Top 10 Natural Disasters by Death Toll
When we think of natural disasters, we rarely think of those that happen outside of North America. So we bring this list of disasters to your attention so you can see just how terrible disasters have been on other continents. Many of these have occurred in Asia some years ago, so they may not be immediately recognizable.
To put these disasters in context, Hurricane Katrina cost the Unites States just over 2,000 lives, which is still a terrible tragedy. But when compared to something like the Chinese floods of the 1930’s when 1-2 million people died, it hardly compares.
Thanks to modern infrastructure and good planning, the United States has greatly minimized the effects of natural disasters in terms of human loss. This list serves as reminder of just how deadly things can turn when people are caught unaware and unprepared.
|Rank||Death toll (estimate)||Event||Location||Date|
|1.||1,000,000–2,500,000||1931 China floods||China||July, November, 1931|
|2.||900,000–2,000,000||1887 Yellow River flood||China||September, October, 1887|
|3.||830,000||1556 Shaanxi earthquake||Shaanxi Province, China||January 23, 1556|
|4.||500,000||1970 Bhola cyclone||East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)||November 13, 1970|
|5.||300,000||1839 India Cyclone||India||November 25, 1839|
|6.||230,210-310,000||2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami||Sumatra, Indonesia and also affected India, Sri Lanka, Maldives||December 26, 2004|
|7.||250,000–300,000||526 Antioch earthquake||Antioch, Byzantine Empire (now Turkey)||May 526|
|8.||242,419 (the death toll has been estimated to be as high as 665,000)||1976 Tangshan earthquake||Tangshan, Hebei, China||July 28, 1976|
|9.||234,117||1920 Haiyuan earthquake||Haiyuan, Ningxia–Gansu, China||December 16, 1920|
|10.||230,000||1138 Aleppo earthquake||Aleppo, Syria||October 11, 1138|