Cyclone Mora kills 203 in Sri Lanka, leaves 96 others missing


June 2, 2017: Cyclone Mora caused massive flooding and landslides throughout Sri Lanka claiming lives of at least 203 people and left 96 others missing. According to the Disaster Management Centre, more than 400,000 people have been affected by the severe rains and strong winds that started on 24 May 2017.

The recent flooding is the worst to hit the island since May 2003, when 250 people were killed and 10,000 homes destroyed. More than 600,000 people are currently temporarily homeless after the landslides and floods hit Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Government has appealed for international assistance. India has sent three naval ships carrying relief supplies. China, the United States, and Pakistan have also provided assistance.

The United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) has deployed rapid assessment teams in Ratnapura, Galle, Matara and Kalutara districts.


May 30, 2017: At least 16 people died and 168 others injured in a hurricane that hit Russia’s capital Moscow and the adjacent areas. Eleven people died in Moscow and five others in the suburbs were killed as high winds and rain ripped through the city, felling trees, tearing off roofs and damaging more than 2,000 cars.


April 3, 2017: Flash flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall in the city of Mocoa, Putumayo, Colombia have claimed lives of at least 254 people and injured more than 400 people.

 President Juan Manuel Santos has declared a state of emergency in the region. More than 1,000 emergency personnel, including soldiers and local police, have been deployed to help the rescue efforts.


March 28, 2017: An avalanche in ski slopes in Japan has claimed lives of at least seven high school students and a teacher. The avalanche occurred early on Monday near Nasu in Tochigi prefecture, 120km (75 miles) north of Tokyo.


At least eighteen people have been killed in six districts of Tamil Nadu in rain-related incidents linked to Cyclone Vardah. Five each died in Chennai and Tiruvallur districts. Four persons died in Kancheepuram district, one each in Villupuram and Nagapattinam districts and two in Tiruvannamali district.


December 30, 2016:  At least 50 people died and 10,000 became homeless after flash floods hit Boma, Democratic Republic of the Congo on Tuesday. Heavy rainfall caused the Kalamu River, to overflow  into the River Congo leading the outbrust into the banks in the city of Boma.


January 18, 2017: A series of four earthquakes rattled Central Italy between Abruzzo, Lazio, the Marche and Umbria regions triggering an avalanche which buried the Rigopiano hotel in the Gran Sasso mountain near Farindola in the Abruzzo region.

The first of the four earthquakes was of magnitude 5.3 which struck 25 km northwest of L’Aquila on 18 January at 10:25 local time. It was followed by a stronger 5.7 tremor at 11:14 local time. The third earthquake of magnitude 5.6 struck 11 minutes later. The fourth earthquake of magnitude 5.2 was registered at 14:33 local time.


January 22, 2017: At least 15 people died in Georgia and four others in Mississippi after multiple tornadoes rattled the region. In total at least 62 tornadoes touched down across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina from January 21 to 23, 2017.


March 18, 2017: At least 72 people have died and 263 others have been injured in disastrous floods in Peru. Heavy rainfall burst river banks, created mudslides, collapsed bridges and roads. The flooding has also destroyed 12,000 homes, 25 schools and eight hospitals or clinics.

Zimbabwe drought

Zimbabwe was declared as a ‘state of disaster’ in February 2016 by the Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe after rural areas were hit by a severe drought. The El-Nino induced drought led to 4 million people requiring food aid while farmers lost of thousands of cattle.




Ecuador Earthquake

With a magnitude of 7.8, the earthquake striked 27 km across south-southeast of Muisne and was 20 km in depth. A pre shock of 4.8 was felt 11 minutes before the main earthquake followed by 55 aftershocks within 24 hours.




Hurricane Matthew

With a death toll of over 1,600 people and a damage of $ 10.5 billion, Hurricane Matthew was the strongest storm after the Hurricane Felix which occurred in 2007. The hurricane reached category 5 hurricane status i.e. the winds exceeding 252 km/h. Western Atlantic, Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Lucayan Archipelago, Southeast US and Canadian Maritimes were affected heavily due to the hurricane followed by a flood in North Carolina.




