Whether man-made or natural, there has been a fair share of climate disasters that have rocked the world and led to catastrophic losses. The death toll during these climate disasters is usually in the tens of thousands while the financial loss is in the billions. According to research, the world lost approximately 29 billion dollars in the year 2022 due to climate disasters that ranged from hurricanes and floods to heat waves and drought. Though experts warn that climate disasters have significantly increased over the past five decades, there are some disasters that date as far back as 1815. These are some of the most significant climate disasters the world has ever experienced.
Mount Tambora Eruption
Indonesia is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Its mountains, especially, are a sight to behold but they can also turn disastrous. This is because many mountains in the country are volcanic and prone to eruption. Though there have been a number of volcanic eruptions in the country and its neighbours, nothing compares to the one on Mount Tambora in 1815. The initial death toll was 11,000 people but over 100,000 people died later due to a lack of food. Volcanic eruptions of this magnitude often lead to climatic disasters since the particles from the particles shade sunlight from reaching the earth’s surface and can last for years.
This was probably the biggest climate disaster to happen in our lifetime. On 12th January 2010, a massive earthquake hit Haiti leading to unimagined losses and devastating the already poor country. Buildings collapsed and a lot of property was lost during this disaster. However, the death toll was the most staggering of them all. It is reported that over 200,000 people lost their lives during the earthquake. The country has been left picking up the pieces from this earthquake. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the biggest issue was building waste. Debris from the fallen buildings clogged up the waste management system which led to waterborne illnesses. Cities And Countries That Will Disappear Due To Rising Sea Levels
In 2019 and 2020, Australia was ravaged by wildfires that caused some of the worst damages seen in decades. Over 46 million acres of forest were burnt down leading to wildlife, habitation and human life loss. The death toll was around 450 people and over 4,0000 homes were damaged. Additionally, the smoke polluted the air to almost 11 times the hazardous level. The forest fires were believed to have been ignited by lightning. However, climate change and extreme weather patterns have had an effect on the frequency of wildfires in the country.
Before the Haiti earthquake hit, there was another earthquake in China of a similar magnitude but with fewer casualties. The Sichuan earthquake had a magnitude of 7.9 compared to the Haiti one of 7.0. it occurred in 2008 and the death toll was around 70,000 people. The earthquake also led to mass landslides which created makeshift dams. Reports state that there were roughly 828 dams formed near rivers and streams which caused a lot of flooding.
Chernobyl is one of the most prolific man-made climate disasters of all time. It happened in 1986 but its effects are still felt today. Chernobyl was a nuclear power plant that belonged to the Soviet Union. It’s located in modern-day Ukraine. On the day of the disaster, engineers were carrying out an experiment that went horribly wrong. This caused several explosions releasing radioactive material into the atmosphere. The exact death toll is unknown but many people suffered from radiation sickness and some died. Millions of acres of land were contaminated and the area around the plant is still uninhabitable today.
North Pacific Garbage Patch
Climate experts often warn us about the dangers of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials. The North Pacific Garbage Patch is a true representation of just how bad things can get. It gets its name since it comprises over 80,000 tons of plastic waste and other debris that has collected over time floating over the Pacific Ocean. The garbage patch is said to be twice the size of Texas and stretches from the Californian coast to Japan. It has devastated marine life since the patch blocks light from entering the water and sea creatures get caught in the debris. 5 Cities And Countries We Should Emulate In Waste Management
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