Natural Disasters in History

The horrifying news from Japan makes us realize the awesome power of nature.  Many times, the course of history has been changed by natural occurrences.

It’s hard to come up with a definitive list of the worst natural disasters in history, but here are some various sites that put forth their candidates.

This site explains the difference between natural disaster and natural hazards, and then lists the worst of the disasters.  This site’s choice for #1?  The Yellow River Flood of 1931 in China.


Survivors of the 1931 Yellow River Flood


This site doesn’t rank the natural disasters; it lists them in reverse chronological order. This list includes the Black Death, which is probably a contender for the deadliest natural disaster in history.











This site ranks disasters by death tolls; it ranks the 1920 Haiyuan earthquake as the worst.



Newsweek put together a list of natural disasters you never heard about.









Finally, from a website appropriately named Epic Disasters, here is a list of epic disasters, broken down by category.


One Response

  1. throughout history there have been tons of disasters…(H1N1, Black death, AIDS, Leprosy, Cancer) Each time its something new, yet we’re still here. It just goes to show you that if you study your history, theres always something useful for the future. I wish there was something more we could do for Japan.

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