California Wildfires

Half a million acres of land was burnt to ashes after a series of wildfires striked California. Aftermath of the wildfires led to the death of 100 million trees, about 6,938 fires occurred by December 11. The data is extracted from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.



Winter Storm Jonas

Northeast US was affected by the ‘storm of the century’ with the height of snow reaching 107 cm in West Virginia. People were dying due to hypothermia and CO poisoning.




Earthquake in Italy

With a magnitude of 6.2, the earthquake hit Central Italy killing 247 people.




Myanmar Earthquake

Just few hours after the Italy got hit by Earthquake, Myanmar’s was also rocked by an earthquake of magnitude of 6.8 on the same day. The tremors were also felt in India, Bangladesh and Thailand.




Louisiana Floods

Six rivers broke the record of their water level, leading to the worst disaster that occurred after hurricane Sandy.




Taiwan Earthquake

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Taiwan killing over 116 people on February 6, 2016. Most people died because many High-rise buildings collapsed.




New Zealand Earthquake

On November 14, a massive tremor was felt near New Zealand’s capital Wellington even though the epicenter was 120 miles away. The earthquake ruptured six major faults after the strike and was followed by a Tsunami that hit the coast two hours later.




Flooding in southeastern Africa

Unusually heavy rains hit Malawi and caused widespread flooding, leaving 200 people dead or missing and 120,000 forced from their homes, according to UNICEF. The aid agency said it was “a race against time” to reach displaced communities, as stagnant water and poor sanitation threatened to kill children in one of the poorest countries in southern Africa. In neighboring Mozambique, the rains caused extreme flooding of river basins and cut off communities. Twenty-five people were reportedly killed in that country.





Cyclone Pam rips through Vanuatu 

Winds of 270 kilometres an hour tore through the 65-island South Pacific archipelago, home to about 267,000 people. One of the heavily damaged areas was the capital, Port Vila, where 47,000 people live. The destruction was even worse on the outer island of Tanna, where the Australian military estimated about 80 per cent of the buildings were flattened, and the hospital and airport were damaged. To complicate matters, the island’s remote location made it difficult for rescuers to get through. Throughout Vanuatu, an estimated 11 people were killed and thousands were left homeless.





Deadly earthquake devastates Nepal 

On April 25, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake left more than 8,000 people dead in Nepal and turned much of the country, including the capital, Kathmandu, into a disaster zone. The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 19 climbers. About three weeks later, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal again, killing dozens more people, injuring hundreds and terrifying the country’s citizens just as they were trying to rebuild from the first disaster.


Heat waves kill thousands in India and Pakistan

By the end of May, about 2,200 people in India were dead from a raging heat wave that began in April. Temperatures went up to 47 C. Most of the people killed were in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states in the southern part of the country.Heat-related conditions, including dehydration and heat stroke, killed more than 2,500 people since mid-April in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Officials urged people to stay indoors and remain hydrated, such as this man in Allahabad was doing on May 31, 2015.

Heat-related conditions, including dehydration and heat stroke, killed more than 2,500 people since mid-April in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Officials urged people to stay indoors and remain hydrated, such as this man in Allahabad was doing on May 31, 2015.

In June, the worst heat wave in at least a decade hit southern Pakistan, particularly the port city of Karachi. More than 830 people died as temperatures reached as high as 45 C. Karachi’s inefficient power grid and the shortage of potable water were blamed for worsening the situation. On the worst days, people in the city of 20 million tried to get water from broken pipes.




Flash floods hit Pakistan

Triggered by monsoon rains, flash floods killed more than 100 people in various parts of Pakistan and left tens of thousands homeless, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority. More than 2,000 villages were flooded.

Pakistani flood victims wade through floodwater to reach their homes in Peshawar on Aug. 3, 2015. Flooding affected more than 800,000 people in 2,275 villages. (Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press)

Almost 3,000 homes collapsed or suffered damage. In the northwestern city of Chitral, homes, mosques, hotels, bridges and a power station were destroyed.


