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Top 10 Most Devastating Natural Disasters Ever

Natural disasters are the worst things mother nature through at us and to some extent it causes massive destruction. Our world has faced many types of natural disasters including tsunamis that obliterate our best defense measures, Volcano eruptions that have killed millions, earthquakes that have tremble the worlds base line, tornados that have become the cause of destruction of billions in value and millions in lives and diseases that have caused the extinction of human race in many areas. The moment when the force of nature collides with humanity, than it’s a common thing that results are tragic.   There have been many catastrophes which changed the way of life and made human beings helpless against nature but we are going to list down top 10 most devastating natural disasters which have not only caused a huge financial loss but are also responsible for maximum human deaths. The following list of devastating natural disasters is been made on many factors including, Death toll, magnitude, the lasting legacy and the economic cost of the damage caused. Well one thing which we observed in detail while doing our research is that China is the biggest victim of natural disasters and has faced many since decades.



10. Bangladesh cyclone 1991 Bangladesh

1991 Bangladesh cyclone

Photo credit = www.wikipedia.org

After one of the most terrifying natural disasters of Bhola Cyclone in 1970, Bangladesh once again faced a deadly Cyclone in 1991. Although this cyclone was comparatively less devastating to Bhola Cyclone in death toll but it caused huge damages in economy and financial way. The cyclone hit the densely populated city Chittagong of Bangladesh and splashing winds of 155 miles per hour speed splashed the city with extremely huge losses. The after effects were shocking because more than 10 million people became homeless just because of this cyclone and 138,000 people lost their lives. Around 100,000 businesses were doomed and 25,000 people got injured. Bangladesh had faced some natural disasters in the past but this one totally destroyed the backbone of the country for once and it took around 5 years for Bangladesh to get back to its legs after the lethal damages done by the Bangladesh cyclone in 1991.


9. Great Kanto earthquake 1923 Japan

Great Kanto Earthquake 1923

Photo credit = www.armageddononline.org

It’s a kind of bad luck for Japan that whenever their country reaches the stabilization point something totally un expecting happens like for example a war or sometimes for example of natural disasters. Whenever the word earthquakes comes related to Japan than un willingly our minds go back in 2011when a massive earthquake of magnitude 9 hit Japan causing huge damages but the death toll was around 15,000 which is comparatively very less to Great Kanto Earthquake. In 1923 the Great Kanto earthquake struck Japan with magnitude of 7.9 and lasted for around 4 minutes which is very exceptional case in form of Earthquakes. Normally earthquakes dont last more than 30 sec but this was a total loss earthquake which shivered the entire surface of Kanto Plain. The total death toll was more than 145,000 and more than 200,000 people were badly injured because right after the earth quake a Tsunami took place and the rest of the loss was done by it converting the entire land in to a huge pile of rubble.


8. Yangtze River flood 1935 China

Yangtze River flood 1935

Photo credit = www.wikipedia.org

Yangtze River is known to be the one oldest rivers of Asia, Longest River in China with over 6,300 kilometers in length and 3rd largest river of the world after Nile and Amazon. In 1935 Yangtze River flood became one of worst natural disasters of its time because the resources of the country were very limited and technology was also not as advanced as it is today. The death toll caused by this flood was above 145,000 and people injured were more than 200,000. There were floods before in Yangtze River in 1930 and 1931 but they were not as devastating as the flood caused in 1935 by Yangtze River.  The after effects of this flood were devastating and millions of people lost their land, jobs, homes and very limited resources of food to stay alive.


7. Typhoon Nina 1975 China

Typhoon Nina 1975 China

Photo credit = www.wikimedia.org

When we talk about cyclones, than no doubt Typhoon Nina was one of the most devastating tropical cyclones ever occurred on our planet. The huge storm caused by cyclone brought winds of 138 miles per hour speed along with them which turned out to become the cause of real damage. One thing which really highlights the destruction of Typhoon Nina was the winds which destroyed Banqiao dam and Shimantam Dam that caused massive floods and around 200,000 lives were lost due to floods. Just because of 2 major dams collapsed it became really hard for the rest of 62 smaller dams to hold back the water pressure and around China faced $1.2 billion in damages. So indirectly Typhoon Nina was responsible for that. Taiwan was also the victim of Typhoon Nina but the major destruction was caused in China because as soon as the dams were collapsed because of Typhoon, huge flood raised destroying the crops completely and affecting lives of people in severe way. More than 10000 homes were totally destroyed, around 60,000 people were seriously injured and 50,000 were missing.


6. Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami 2004 Indian Ocean

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

Photo credit = www.wikimedia.org

Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami in 2004 was one of the worst and gigantic Tsunami this world ever faced till now. The magnitude of enormous 9.1 hit the Undersea near the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. This earth quake and Tsunami caused by it were so gigantic that they got different names from scientists and geologists and all of them relate the aggression attitude of it. The cause of this earthquake was that the Indian plate was forced down by Burma plate which turned in to gigantic Tsunami waves approaching towards the Indonesia, India, Thailand, Maldives and Somalia but unluckily the closest one was Indonesia and it suffered the most with around 168,000 death tolls. The destruction caused by the gigantic tsunami waves was immense and huge economical losses were also occurred in which most of the civilization area was completely destroyed. The related countries which also suffered the loss were Sri Lanka with 35,000 death tolls, India with 12,000 death toll and Thailand with 8,200 death tolls. Total death toll caused by this natural disaster turned out to be around 240,000 and huge economic losses as well.


