 3 hurricane, before making its second landfall on the morning of August 29, Monday, in southeast Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, due to the storm surge (an offshore rise of water connected with a low pressure weather system, usually tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones). The New Orleans, Louisiana was the most hardest hit by Katrina with most significant number of deaths recorded, which the flood had moved inland after hours of the hurricane which the flooded as the levee syatem catastrophically failed. The Hurricane Katrina aftermath, was described by extensive reports of looting such as emptying an entire Wal Mart, violence, shooting against rescuers, murder and rape. While some criminal acts did occur, many reports were also exaggerated, inflated, or simply fabricated, where several news organizations went on to retractions issue. The official death toll and final report, according to the Louisiana Department of Health, was 1,464 deaths, six deaths were confirmed at the Superdome. Four of these deaths were from natural causes, one was the result of a drug overdose, and one was a suicide. Four bodies were recovered at the Convention Center , where one of these four bodies found, is believed to be the result of a homicide.

11)  2013 Cyclone Oswald

Cyclone Oswald flood covering Oxenford John Muntz Causeway, January 28, 2013

Cyclone Oswald flood covering Oxenford John Muntz Causeway, January 28, 2013

Cyclone Oswald in Cleveland Point flooded, January 28, 2013

Cyclone Oswald in Cleveland Point flooded, January 28, 2013

cyclone Oswald, Currumbin Beach closed

cyclone Oswald, Currumbin Beach closed

In January 2013, Cyclone Oswald passed over parts of Queensland and New south Wales, Australia over a number of days, causing widespread impact of severe storms, flooding and tornadoes. The most severely hit by Oswald is the Coastal regions of Queensland were the most impacted with Mundubbera, Eidsvold, Gayndah and Bundaberg in the Wide Bay-Burnett also hit severely. The Bundaberg 7,500 residents and patients at the Bundaberg Hospital were evacuated, where houses were completely washed away and destroying parts of Bundaberg’s sewage network. Electrical blackouts and water supply problem arise in the areas affected by intensive flooding, cuts to transport links including damage to numerous bridges, communication interruptions, were experienced across wide areas. Due to the threat from Hurricane Oswald’s heavy rains, flood warnings were issued for much of northern New South Wales. Flights were cancelled due to strong winds, bringing hundreds of travelers being stranded at Sydney Airport. Rainfall was initially the heaviest around Tully Queensland, Australia, heavy rains over 48 hours. The town of Ingham was completely cut off due to high level of flood waters. Residents in the town were also warned as Herbert River rose rapidly after 200 mm of rain fell for three hours in their town, and were advised to stock up on emergency supplies. A small tornado or waterspout with winds of 140 km/hour touched down near Hay Point, while three separate tornadoes tore through the Bundaberg Region on January 26th afternoon.The first tornado struck the town of Bargara at approximately 1:00 pm, which brought down power lines, tore off roofs and smashed windows, the second tornado battered the Burnett Heads town at 3:30 pm, and soon after a third tornado struck Coonarr, 6 kilometers  south of Bargara. The tornadoes aftermath reported at least 17 people injured and damaged 150 properties. On January 29, 2013, the Burnett River  reached a new recorded height of (31.3 ft), where the intensive flooding had claimed the lives of four people, including a three-year-old boy who died after being crushed by a falling tree at Gordon Park. On 28 January, The body of a man was found on January 28, who was swept away by floodwaters the day before was pulled from Oxley Creek, while two other bodies were recovered, a 27-year-old man and an 81-year-old man, were recovered in Gympie and Burnett Heads respectively.