Wildfires force largest evacuation in Saskatchewan’s history

Hot weather, very dry conditions, and lightning strikes contributed to hundreds of wildfires in western Canada during the summer of 2015. In Saskatchewan, more than 13,000 people were forced from their homes in the largest evacuation effort in the province’s history. The Canadian military was dispatched to help in the hard-hit La Ronge area, about 380 kilometers north of Saskatoon.

The increased wildfire activity in 2015 — and the ballooning firefighting costs — prompted Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and B.C. Premier Christy Clark to call for a national forest fire plan by next year.


California wildfires

California suffered one of its worst forest fire seasons on record in 2015 as wildfires raged in northern parts of the state. One fire, north of San Francisco, was the fourth-worst blaze in California’s history, with three people killed and more than 1,000 homes destroyed.

A firefighter watches a tree burn as a fire rages near San Andreas, Calif., on Sept. 12, 2015. The state had one of its worst fire seasons on record in 2015. (Noah Berger/Reuters)

A separate fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills killed two people and ruined more than 500 homes. A volunteer firefighter lost his own home while out battling blazes. Thousands of people were evacuated from dozens of communities. According to the Cal Fire website, there were more than 6,200 wildfires throughout the state in 2015, burning about 125,000 hectares of land. Compare that to 2014, when Cal Fire documented about 4,200 wildfires that burned about 77,000 hectares.


Chile earthquake

On Sept. 16, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake killed 11 people in central Chile and triggered tsunami warnings as far away as Hawaii and California. More than one million people fled their homes and waves up to 4.5 metres high slammed into Chile’s northern port city of Coquimbo, washing large fishing boats up onto the streets.

People walk to higher ground for safety in Valparaiso, Chile, on Sept. 16, 2015, after a mass evacuation of the entire coastline during a tsunami alert prompted by a magnitude 8.3 earthquake that hit off the coast of Chile. (Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters)


Still, many people who remember the devastating 8.8. magnitude quake of 2010, which caused a massive tsunami and killed more than 500 people, were relieved the death toll and destruction wasn’t worse. When September’s earthquake struck, the Chilean government ordered evacuations from coastal areas and said it had learned from previous disasters.


Japan floods

Heavy rain after Tropical Storm Etau pummelled Japan in September and triggered huge floods, forcing thousands of people from their homes. When the Kinugawa River broke through a flood berm in Joso near Tokyo, it washed away entire houses and left hundreds of people stranded. Many waited on rooftops to be rescued.



U.S. floods

U.S. President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency after Hurricane Joaquin-related storms slammed South Carolina with floods. Streets and roads turned into rivers, leaving many people trapped in their cars. A dozen people died of weather-related causes in South Carolina and neighboring North Carolina.

One woman died when her SUV was swept away by floodwaters; another man drowned after he drove around a barricade. A transportation worker was also among those killed. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said 550 roads and bridges had to be closed across the state.



Deadly Australian wildfires

Four people were killed and hundreds of homes were evacuated as wildfires raged across southwest Australia in November. Fierce winds and a heat wave were blamed for making the fires worse as firefighters tried to contain them. November is summertime in the southern hemisphere, and wildfires are common across much of Australia during the season.




Burma landslide

On Nov. 21, a landslide in Burma, also known as Myanmar, killed more than 100 people when a 60-metre high mountain of dirt discarded by mining companies collapsed. The disaster happened in the mining community of Hpakant in the jade-rich northern part of the country.

At first, officials said the dead were mostly men picking through the mining waste looking for jade to sell — a common occurrence in the extremely poor town. Later, they said the landslide happened in the middle of the night and buried more than 70 makeshift huts where the miners slept.


Chennai floods after heaviest rainfall in 100 years

Massive floods in India drove thousands of people from their homes in December after the heaviest rainfall in more than a century hit the state of Tamil Nadu. More than 250 people died — some by electrocution before authorities turned the power off in some areas.

Vast swaths of Chennai — India’s fourth-largest city — were under up to three metres of water. Homes and cars were submerged, and people escaped their homes using ladders or jumping out windows onto makeshift rafts.