Interesting Facts about Natural Disasters

Interesting Facts about Natural Disasters

 

  • Every year over 25.8 million people are affected by a natural disaster across the world.
  • Avalanches travel at speeds of over 200 miles per hour. In 1962 in Peru, several tons of ice and snow slid down Huascaran Peak in the Andes Mountains and killed over 4000 people.
  • Most natural disasters are caused by weather. Weather disasters can be caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, thunderstorms, wind storms, wildfires, avalanches, and blizzards.
  • The state that has the largest risk for tsunamis is Hawaii with over one a year.
  • On December 26, 2004 a tsunami triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake caused the most devastating tsunami in history killing over 226,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and the Maldives. In addition, millions of others were displaced.
  • The “Dust Bowl” of 1934 created a period of famine and drought in the United States in the 1934 Great Plains as land that had once been fertile was covered with huge clouds of dust lifted by heavy winds.
  • 1959 to 1961 was a period of famine for China. This was brought about by crop failure and lead to starvation, disease and cannibalism. However these disaster facts were not revealed to the world until 1981 by the Chinese government.
  • Some wildfires are caused by lightning, but some are caused by people.
  • Between 2000 and 2012, natural disasters caused $1.7 trillion in damage and affected 2.9 billion people.
  • Floods are the number one deadly disaster in the United States accounting for over 46 percent of disaster related deaths according to disaster facts.
  • In 1815 in Tambora, Indonesia the Mount Tambora volcano exploded resulting in the deaths of 92,000 people, mostly due to starvation.
  • Some kinds of disasters are more common in some places than in others. When people are choosing a place to live they need to consider whether they will live on a fault line for an earthquake or near a river that has a history of flooding.
  • The deadliest Western Hemisphere hurricane on record was in Barbados, West Indies in 1780. It killed nearly 22,000 people and completely devastated Barbados, Martinique and St. Eustatius.
  • 2012 marked the third consecutive year of worldwide natural disaster damage exceeding $100 billion. 2011 reached a record high of $371 billion.
  • Earthquakes are not generally killers according to disaster facts. The events afterwards are the cause of death including buildings collapsing, tsunamis and volcanoes.
  • Up to 10,000 people die a year as a result of an earthquake.
  • Nearly 90 percent of all volcanoes are in the “Ring of Fire,” a group of volcanoes that circle the Pacific Ocean.
  • Hurricanes have winds of at least 74 miles per hour.
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