List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011


List of Worst Storms - Natural Disasters 2011

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011

Our list of worst natural disasters – storms of 2011 has grown in size since the 2010 list we did. 2011 was worse in terms of natural disasters. Regions from around the world were literally slammed with extreme weather events and catastrophes resulting in huge economic costs and devastation not to mention massive death tolls devastating populations. Does climate change play a role in all this, more than likely, as these once termed ‘storms of the century’ are now occurring nearly every year and getting worse every year for that matter as well.

The U.S. again broke its record for billion-dollar weather disasters. The Associated Press reported that in 2011, the U.S. saw more weather catastrophes costing at least $1 billion in damage each than it had experienced throughout all of the 1980s.

Devastating Tornadoes ripped through the U.S., devastating cities like as Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri.

One of the biggest stories of the year was the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March, killing thousands and wreaking havoc at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Heat waves over the summer scorched the U.S. and Texas suffered from fires and its worst drought in decades. An earthquake rattled the East Coast in October, and Hurricane Irene followed shortly thereafter.

The U.S. also suffered from dust storms, flooding and snowstorms. Around the world, regions also suffered from droughts and floods.

Over 1,000 people were killed this year by weather in the U.S., according to National Weather Service Director Jack Hayes, who told the Associated Press in December he’d never seen a year like “the deadly, destructive and relentless 2011.”

That’s why the world has to do two things, said Princeton University geological sciences professor Michael Oppenheimer: try to slow global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prepare better for extreme weather.

In November, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report stating that the world must prepare for more “unprecedented extreme weather” caused by global warming.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 Images

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 1: 2011 Groundhog Day Blizzard

North American Blizzard January 31 – February 2, 2011

This was a historic, powerful storm affected regions from Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfiled, El Paso, Las Cruces, Des Moines, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, and New York to name a few. The large storm ran a path from New Mexico to New England and Eastern Canada, with snowfall amounts ranging from 1 to 2 feet and winds of 60 MPH in the Chicago region. There were numerous power outages, flight cancellations, airport closures, road closures, train and bu cancellations, no mail, school, business and government closures, and even some tornadoes in Texas were attributed to the 2011 Groundhog Day Blizzard. There were at least 24 deaths attributed to the storm and total damages exceeded the $1 billion dollar mark.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 2: Hurricane Irene 2011

Hurricane Irene 2011

Hurricane Irene was a large, powerful Atlantic hurricane that left extensive flood and wind damage along its path throughout the Caribbean, the United States East Coast and as far north as Atlantic Canada in 2011. The ninth named storm and first hurricane, also the first major hurricane of the 2011 hurricane season, Irene originated from a well-defined Atlantic tropical wave that began showing signs of organization east of the Lesser Antilles. It developed atmospheric convection and a closed cyclonic circulation center, prompting the National Hurricane Center to initiate public advisories late on August 20, 2011. Irene improved in organization as it passed the Leeward Islands, and by August 21, it had moved closer to Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The next day, Irene made landfall at Category 1 hurricane strength in Puerto Rico, where severe flooding resulted in significant property damage and the death of one person.

Irene tracked just north of Hispaniola as an intensifying cyclone, pelting the coast with heavy precipitation and strong winds and killing seven people. After crossing the Turks and Caicos Islands, the hurricane quickly strengthened into a Category 3 major hurricane while passing through The Bahamas, leaving behind a trail of extensive structural damage in its wake. Curving toward the north, Irene skirted past Florida with its outer bands producing tropical-storm-force winds. It made landfall over Eastern North Carolina’s Outer Banks on the morning of August 27 as a Category 1 hurricane, the first landfalling hurricane in the U.S mainland since Hurricane Ike, then moved along southeastern Virginia, affecting the Hampton Roads region.

After briefly reemerging over water and weakening to a tropical storm, Irene made a second U.S. landfall near Brigantine Island in New Jersey early in the morning of August 28. Irene then made its third U.S. landfall in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York, at approximately 9:00 a.m on August 28. Considerable flood damage was done in eastern upstate New York and Vermont, which suffered the worst flooding it had seen for centuries.