12)  Tornadoes Outbreak –2013 Moore tornado

Moore, Oklahoma Tornado, May 20, 2013

Moore, Oklahoma Tornado, May 20, 2013

Moore tornado damage's Aerial view of 2013

Moore tornado damage’s Aerial view of 2013

On May 20, 2013 afternoon, the 2013 Moore tornado an EF5 tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, and adjacent areas, with peak winds estimated at 210 miles per hour (340 km/h), killing 23 people and two indirect deaths and injuring 377 others. The tornado was part of a larger weather system that had produced several other tornadoes over the previous two days. Despite following a rough and same track by the tornado to the deadliest 1999 Bridge Creek-Moore Tornado, there were very few homes and even the stricken schools had purpose-built storm shelters, within 48 hours, it was reported people injured, between 237 and 240 people, but the numbers later increased to over 350. On May 21, morning, the medical examiner’s office incorrectly stated that 91 bodies of tornado victims had been recovered, which this number was up from the earlier incorrectly reported 51 bodies of tornado victims being reported. However, the actual number turned out to be 23 confirmed tornado victims and 2 indirect tornado victims. Report of indirect hit was a 90 year-old woman who suffered a fractured skull during the tornado suffered a stroke twice and died on August 5. The 2013 Moore Tornado, was recorded as the deadliest U.S. tornado since the 2011 Joplin,Missouri Tornado that killed 158 people.

2013 El Reno tornado

El Reno, Oklahoma, EF-5 Tornado, May 31, 2013

El Reno, Oklahoma, EF-5 Tornado, May 31, 2013

El Reno tornado EF3 damage from 2013

El Reno tornado EF3 damage from 2013

Tim Samaras, age 55, storm chaser

Tim Samaras, age 55, storm chaser

On May 31, 2013, early evening, the widest tornado in recorded history occurred over rural areas of central Oklahoma, where the tornado initially hit the ground at 6:03 pm CDT (2303 UTC) about 13.4 km west-southwest of El Reno, Oklahoma, where larger weather system part produced dozens of tornadoes over the preceding days.The storm rapidly grew larger and became more violent, although the tornado remained mostly over open terrain, where dozens of storm chasers was caught unaware of its immense size were caught off-guard. Tim Samaras, well known researcher and storm chaser along with his 24 year-old son Paul Samaras, a photographer and TWISTEX team member, research partner and meteorologist Carl Young, age 45, were killed when their vehicle was thrown along Highway 81, by the tornado on May 31, 2013 at 6:23 p.m.. Richard Charles Henderson an amateur storm chaser was also killed in the area. Other storm chasers, meteorologist Mike Bettes of The Weather Channel, was caught in the storm, his sport utility vehicle thrown about 200 yards and was severely damaged, the sustained a broken neck, fractured vertebrae, and several broken ribs while Bettes and the other passenger sustained minor injuries. While Reed Timmer‘s SRV Dominator (Dominator 2) a vehicle designed for intercepting tornadoes, was torn off, when it intercepted a record breaking multiple-vortex tornado near El Reno, Oklahoma. The deadly tornado was responsible for total 8 fatalities and 151 injuries.

13)  2010–2013 Southern United States drought

2011 Texas Drought

2011 Texas Drought

Dried up Lake in Oklahoma as a result of the droughts

Dried up Lake in Oklahoma as a result of the droughts

Drought crack, South Texas, Late March 2013

Drought crack, South Texas, Late March 2013

2011 Texas Wildfire

2011 Texas Wildfire

The 2010–2013 Southern United States drought is a severe to extreme ongoing drough that plague the US South parts including parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and some areas in North Carolina. The state of Texas had the worst drought effects, where near-record drought has extremely dry climate since January 2011. Texas has suffered losses on livestocks and an estimated $7.62 billion in crop, surpassing its record loss of 2006’s  $4.1 billion. In 2011, Texas, with the rest of the South, loss at least $10 billion in agricultural losses.Texas experienced its driest months from August 2010 to July 2011 (12-month) period on record. The extreme drought has caused severe lack of water in the southern plains and Rocky Mountains as well as several wildfires, particularly the 2011 Texas Wildfires, the Wallow Fire and Horseshoe 2 Fire in Arizona, the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire and Little Bear Fire in New Mexico, and in Colorado the 2012 Colorado wildfires. The severe drought and extremely heat has had a detrimental effect on cattle ranches in Texas and Oklahoma, who have deeply collect and gather their herds and helped cut the population of national cattle to the lowest level in decades. During the 2012’s spring and summer, the drought expanded forming the 2012 North American drought, affecting the contiguous United States of about more than 80%.

