Shocking natural disasters have occurred from earthquakes, volcano eruptions and hurricanes to tornados, cyclones, and tsunamis! These events have left a chaotic scene behind them. Tangshan earthquake happened during the night meanwhile everybody was sleepping, so terryfying……
On July 28th, 1976 at 3:45am The Great Tangshan Earthquake struck China. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit an area where it was completely unexpected and affected over 240,000 people- making it the biggest earthquake of the 20th century. Bizarre things started to happen in villages around the industrial city of Tangshan the day before the earthquake. Well water reportedly rose and fell three times the day before the earthquake. 1000 chickens refused to eat and ran around squawking. Mice and weasels were seen running around looking for a place to hide. Fireballs were seen across the sky followed by loud roaring noises. When the earthquake hit over 1 million people were sleeping and did not have time to take cover. Though 80% of people trapped under rubble were saved, a 7.1 magnitude aftershock affected others who were waiting for help. People were buried quickly usually close to their houses which later caused health problems, especially after it rained and the people were again exposed. Before the shocking 1976 earthquake, scientists didn’t think Tangshan was in a susceptible area and the buildings were not built to withstand the force.
Cyclone Nargis rates as One of the most destructive cyclones of all time. With winds over 120 mph Cyclone Nargis became one of Asia’s greatest storms by hitting land at one of the lowest points in Myanmar (also called Burma) and Setting off a storm surge reaching 25 miles inland. A Cyclone is a hurricane that occurs in the northern Indian Ocean or the Bay of Bengal. It is the first time such an intense storm has been known to hit the delta region.
The cyclone Tore apart 37 townships in two terrifying days. Most of the affected were in the delta, where farm families sleeping in shacks barely above sea level were swept away. Residents literally had nowhere to run, with the Area being primarily low-lying rice fields that were simply and quickly swept away. Cyclone Nargis brought along storm surges and major flooding to the area, while the cyclone itself rated an equivalent of a category 3 or 4 hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson scale. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, a shocking 84,500 people were affected and 53,800 went missing and have still not been found. In total, the cyclone affected the lives of 2.4 million people. 75% of Burma’s health facilities in the affected areas were destroyed or severely damaged. The Reluctance of the junta to allow aid into Burma slowed down the response of aid agencies and led to a much higher outcome.
Yangtze River Floods
The Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, also is One of the world’s major waterways. Flooding of the Yangtze River in central and eastern China have occurred periodically and have caused significant loss of life and destruction.
Over the centuries the Chinese have tried to control the river through levees, cutting it off from lakes that once acted as natural flood control and deforestation for cropland created more runoff since the land could no longer handle heavy rains. During the winter of 1931, Snowstorms were much heavier than usual in the mountains surrounding the river basins, and when spring began, the snow melted and flowed into the rivers. Spring then brought very heavy rain and then cyclone season arrived. The flood of 1931 Covered more than 30,000 square miles, affected more than 300,000 people, and left 51 million people homeless or severely affected by the Central China Floods according to the NOAA. Nanjing City, the capital of China at the time, became an island, surrounded by more than a shocking 100,000 square kilometers of water. That’s bigger than the country of Portugal.
Nevado Del Ruiz Volcano Eruption
The Nevado del Ruiz Volcano eruption is known as the Second largest volcano-related disaster of the 20th century. Located in Colombia, it is a stratovolcano, a volcano built of alternating layers of lava and ash. A relatively small eruption on November 13,1985 caused a terrifying mud flow that caught almost 25,000 people in the town of Armero. 3 other towns were also affected when ash spewed out of the volcano, melting the icecap and carrying mud and debris down the mountain at a shocking 30 miles an hour. Known locally as “the Sleeping Lion”, it had not erupted for nearly 150 years.