Throughout its path, Hurricane Irene caused widespread destruction and was responsible for at least 56 deaths. Economic costs in the Caribbean were estimated to be as high as $3.1 billion US doollars, while the damage estimates throughout the United States were estimated near $7 billion, however that still remains an uncertain estimate.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 3: Tropical Storm Sendong – Washi

Tropical Storm Sendong – Washi South Philippines – Worlds Deadliest Storm for 2011

December 18, 2011 was a bad day to be in the South Phillipines, as Tropical Storm Sendong- Washi raged through the region.

Tropical Storm Sendong – Washi blew away Sunday after devastating a wide swath of the mountainous region on Mindanao island, which is unaccustomed to major storms.

The storm, which struck Northern Mindanao, the Visayas, and Palawan over the weekend, has now killed at least 957 people, the country’s disaster management chief said Tuesday morning.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Director Benito Ramos also said they have lost count of the number of people who have gone missing following the flashfloods spawned by the storm.

American meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters, citing data from insurance broker AON Benfield, said 902 people died during a storm in Brazil in January. Meanwhile, 657 people died during the massive floods in Thailand from June to November.

Masters, who explained how the tragedy happened, said Sendong carried an unusual amount of rainwater, which came from a large stream of tropical moisture over the Pacific Ocean.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 4: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Deadly Tornado Outbreak

2011 Tornado Outbreak

Southerners found their emergency safety net shredded Friday as they tried to emerge from the second-deadliest day for a twister outbreak in U.S. history.

Emergency buildings are wiped out. Bodies are stored in refrigerated trucks. Authorities are begging for such basics as flashlights. In one neighborhood, the storms even left firefighters to work without a truck.

The death toll from Wednesday’s storms reached 337 across seven states, including at least 246 in Alabama.

The largest death toll ever was on March 18, 1925, when 747 people were killed in storms that raged through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The second deadliest day had been in March 1932, when 332 people died, all in Alabama.

The 1925 outbreak was long before the days when Doppler radar could warn communities of severe weather. Forecasters have said residents were told these tornadoes were coming. But they were just too wide and powerful and in populated areas to avoid a horrifying body count.

Hundreds if not thousands of people were injured Wednesday – 990 in Tuscaloosa alone – and as many as 1 million Alabama homes and businesses remained without power.

The scale of the disaster astonished President Barack Obama when he arrived in the state Friday.

“I’ve never seen devastation like this,” he said, standing in bright sunshine amid the wreckage in Tuscaloosa, where at least 45 people were killed and entire neighborhoods were flattened. Hours later, Obama signed disaster declarations for Mississippi and Georgia, in addition to one he had authorized for Alabama.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 5: 2011 Joplin, Missouri Tornado

2011 Joplin Tornado

The 2011 Joplin tornado was a devastating EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri late in the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011. It was part of a larger late-May tornado outbreak sequence and reached a maximum width of in excess of 1 mile (1.6 km) during its path through the southern part of the city. It rapidly intensified and tracked eastward across the city, and then continued eastward across Interstate 44 into rural portions of Jasper County and Newton County. This was the third tornado to strike Joplin since May 1971.

The insurance payout is expected to be $2.2 billion—the highest insurance payout in Missouri history and higher than the previous record of $2 billion in the April 10, 2001 hail storm (which has been billed as the costliest hail storm in history as it swept along the I-70 corridor from Kansas to Illinois). Estimates earlier stated Joplin damage could be $3 billion. By July 15, 2011, there had been 16,656 insurance claims.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 6: Alaska West Coast November 2011

Alaskan West Coast Hit By Worst Storm in Decades

The worst was over on Thursday for an “epic” winter storm that pounded Alaska’s west coast with wind and snow and sent a 10-foot surge of seawater into Nome, officials said, leaving residents to assess the damage.

The storm, considered the strongest to hit western Alaska in several decades, has largely moved northwest toward the Russian Arctic, said Don Moore, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

However, a second, smaller Bering Sea storm is now brewing, and will send additional surges into the coastal towns and villages during high tide later in the day, said Moore, who has been working at the state’s emergency operations center.

The surges will not be as dramatic as those from the first storm but could cause more flooding, he said.

“If the water levels were not elevated from the storm that had just passed, this other storm would not be a major issue,” he said. “Once this passes off, this is when we’ll see conditions start returning to normal.”

Coastal flood warnings remained in place Thursday for much of northwestern Alaska.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 7: Great Britain – Hurricane Katia Remnants September 2011

Great Britain – Hurricane Katia Remnants

Britain is braced for another day of storms as the remnants of Hurricane Katia continue to batter vast swathes of the country today.