14)  2003 European heat wave

2003 European heat wave (image credit:www.virginmedia.com)

2003 European heat wave (image credit:www.virginmedia.com)

2003 and 2010 European heat waves (image credit:planetsave.com)

2003 and 2010 European heat waves (image credit:planetsave.com)

The 2003 European heat wave was the hottest summer ever recorded in Europe, where France was hardly hit. The European heat wave with combined drought, led to health crisis in several countries, causing shortage on crops, in parts of Southern Europe, with the European death toll at 70,000. During the heat wave, there were 14,802 heat-related deaths (mostly among the elderly) in France, according to the French National Institute of Health. The 2003 heat wave catastrophe occurred in August, a month for holiday with in many people, such as government ministers and physicians, and so many corpses were not claimed for many weeks because their relatives were on holiday. There were fifty-seven bodies still left unclaimed in the Paris area, and were buried on September 3, 2003.  In Netherlands, there were about 1,500 heat related deaths, and majority deaths are the elderly. There were 141 deaths  in Spain, attributed to the heat wave, though deaths from the previous year was reported with an increase of over 13,000 deaths. In Germany around 9,000 people, mostly elderly, died during the 2003 heatwave in Germany. In the United Kingdom, according to the BBC news, around 2,000 more death during the 2003 heatwave. Crops suffered most from drought were grown in Southern Europe.

2007 Asian Heat Wave

2007 heat wave in Asia (image credit:www.treehugger.com)

2007 heat wave in Asia (image credit:www.treehugger.com)

Bangladesh heat wave (image credit:asiancorrespondent.com)

Bangladesh heat wave (image credit:asiancorrespondent.com)

The 2007 Asian Heat Wave which affected the South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and also the countries of  Russia, Japan and the People’s Republic of China. In Japan, the heat wave affected the country during the months of May and June, until September. While deaths reported as heat wave related were from the capital New Delhi, northern Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. In New Delhi, after three days of intense heat wave with temperatures hovering about 40 °C (104 °F), was relieved as the temperature went down to 37.2 °C (99.0 °F). In Tughlakabad Fort and Surajkund more than 120 peacocks died while in Madhya Pradesh there were total 400 peacocks died, and more or less 200 peacocks in Harayana and Punjab, due to the heat wave and due to severe water shortages which were very common during drought and extreme heat. In Punjab not only the death of fowls but also the cotton crop was severely affected by the heat wave. At the end of May, a heat wave left 26 people dead in Bangladesh, where majority of the victims were rice farmers working on rice terraces exposed to extremely sun rays for a long period. There were almost 200 adults and children admitted to hospitals with heat stroke symptoms, also affecting, the livelihood of a large number of family living in poverty who only depend on a daily outdoor labor work done outdoors, such as constructing roads, driving rickshaws, selling vegetables, making quilts and farming. According to the Department of Meteorology reports, the temperature in Nepalgunj also spelled Nepalganj, a municipality in Banke District, Nepal on the Teraj plains near the southern border with Bahraich district, Uttar Pradesh state of India, with rising temperature as high as +44 °C (111 °F), where casualties is estimated that at least 11 people died.

