Since times unrecorded, planet earth has experienced craziest environment events from the hands of Mother Nature. Environment events are undesirable extreme environmental responses caused by natural processes that result in severe damage to lives, properties as well as the ecosystem. These strange environment events include flood, tsunami, cyclones, blizzards, hurricane, drought, famine, heat wave, avalanche, earthquake, land slide, volcanic eruption and disease outbreaks. Millions of lives and properties have been claimed by strange environment events. Millions have been displaced and rendered homeless; many have sustained fatal injuries and lost families due to craziest environment events. From recorded data, environment events started as far as 526 with the Antioch earthquake in Syria with death estimates over 250,000. Several other environment events including the Aleppo earthquake, Tangshan earthquake, Kaifeng flood, Bhola cyclone, Indian famine etc., have followed this, each with different death and damage tolls.
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In this article, we put together the top ten strange environment events that have occurred since the beginning of the 21st century till this present moment.
10. Afghanistan blizzard:
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The tenth of the craziest environment events event occurred in February, 2008 across Afghanistan. The temperature dropped to about -30˚C with over 180 centimeters of snow in the regions with mountains. The blizzard claimed about 1,337 people and 315, 000 cattle.
9. Gujarat earthquake:
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This strange environment event occurred on January 26, 2001, with a magnitude of 7.9 and epicenter at a small town called Bhuj in Gujarat (a state in North West India). The earthquake claimed about 20, 000 lives with over 600, 000 people rendered homeless. The Gujarat event had an impact on a total of 15.9 million people.
8. European heat wave:
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This environment event started in 2003 and it remains the hottest summer experienced by Europe since 1540. The excess heat resulted in the widespread health crisis and also drought. France got the hardest hit with about 15, 000 casualties. The heat wave also led to forest fires in most parts of Europe.
7. East Africa drought:
Image Credit: BBCI
This environment event which is pretty much one of the craziest environment events was tagged the worst drought in 60 years to hit the Horn of Africa. The drought began in July, 2011 and lasted till August, 2012. The region which includes Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti experienced two poor rainy seasons in preceding years. This left over 12.4 million people in dire need of food and caused the death of about 50,000 to 260,000 across the region.
6. Hurricane Katrina:
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This event was a Category 5 hurricane which remains one of the costliest and deadliest in the United States of America. Hurricane Katrina made a landfall on August 29, 2005. It affected eastern North America: Ontario, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, Ontario, Cuba and the Bahamas among others. According to FEMA reports, a total of 1, 833 people died and the property loss estimated at $41.1 billion was paid by insurance companies.
5. Tohoku earthquake and tsunami:
Image Credit: Japan Society
This one of the strange environment events occurred in northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. The earthquake had a magnitude of 9.0 with epicenter at Sendai at extended at a depth o 15.2 miles to Tokyo. The tsunami was said to be as a result of slippage of the boundary between Eurasian and Pacific tectonic plates. According to reports from Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency, over 22, 000 people were killed, 2, 500 missing and material damage estimate of $300 billion. The disaster led to a nuclear crisis in Fukushima later that year.
4. Pakistan earthquake:
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This event known as the Kashmir earthquake occurred on the 8th of October, 2005 in the territory of Azad Kashmir. The shock had a magnitude of 7.6 and spread through sections of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. According to an official report, over 80,000 people were killed while an estimated population of 3 million lost their homes.
3. Cyclone Nargis:
Image Credit: Burma Campaign
This is one of the craziest environment events; it occurred on May 2, 2008, when the cyclone made landfall in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The storm extended to the south of the country hitting strongly on Ayeyarwady Delta region. According to official statistics, 37 townships were affected, 84, 500 people died while 53, 800 were listed missing. In general, the UN estimated that 2.4 million people were affected. The UN reported that the cyclone cost Burma $4 billion.
2. Haiti earthquake:
Image Credit: Telegraph
This earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 Mw occurred on January 12, 2010, on the West Indian Island of Hispaniola with an epicenter near Leogane. The island comprised Haiti and Dominican Republic but the former was mostly affected. Death toll estimates were 220, 000- 316, 000; 300, 000 people sustained injuries and over 1.5 million people were displaced. Over $17 billion aid was committed to Haiti by International agencies and the US government.
1. Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami:
Image Credit: Turner
This twin disaster is one of the craziest environment events in the world. This disaster occurred on December 26, 2004, with the epicenter at the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The event had a magnitude of 9.0-9.3 which is the third highest since the recording of magnitude commenced. The tsunami was said to be caused by a shift of about 600 miles in the boundary between Burma and Indian tectonic plates. According to US Geological survey data, 227, 898 people died or listed as missing and approximately 1.7 million people in 14 countries in Southeast Asia were displaced.
Environment events keep occurring, claiming lives and properties. Recent technological advancements have further improved prediction of these disasters. Some of the human activities also contribute to the occurrence of strange environment events. Taking care of our environment could help mitigate the extent of the damage. Visit us for interesting articles.