Severe weather warnings have been issued for Scotland and northern England, with winds expected to reach 60mph later in the day.

The continued disruption comes the day after the worst storms for 15 years killed a volunteer minibus driver in County Durham and a lorry driver on the M54.
Fury of the sea: A car is dwarfed by spray from a 12ft wave on the Cumbrian coast

Fury of the sea: A car is dwarfed by spray from a 12ft wave on the Cumbrian coast

Blackouts, falling masonry, downed trees and transport chaos struck as gales reached 82mph in Wales and the mid-70s in the north of England, reviving memories of the Great Storm of 1987.

At Allonby, in Cumbria, 70mph winds brought waves the size of houses crashing over the shore at high tide.

At 12ft, the waves towered over nearby farmhouses and dwarfed passing cars, throwing blasts of spray into the sky and pummelling the sea wall.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 8: UK Worst Storm Compared to Great Storm of 1703 December 2011

UK issues severe weather alert as experts warn of worst storm in decades December 13, 2011

Government officials have this afternoon issued a warning as one of the stormiest periods the UK has seen for several years is set to worsen. Weather experts warn the strength of an incoming low-pressure system can already be compared to the Great Storm of 1703.

According to the advisory released by the Central Office of Information this afternoon, the end of the week in particular could see dramatic stormy conditions across England and Wales.

Experts are already warning that Friday’s storm could be likened to the Great Storm of 1703 with a forecast of record low pressures as hurricane-force winds crash in from the west.

Weather records show the pressure at the centre of the 1703 Great Storm was 973 millibars but current forecast data shows the pressure at the centre of Friday’s storm will be around 972 millibars and could even drop as low as 920 millibars.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 9: APRIL 9 2011 1:AM WORST MOST DANGEROUS THUNDERSTORM TAZEWELL VIRGINIA


This was the worst storm Ive ever seen in my life..The hale was half the size of golf balls some was completely the size of golf balls. The lightening was anywhere and everywhere, the rain was pouring like buckets of water the thunder sounded like cannons

Connecticut’s ‘worst storm in 500 years’ October 2011

Connecticut’s ‘worst storm in 500 years’ October 2011

There have been bigger snowstorms, and last winter brought piles upon piles of snow. But the Oct. 29 storm that knocked out power to 831,000 of Connecticut Light & Power’s customers — with 28,955 still in the dark at 9 p.m. Monday — was the worst from the utility’s point of view.

In fact, it was the worst in centuries when it came to damaged and fallen trees, according to Jeffrey D. Butler, CL&P’s president and chief operating officer.

“This was, from everything I’ve heard, the most significant winter storm, even though it happened in October, in probably the last 500 years,” Butler said at a press briefing Sunday. “Nobody’d seen an event like this (since) the 1600s.”

Butler got his information from Doug Glowacki, the state weather adviser at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, according to department spokesman Scott DeVico.

DeVico said Glowacki worked with the Connecticut State Library to research October snowstorms dating back to 1650.

“Although two ‘Snow Hurricanes’ occurred in 1804 and 1841, respectively, (during the last half of the Little Ice Age) neither of these storms matched the snowfall amounts from the October Northeaster of 2011,” DeVico said in an email.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 10: April 16, 2011 Tornado Outbreak

N.C. gets worst of storm system

A tornado-spewing storm system that killed at least 45 people across half the country unleashed its worst fury on North Carolina, where residents in the Capital City and rural hamlets alike on Sunday mourned the dead, marveled at their survival and began to clean up devastated neighborhoods.Observers reported more than 60 tornadoes across North Carolina on Saturday, but most of the 21 or more deaths in the state occurred in two rural counties. A thunderstorm spawned a tornado that killed four people in southeastern Bladen County, then kept dropping tornadoes as it hopscotched more than 150 miles, eventually moving into Bertie County and killing 11 more.Some homes were swept from their foundations, others were demolished, and cars flipped on tiny rural roads between Askewville and Colerain, Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said. At least three of those who died were from the same family, he said.