5. Haiyuan earthquake 1920 China

Natural Disasters

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Haiyuan earthquake was the 2nd most deadly earthquakes China faced and the 3rd most deadly of the world in form of natural disasters in 1920 when a magnitude of 7.8 strike Haiyuan and caused gigantic destruction on a vast scale. Thousands of buildings crushed in to rubble and the death toll was 273,400. Haiyuan earthquake caused rivers to change course and it sent landslides down mountains, Sujiahe, a town in China was completely vanished from the surface of earth due to landslides caused because of Earthquake. About half a million houses were destroyed and more than 100,000 businesses were ended. The cause of the Haiyuan earthquake was the tectonic plates involved in this earthquake were the Eurasian Plate and the Indian Plate which turned out to become one of the history’s worst natural disasters.


4. Haiti earthquake 2010 Haiti

Haiti earthquake 2010

Photo credit = www.dailymail.co.uk

On our list Haiti earthquake is one of the most recent and devastating natural disasters our world faced. The catastrophic magnitude of 7 earthquakes strike Haiti on 12th January 2010 near the beautiful town Leogane and destroyed it brutally leaving nothing behind but just emotional memories to cry on. Almost 316,000 lives were lost, more than 300,000 were injured, more than a million became homeless and 50,000 businesses were completely destroyed. This massive destruction shocked the world and almost every country tried to participate in providing some kind of aid rather in monetary terms or morally. The major causes of Haiti earthquake was that every year the Caribbean plate beneath Haiti moved around 2 centimeters and pressure eventually built up which turned in to a deadly Earthquake.


3. Bhola cyclone 1970 Bangladesh

1970 Bhola Cyclone

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When we talk about cyclones than Bhola cyclone was the worst cyclone our world ever faced in form of natural disasters. Bhola cyclone struck East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and India’s West Bengal and become responsible for almost half million lives because of storm. This deadly tropical cyclone was a huge disaster because it caused winds f around 200 miles per hour speed on November 11th 1970 and mercilessly devastated many of the offshore islands, wiping out villages and destroying crops throughout the region. Just like Katrina, large amount of parts effected were under sea level and above sea level as well which turned in to great destruction for nearby farmers, fishermen, shop keepers and surrounding people. The houses were completely destroyed leaving people homeless for months and one of the most sad things to know is that more than half of the deaths were of children aged under 10. The worse effects of Bhola cyclone were felt in beautiful Tazumuddin which after the cyclone gives the resemblance of a huge unmanaged dirty junkyard.


2. Tangshan earthquake 1976 China

Tangshan earthquake 1976

Photo credit = www.earthquake-report.com

China has faced many natural disasters in form of earthquakes but the worst of them all was the Tangshan earthquake in 1976 which caused massive destruction and destroyed the entire economy of Tangshan city. Even Hollywood has made some movies to explain the situation of people who faced that earthquake. The Tangshan earthquake hit the city at around 3.40 am early in the morning according the Chinese local standard time and lasted for around 14 to 16 seconds but theses 16 seconds really reflected the most brutal moments caused in any natural disasters. According to many scientists the Tangshan earthquake was known to be one of the most deadly and biggest earthquakes of 20th century. The earthquake magnitude was 7.8 when it strikes the city with massive strength to shake down the city and became responsible for maximum death toll ever occurred in history of earthquakes. The total number of people who faced their dooms day due to Tangshan earthquake were almost 800,000 and around 200,000 were severely injured. If we look at the destruction caused by the earthquake than it can be described like this, that the entire city turned in to huge pile of junk


1. China floods 1931 China

China Floods 1931

Photo credit = www.absolutechinatours.com

There have been many natural disasters that have trembled the world till now because none of them was equal to China floods in 1931. It was the worst devastating natural disaster this world ever faced. The results of this natural disaster were not only shocking but were deadly because the yellow, Yangtze and Haui rivers over flooded and the biggest flood ever occurred which covered over 88,000 sq/km. it’s hard to believe but more than 1 million people drowned in China floods 1931 and more than 5 million people lost their homes. Later on over 3 million people died because of starvation and diseases caused by the flood. The food was such low in quantity that some even resorted to cannibalism to stay alive rather than getting died with hunger. China floods 1931 started in April 1931 and lasted until September 1931 so one can easily understand the tough situations and crises people faced during that time.


Bonus = Antioch earthquake 115 Roman Empire (Now Turkey)

115 Antioch earthquake

Photo credit = www.sott.net

Antioch earthquake is one of the oldest natural disasters present on our list which because the cause of massive destruction along with being responsible for 260,000 deaths. It was a massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake which caused huge loss of property and at that time the Roman Empire was greatly affected by this earthquake which was followed by a tsunami that destroyed the harbor completely. Antioch earthquake destroyed many cities but the most affected city was Antioch which suffered the most of this terrible natural disaster. As it’s so historic, it’s really hard to find relevant pictures to show the destruction caused by it but after going through the book of Cassius Dio the popular historic writer of Roman Empire it’s easy to analyze how much the people suffered from these natural disasters caused at that time. Antioch earthquake occurred on December 13th 115 and it took almost quarter of a million lives along with massive economic destruction.



  1. what about typhoon haiyan?

  2. nice but there is missing…

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