Top 10 Biggest Natural Disasters in History


Our planet has the most complicated atmosphere within our solar system. It is in fact so complicated, that meteorologists often study other planets to understand more about our own weather. Unfortunately, climate change and active plate tectonics sometimes give birth to horrible natural disasters that affect entire communities and sometimes even nations.

Coming up with a Top 10 such disasters isn’t easy as every so called “act of God” is defined by the amount of material damage made combined with human lives that were lost at the time of the event. This means that this sort of ‘study’ is usually subjective by nature as it is bound to be categorized depending on every event’s relevance to a certain group of people throughout history.

9Indian Ocean Tsunami – Indian Ocean 2004 – 235,000 death toll

On Sunday, 26 December 2004, an undersea mega thrust earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 UTC with a magnitude of 9.1-9.3 MMS. The so called ‘Sumatra-Andaman earthquake’ had the epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia and caused a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses around that area, killing over 235,000 people in the process.

These tsunamis affected fourteen countries and inundated bordering landmasses with waves as big as 30 meters high. The 9.3 MMS earthquake is also the third largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph and it lasted between 8 and 10 minutes. Its strength was so intense that it caused other smaller earthquakes as far as Alaska and other areas of North America.