UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: International EM

Title: Top Natural Disasters By Death Toll

Keywords: Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, natural disasters (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/6/2017 by Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, MPH (Updated: 9/26/2017)
Click here to contact Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, MPH

With the recent destruction by Hurricane Harvey and the impending impact of Hurricane Irma, it is important to recognize the historical death toll from natural disasters. While the list can vary, here is a top ten list from the library of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

Rank

Event

Location

Date

Death Toll (Estimate)

1

1931 Yellow River flood

Yellow River, China

Summer 1931

850,000-4,000,000

2

1887 Yellow River flood

Yellow River, China

September-October 1887

900,000-2,000,000

3

1970 Bhola cyclone

Ganges Delta, East Pakistan

November 13, 1970

500,000- 1,000,000

4

1201 Earthquake

Eastern Mediterranean

1201

1,000,000

5

1938 Yellow River flood

Yellow River, China

June 9th, 1938

500,000 - 900,000

6

Shaanxi Earthquake

Shaanxi Province, China

January 23, 1556

830,000

7

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami

Indian Ocean

December 26, 2004

225,000-275,000

8

1881 Haiphong Cyclone

Haiphong, Vietnam

1881

300,000

9

1642 Kaifeng Flood

Kaifeng, Henan Province, China

1642

300,000

10

Tangshan Earthquake

Tangshan, China

July 28, 1976

242,000*

* Official Government figure. Estimated death toll as high as 655,000.

 

 

References

https://docs.lib.noaa.gov/noaa_documents/NOAA_related_docs/death_toll_natural_disasters.pdf