The violent weather began Thursday in Oklahoma, where two people died, before cutting across the Deep South on Friday and hitting North Carolina and Virginia on Saturday. Authorities said seven people died in Arkansas; seven in Alabama; seven in Virginia; and one in Mississippi.More than 240 tornadoes were reported from the storm system, including 62 in North Carolina, but the National Weather Service’s final numbers could be lower because some tornadoes may have been reported more than once.Saturday was North Carolina’s deadliest day for tornadoes since 1984, when 22 twisters killed 42 people and injured hundreds.The conditions that allowed for Saturday’s storms will occur on the Great Plains maybe twice a year, but they almost never happen in North Carolina, according to Scott Sharp, a weather service meteorologist in Raleigh.The atmosphere was unstable, which allows air to rise and fall quickly, creating winds of hurricane strength or greater. There was also plenty of moisture, which acts as fuel for the violent storms, and it had shear winds at different heights moving in different directions, creating the spin needed to create tornadoes, Sharp said.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 11: US April Storms 2011 – “Worst Weather EVER” – But We Aint Seen Nothing Yet

US April Storms 2011 – “Worst Weather EVER”

Intelligent weather wreaks havoc across US MID-WEST – Storms, tornadoes, hail, lightning – You Tube Video

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 12: Bangkok facing ‘perfect storm’ October 28, 2011

Bangkok facing ‘perfect storm’

Thailand is facing its worst flooding since 1942, with 373 people dead, more than nine million affected and 28 — or more than a third — of the nation’s provinces at least partially flooded after a series of strong seasonal storms that brought exceptional rainfall.

More than a billion cubic meters of runoff are expected to pass through some of the northern parts of Bangkok on its way toward the Gulf of Thailand, some 30 kilometers (20 miles) away, as high tides are set to peak on Saturday.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 13: South East Asia Flooding 2011

Flooding in South East Asia – Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and the Philippines

Large areas of South East Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and the Philippines have been affected by severe flooding [1].

The monsoon season in South East Asia is between May to October. However, heavier than usual rains, together with typhoons and tropical storms, have resulted in extensive flooding throughout the region.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 14: Dust Storms Reminiscent of Dust Bowl era 2011

Tim’s Weather World: Dust storms reminiscent of “Dust Bowl” era

They were called “black blizzards”, large & ominous dust storms that enveloped towns and territories in the southern plains during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. As the dust covered the sky and turned day into night, many thought it was the end of the world. One of the worst storms even carried dust as far north and east as Chicago. Record drought in Texas has already produced similar dust storms and it appears more could be on the way.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 15: 2011 so far the worst year on record for natural disaster losses

2011 so far the worst year on record for natural disaster losses

The world has had so many immense storms, droughts and earthquakes that economic losses from these natural catastrophes has made 2011 the worst year on record — and the year was only half over when those numbers were released. That has the insurance industry worried.

Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, says the global economic loss due to natural disasters was about $265 billion (U.S.) up to the end of June. That easily surpassed the total of $220 billion for all of 2005, which, until now, had been the costliest year for natural disasters.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 16: 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

Japan Earthquake 2011: 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake Hits, 30-Foot Tsunami Triggered

A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan’s eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control.

Hours later, the tsunami hit Hawaii and warnings blanketed the Pacific, putting areas on alert as far away as South America, Canada, Alaska and the entire U.S. West Coast. In Japan, the area around a nuclear power plant in the northeast was evacuated after the reactor’s cooling system failed.

Police said 200 to 300 bodies were found in the northeastern coastal city of Sendai, the city in Miyagi prefecture (state) closest to the quake’s epicenter. Another 88 were confirmed killed and at least 349 were missing. The death toll was likely to continue climbing given the scale of the disaster.

The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake unleashed a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours, many of them of more than magnitude 6.0.

Dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coastline were shaken by violent tremors that reached as far away as Tokyo, hundreds of miles (kilometers) from the epicenter. A large section of Kesennuma, a town of 70,000 people in Miyagi, burned furiously into the night with no apparent hope of the flames being extinguished, public broadcaster NHK said.

“The earthquake has caused major damage in broad areas in northern Japan,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan said at a news conference.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 17: Arizona Wildfore – Wallow Fire

Wildfire Is Now the Largest in Arizona’s History

The massive Wallow Fire that is raging through eastern Arizona and neighboring New Mexico has burned so much additional acreage that it has become the largest fire in Arizona’s history, officials said Tuesday.

The fire had burned more than 469,000 acres as of Tuesday morning, surpassing the 468,000 acres destroyed in the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire, which affected an area not far away in Arizona’s White Mountains.

