10 of 2020’s Deadliest Natural Disasters
Although the world’s focus has been on the coronavirus pandemic, the presence of natural disasters has persisted, and in some cases, compounded with COVID-19, becoming even costlier.
A record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season, flash floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and wildfires plagued already reeling communities from Australia to Turkey this year, as thousands of people lost their lives.
According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reductions, there has been a rise in climate-related disasters during the past 20 years. Between 1980 and 1999, there were 3,656 climate-related events, as opposed to 6,681 between 2000 and 2019. Those differences are reflected in the number of floods, which has more than doubled in the past 20 years, while the incidence of storms increased from around 1,457 to around 2,034.
Here are 10 of the deadliest natural disasters of 2020:
10. Typhoon Kills 42 People in Philippines
On Nov. 13, typhoon Vamco made landfall in Manila and nearby provinces, killing 42 people, according to The Associated Press. The typhoon was the deadliest of the 21 the country has experienced in 2020, and resulted in the worst flooding the region has seen in recent years. Vamco closely followed typhoon Goni, the world’s strongest typhoon of the year, compounding the damages the country faced.
9. Volcano Eruption in the Philippines Kills 39 People
Located in the Ring of Fire, the Philippines routinely faces natural disasters from earthquakes to volcano eruptions. The tourist attraction and one of the country’s most active volcanoes, Taal, erupted on Jan. 12, forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate, covering the land in ash and killing 39 people, according to the Manila Bulletin, with the reported deaths being “mostly due to anxiety and negligence of the casualties.”
8. Earthquake kills 41 People in Turkey
On Jan. 24, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit eastern Turkey‘s Elazig and Malatya provinces, killing 41 people, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The earthquake displaced thousands, and is one of many earthquakes the region has experienced in 2020. The region, which is located on the North Anatolian Fault, is especially active in terms of earthquakes due to its location between the Anatolian and Eurasian tectonic plates.
7. Flash Floods in Indonesia Kill 66 People
Coming into the new year, Indonesia‘s capital city of Jakarta saw some of the heaviest rains recorded in the previous 20 years, with landslides and flash flooding displacing hundreds of thousands, and resulting in the death of at least 66 people, according to Time Magazine. January’s flooding in the capital city, often described as a sinking city, was one of a handful of floods that plagued Indonesia in 2020.
6. Hurricane Laura Kills 77 in the U.S., Dominican Republic and Haiti
Hurricane Laura swept through the island of Hispaniola, hitting Haiti and the Dominican Republic before making landfall on Aug. 27 in parts of Louisiana and Texas, killing 77 people across the three countries, according to the Daily Advertiser. The storm tied with an 1856 hurricane for the strongest winds in Louisiana’s history.
5. Cyclone Amphan Kills More Than 85
On May 20, India and Bangladesh were hit by cyclone Amphan, killing more than 85 people, according to the Washington Post. Millions of people were evacuated due to the storm, one of the biggest storms in the region in the past decade. Before making landfall, Amphan was the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal, but weakened considerably as it reached land.
4. Earthquake, Tsunami Kill 117 in Greece and Turkey
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey’s Izmir province and the Greek island of Samos on Oct. 30, killing 117 people, with one more person killed from a resulting tsunami, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.
3. Flash Floods Kill More Than 150 in Afghanistan
Flash floods in northern Afghanistan killed more than 150 people on Aug. 26, according to The Associated Press. Already burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent Taliban attacks, the region then faced hundreds of injured individuals and far-reaching damages.
2. Hurricane Eta Kills At Least 150 People in Central America
On Nov. 3, Hurricane Eta devastated countries in Central America, killing at least 150 people, according to The Guardian. Deaths were recorded in Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The hurricane came toward the end of one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, with 2020 being the second year ever to require using letters from the Greek alphabet.
1. Australian Bushfires Kill at Least 478
Although the Australian bushfires began in 2019, they continued to devastate the country’s state of New South Wales well until March 2020. The fire season, one of the worst on record for the country, burned more than 13 million acres, and directly killed at least 33 people, according to the BBC. The resulting smoke, however, is attributed to at least 445 deaths.
These are the 10 deadliest natural disasters of 2020
1. January – March 2020: Australian Bushfires Kill at Least 478 People
2. November 2020: Hurricane Eta Kills At Least 150 People in Central America
3. August 2020: Flash Floods Kill More Than 150 People in Afghanistan
4. October 2020: Earthquake and Tsunami Kill 117 People in Greece and Turkey
5. May 2020: Cyclone Amphan Kills More Than 85 People in Bangladesh and India
6. August 2020: Hurricane Laura Kills 77 People in Louisiana and Texas, the Dominican Republic and Haiti
7. January 2020: Flash Floods in Indonesia Kills 66 People
8. January 2020: Earthquake kills 41 People in Turkey
9. January 2020: Volcano Eruption in the Philippines Kills 39 People
10. November 2020: Typhoon Kills 42 People in Philippines
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Here Are 10 of the Deadliest Natural Disasters in 2020 originally appeared on usnews.com