15)  Black Saturday bushfires

Victorian 2009 Bushfires Steels Creek

Victorian 2009 Bushfires Steels Creek

Victorian bushfires Maroondah Yarra complex

Victorian bushfires Maroondah Yarra complex

Bendigo Bushfires

Bendigo Bushfires

2009 Lake Mountain after bushfire

2009 Lake Mountain after bushfire

The series of bushfires that ignited and burned across the Australian state of Victoria called the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires on February 7, 2009 around Saturday. The fires ignited during extreme bushfire-weather conditions and resulted in worst bushfire and highest ever loss of life from a bushfire in Australia, with recorded death of 173 people and 414 were injured as a result of the widely forest fires on February 7 disaster and its aftermath, that day was known as Black Saturday. The bushfire suddenly brought by an intensive heat wave and no rain for almost two months. Among those 173 deaths, 120 the casualties died caused by a single firestorm, damaged by the fires were over 2,030 houses and more than 3,500 structures. Several towns in the state capital of northeast of Melbourne, were severely damaged, and Kinglake, Marysville, Narbethong, Strathewen and Flowerdale were all but completely destroyed. In the towns of Pheasant Creek, Victoria, Steels Creek, Humevale, Clonbinane, Wandong, St. Andrews, Callignee, Taggerty and Koornalla residential houses were also severely damaged, with each location reported with casualties. The Black Saturday‘s death toll was much bigger and is almost double that of the bushfire disaster of 1983 Ash Wednesday.  The huge bush fires affected 78 towns displacing an estimated 7,562 people, sought temporary shelter, some donors donated in the form of spare rooms, caravans, tents, and beds in community relief centers. It was learned that the massive bush fires were ignited by fallen or clashing power lines or may be were deliberately lit. While other Australians suspected the source of ignition may be cause by lightning, cigarette butts, and sparks from a power tool or electrical wires. The bushfire was also implicated in the current conditions due to a major drought that had persisted for more than a decade, as an absence of fuel reduction burning. The police authorities reported that two teenagers aged 14 and 15, were arrested in relation with the arson case of the Bendigo fires, on February 2, 2010, formed by the task force investigating panel, and were each charged with arson causing death, carefully weighed on how the fire ignited by lighting a bushfire, lighting of a fire on a total fire ban and lighting of a fire during extremely hot weather conditions in a country area. The two teenagers were also charged with multiple counts of using telecommunications systems to threaten and cause evil, harm, injury, harass and offend as well as 135 counts each of arson committed. The Victorian Supreme Court Justice, Paul Coghlan, on advice from the prosecutor, Steven Milesi, found that the two young offenders were unfit to stand trial before a jury due to their intellectual disabilities, on November 7, 2011.

Brian Naylor, age 78

Brian Naylor, age 78

Brian Naylor (January 21, 1931 – 7 February 7, 2009) was an Australian television broadcaster and presenter, from 1978 to 1998, known for his longstanding stint as the National Nine News Melbourne chief news presenter, also known for his famous punch line during his television sign-off program, “May your news be good news, and good-night.” On May 29, 2008, his son Matthew Naylor was killed in a plane crash at Kinglake, Victoria at age 41. On February 7, 2009, less than a year later, television personality, Brian Naylor and his wife, Moiree, were killed in the Black Saturday bushfires, destroyed their property in Kinglake West. British-Australian actor Reg Evans born Reginald “Reg” Evans (March 27, 1928 –February 7, 2009) was a British-born actor active in Australian television, theatre, and cinema since the 1960s, and his partner, artist Angela Brunton  currently living on a small farm in the St. Andrews area, also died in the Kinglake area bush fire. The Australian ornithologist, Richard Alexis Zann (1945 –February 7, 2009) best known for his studies on the volcanic island of Krakatau, Indonesia’s island biogeography. Zann, his wife Eileen and their daughter Eva was killed, in the 2009 Victorian bushfires at Kinglake, Victoria, Australia.

Mount Carmel forest fire

2010 Mount Carmel forest fire

2010 Mount Carmel forest fire

Mount Carmel Fire Highway near HaBonim

Mount Carmel Fire Highway near HaBonim

Mount Carmel forest fire

Mount Carmel forest fire

Mount Carmel forest fire fighting

Mount Carmel forest fire fighting

The Mount Carmel forest fire also known as The Carmel Disaster was a deadly forest fire that began on December 2, 2010 at estimated 11:00 local time on Mount Carmel in northern Israel south of Haifa, spreading rapidly consumed the Mediterranean forest that covers the region. The horrible deadly forest fire claimed 44 lives, making it the deadliest in the history of Israeli. The dead were Mostly of the burned victims were from Israel Prison Service officer cadets, three senior police officers, which among them is the chief of Haifa’s police. More than 17,000 people were evacuated in the vicinity of the forest fire, including several villages, damaging considerable property and environmental damage. The fire appeared to be caused by human activity near the Druze town of Isfiya  also known as Ussefiya, is a Druze village and local council in northern Israel. A 14-year-old resident of the town told police on December 6 2010, confessed that he had started the fire with a nargila or a hookah, also known as waterpipe, narghile, arghila, qalyān, or shisha, a single or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco known as shisha coal. However, the teen’s father denied and argued that his son was in school at the time and could not have started the fire. The horrible forest fire was defeated on December 5 after its devastating raging fire for four days. This  incident is the country’s deadliest single peacetime event that involves security forces.

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