The big difference between the two megafires, though, has been the damage. The Wallow Fire has been far less destructive than its predecessor, destroying only 31 homes compared with 465 lost a decade ago.

The Wallow Fire is named after the Bear Wallow Wilderness in the Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests, where the blaze is believed to have started after a campfire blew out of control on May 29.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 18: Texas Drought & Wildfires 2011

Texas drought and wildfires

Wildfires have blazed across Texas for several days, but the drought conditions that fed the flames have been building for many months. The ten-month period through July was the driest in Texas state history. Entire lakes have dried up. Since last November, almost 1,500 homes have burned in nearly 21,000 fires across the state. Two deaths so far have been attributed to the fires, which have forced the evacuations of thousands of residents. The Texas drought and wildfires come on the heels of the Arizona wildfire, the largest in that state’s history.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 19: Queensland Flooding: “Australia’s Worst Natural Disaster”

Queensland Flooding: “Australia’s Worst Natural Disaster”

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard have called the recent flooding in Queensland the “worst natural disaster in our history”. Three-quarters of the state of Queensland has been declared a disaster zone (source: Brisbane times). Flooding has affected over 200,000 people in the Fitzroy, Burnett, Condamine, Mary and Brisbane river basins (flood map here). A total of 41 deaths have so far been attributed to the flooding, and 67 people remain missing.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 20: Cyclone Yasi Australia 2011

Cyclone Yasi, Stronger Than Katrina, Hits Australia

Tropical Cyclone Yasi, packing winds stronger than those from Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans, struck Australia’s northeast coast early today, lashing communities with the force of a storm described by authorities as the largest in the nation’s history.

Yasi hit shore as a Category 5 storm about 165 kilometers (103 miles) south of Cairns in Mission Beach, a resort town of about 3,000 people, battering Queensland state’s coast with wind gusts of as much as 290 kilometers per hour, the Bureau of Meteorology said. The cyclone has been downgraded to Category 2 and continues to weaken, according to the bureau’s website.

Though the towns of Mission Beach, Tully and Innisfail suffered the worst damage, larger population areas such as Cairns and Townsville escaped the brunt of the storm, authorities said. Yasi also ripped a path through key sugarcane growing areas in the state.

“We certainly seem to have areas like Cairns with serious damage to vegetation, trees and roofs,” Premier Anna Bligh told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio, adding she was thankful the cyclone didn’t hit land at a major population center and that no deaths or injuries had been reported. “Some of the towns worst affected are smaller and more remote places.”

Sugar futures surged to a 30-year high in London. Australia’s dollar fell from almost a one-month high, trading at $1.0068 as of 11:45 a.m. in New York, down from $1.0111 the previous day when it touched $1.0149.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 21: Australia Wildfires 2011

Bushfires rage in Western Australia

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 22: Iceland Grimsvotn Volcano Eruption 2011

Shaking the atmosphere: Lightning crackles over Iceland volcano

One could be forgiven for thinking that someone up there, or rather down there, doesn’t like aeroplanes flying overhead. Just 13 months after the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull spewed forth a vast cloud of ash and grounded 100,000 flights over the North Atlantic, another of the country’s huge volcanoes, Grimsvotn, is threatening to do the same.

Nordic myth has it that Iceland is home to races of elves and subterranean trolls, guardians of the hot springs, geysers and volcanoes which have created its extraordinary landscape. Big volcanic eruptions – which have caused terrible famines in the past – were traditionally taken as a sign that the gods were unhappy.

Centuries ago, the eruption of Grimsvotn – which lies in the south of the island – would be a sign that the trolls were very displeased (indeed, in 1743 an eruption of the same volcano killed a quarter of the Icelandic population). Today, this spectacular eruption is creating a massive headache for the aviation authorities, airlines and travelers.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 23: Pakistan Floods 2011: Hundreds Killed, 200,000 Homeless

Pakistan Floods 2011: Hundreds Killed, 200,000 Homeless

Stranded by floodwaters, army soldier Mohammed Hameed was unable to get to the graveyard to bury his 5-year-old daughter when she succumbed to diarrhea. He laid her to rest in his courtyard – one of the latest victims of floods that have returned to Pakistan this year, leaving some 200,000 homeless and triggering another international aid effort.

The scale of the disaster and the aid response is much less than last year, but the misery for those effected is just as real. The floods began early last month, but heavy rains have compounded them recently and hampered relief efforts.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 24: India and Nepal 6.9 Earthquake 2011

Deadly earthquake hits India and Nepal

A strong earthquake has shaken northeastern India and Nepal, killing at least 16 people and damaging buildings.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, was felt across northeast India. It triggered at least two aftershocks of magnitude 6.1 and 5.3, Indian seismology official RS Dattatreyan said. He warned that more aftershocks were possible.

At least five people in India’s Sikkim state were killed and more than 50 were injured, according to the state’s top official. Nepal’s government said five people died and dozens were hurt there.

The full extent of the damage was not immediately known because the region is sparsely populated, with many living in remote areas that were cut off by mudslides triggered by the quake, Singh said.

TV stations reported collapsed buildings and cracked pavements in Sikkim’s state capital of Gangtok, 42 miles southeast of the quake’s epicentre. The Indo-Tibetan border police said two of its buildings had collapsed in Gangtok.

The quake was felt as far away as the Indian capital, with New Delhi residents rushing out of shaking buildings.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 25: Turkish Earthquake 2011

Turkish Earthquake 2011: Hundreds Feared Dead After Powerful Earthquake Rocks Eastern Turkey

A powerful earthquake, registered at magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale, has possibly killed hundreds of people in Eastern Turkey Sunday morning, with officials estimating that as many as 1,000 people may have actually been killed.

The earthquake struck at 10:41 in the morning local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and was centered in the city of Van, Turkey.

Reuters has reported, citing officials and eyewitnesses, that possibly 1,000 people were feared dead and that dozens of buildings collapsed during the quake, knocking down phone and power lines in the southeast region of the country.

News reports, video footage and images have shown rescue workers trying to free people trapped beneath the rubble in Van as well as in surrounding areas, some located near Turkey’s border with Iran.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 26: 2011 New Zealand Earthquake

Deadly quake strikes New Zealand

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake ripped through Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday afternoon, causing multiple fatalities as it toppled buildings onto buses, buckled streets and damaged cathedrals, authorities said.

New Zealand Police announced on the agency’s website that a large-scale evacuation of the central city was under way. According to the news release, the earthquake killed an undetermined number of people at various locations around the city, including passengers on two buses crushed by buildings that had fallen on them.

TVNZ reported that the 147-year-old Christchurch Cathedral’s spire had toppled, Christchurch Hospital was being evacuated and the airport was closed.

Southern New Zealand has been plagued by a series of quakes since September, when the area was shaken by a 7.1-magnitude temblor that New Zealand authorities said was the most damaging quake to hit the region since 1931. The earthquake struck in the predawn hours of September 4. Authorities said the deserted streets at that time likely kept injuries to a minimum.

List of Worst Storms – Natural Disasters 2011 27: 2011 Somalia Famine – Drought

UN declares famine in Somalia

The UN has officially declared two parts of Somalia to be in famine amid the worst drought in east Africa for 60 years.

Mark Bowden, humanitarian co-ordinator for Somalia, said on Wednesday that famine conditions now existed in the Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions of the country.

He warned: “If we don’t act now, famine will spread to all eight regions of southern Somalia within two months, due to poor harvests and infectious disease outbreaks.

“We still do not have all the resources for food, clean water, shelter and health services to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Somalis in desperate need.”

He added that the lack of resources is alarming. “Every day of delay in assistance is literally a matter of life or death for children and their families in the famine-affected areas.”

It seems we used to get these storms of the century every century, or other natural disasters that are major events only occasionally, however, now they seem to be happening every year! A sign of the times I suppose and the effects of climate change. I for one would recommend that you all update your disaster plans and kits regularly, and add a canoe or inflatable life raft to your disaster preparedness kits, as well as firefighting equipment or gear, like oxygen masks if you live in wildfire prone regions, and some sore of underground shelter for regions that are inundated with tornadoes recently.

These will also continue to worsen, so I urge all of you to pay serious attention to your weather reports and other vital alerts and warnings, your lives may literally be at stake! This concludes our list of worst storms – natural disasters of 2011, and we hope we didn’t scare you too much this year, however, these storms continue to get scarier and weirder every year it seems anymore. Peace my friends, and stay safe!

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