Skip to main content

The Five Most Destructive Natural Disasters of the Past 10 Years

The author is an online writer who covers a variety of topics.

Are Natural Disasters Becoming More Frequent?

The number of natural disasters has risen dramatically in the past two decades. Natural disasters are surging exponentially and causing expanding amounts of destruction every year.

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, since 1990, natural disasters have affected about 217 million people each year and there were three times as many natural disasters between 2000 and 2009 compared to 1980-1989.

Most (80%) of this growth is the direct result of climate change. Weather conditions have become extremely unpredictable and extreme. Scientists agree this is the consequence of global warming. We could call it "payback time" for all the pollution we've released into the environment of our planet.

Geophysical disasters include volcanoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, rockfalls, landslides, and avalanches, those in which there may be no clear-cut causal relationship between the disaster and the weather.

For climate-related disasters, we can draw direct causal connections between the disaster and the weather. These include hydrological events such as floods, storm surges, and coastal flooding, plus meteorological events like storms, tropical cyclones, heat/cold waves, drought, and wildfires.

The Rising Cost of Global Warming: Increasing Frequency and Cost of Natural Disaster

The Rising Cost of Global Warming: Increasing Frequency and Cost of Natural Disaster

The Rising Cost of Global Warming

Another thing that has risen in the past years is the financial costs incurred by natural disasters. International organizations such as the Red Cross say that the world's yearly post-disaster cost is around 65 billion US dollars. Compare that to the four billion spent fifty years ago, adjusted for inflation, and you'll see how expensive reparations are becoming.

Because of our careless abuse of the environment, the number of natural disasters and the cost of cleaning them up will continue to rise.

The Port au Prince Earthquake on January 12, 2010

The Port au Prince Earthquake on January 12, 2010

Earthquake in Haiti, 2010

January 12, 2010: The earthquake that hit Haiti's capital city, Port au Prince, affected more than three million people, caused over 200,000 deaths, left two million homeless, and left three million people in need of emergency assistance. More than 250,000 homes were destroyed along with 30,000 other buildings. Haitians received help from all over the world (at least $195 million US were raised, with more pledges promised. The US and European Union promised long-term help for the reconstruction of the city) but today, Port au Prince has still not recovered.

Sumatra, one day after Christmas in 2004

Sumatra, one day after Christmas in 2004

Tsunami in Sumatra, 2004 (The Indian Ocean Earthquake)

December 26, 2004: The earthquake with a power of 9.15 on the Richter scale that hit the Sumatra coast in the Indian Ocean a day after Christmas sent deadly waves completely erased parts of Sumatra and left nothing behind. Also known as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, it lasted only ten seconds but resulted in 200,000 to 310,000 deaths on the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, and Thailand.

Today, with the help of donations, more than 52,000 homes and 300 hospitals have been rebuilt, most of the infrastructure has been repaired, and normal life has resumed.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Owlcation

Hurricane Katrina, 2005

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the US, overwhelming levees on the Mississippi River and leaving significant parts of the city of New Orleans underwater. This was the sixth strongest and fifth most destructive hurricane to ever hit the US. It killed 1,833 people and material damage was estimated at $81 billion dollars. Now, years after the hurricane, many people are still displaced and reconstruction is not complete.

 Earthquake in Pakistan (2005)

Earthquake in Pakistan (2005)

Earthquake in Pakistan, 2005

On October 8, 2005, the Kashmir earthquake, which registered 7.6 on the Richter scale, with an epicenter near the India-Pakistan border, took 86,000 lives and left 106,000 people injured. Humanitarian movements raced against time to build shelters and give food to 500,000 people in the wake of the devastation. The earthquake destroyed 600,000 homes and left three million people homeless, but with time and help, including over $5.4 billion US dollars in aid from all over the world, life is now back to normal there.

Earthquake in Sichuan Province (China)

Earthquake in Sichuan Province (China)

Sichuan Earthquake in China, 2008

On May 12, 2008, in the Sichuan Province in China, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 killed 69,197 people (with 18,222 missing still missing). The earthquake did damage estimated at $85 billion dollars. Three years after the catastrophe, people were still living in tents, with no money or hope to build a new home. Many have donated money to the reconstruction effort, but funds have been misplaced or misspent.

Prognosis for Global Warming: Will There Be More Natural Disasters?

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is by all accounts, including articles in The New York Times, a fairly conservative group that has built-in measures to avoid alarmism and find the lowest common denominator on which the majority of scientists can agree, even the IPCC says that humans have caused global warming that has, in turn, caused this increase in natural disasters, and that this damage will continue to increase.

These are the facts stated explicitly or alluded to by the IPCC in their report following their last meeting in 2013:

  • If we keep ignoring the IPCC's recommendations then, on average, the total global warming (from preindustrial levels) is headed toward 4°C (7°F). The US faces warming in the range of 5°C (9°F) by the year 2100.
  • Sea levels are rising faster and faster. A much more rapid sea level rise is now projected (28-97 cm by the year 2100). With unabated emissions, the IPCC estimates that by the year 2300, global sea levels will rise by 1-3 meters.
  • There have been and will be increasing storm surges as a result of sea level rise. More intense deluges are very likely.
  • In addition, arid areas are likely to get drier and wet areas wetter.
  • Near-surface permafrost at high northern latitudes will be reduced as the global mean surface temperature increases. By the end of the 21st century, the area of surface permafrost (the upper 3.5 m layer) will decrease by between 37% (RCP2.6) to 81% (RCP8.5) on average.
  • “Climate change will affect carbon cycle processes in a way that will exacerbate the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (high confidence). Further uptake of carbon by the ocean will increase ocean acidification.”


Chudrya on April 23, 2020:

Good all days yarra Ramadan Mubarak In tHe mOnth oF rAmadAn

Halal piolota on April 17, 2020:

Nearly Ramadan.. EID SOON LET'S GOOO

/\/\ /\/ \/ on December 19, 2019:


MT on November 27, 2019:

add Kashmir earfquake

Earth project on October 30, 2019:

Wonderful helped me a lot just add more disasters that’s it

sheila on October 28, 2019:

my name is sheila

turtle101 on June 23, 2019:

I want to learn about potatos

No Hacker me is on June 04, 2019:

Pls go onn this link

:( on May 31, 2019:

it was me who pretended to be the author sry


bostjanbb on May 31, 2019:

no because ur yellow

dumb guy on May 31, 2019:

because im brown

Hey it’s the lots man here on May 23, 2019:

I have much gud engrazhi and I have muchoooo grasiasssss but it mucho clean because I us lots tuti times a day yaara

#1 lota cleaner on May 22, 2019:

I want to learn about tuti biscuits

ochy on May 22, 2019:

shoutout lil lazy lets go Disney world


bobby friction on May 22, 2019:

I got free visa to go disney land yaara

#no.1 fasteer on May 16, 2019:

in the month of rAMADHAN!

boi on April 29, 2019:

life is bad

PEEP on April 10, 2019:

i am the pig lord

Milos on April 02, 2019:


55252 on December 28, 2018:


anwesha sinha on November 05, 2018:

nice wepsite

Forntite Boi on September 21, 2018:

#1 Victory Royale

Turkey lord on September 05, 2018:

I love to eat my kind

sgs on May 14, 2018:

very good but what is the authors profile picture about

samisgs on May 14, 2018:

oh my i searched for last 10 years and it gives me stuff from 2005. when was this written, flipping 2014!!!!

User on May 08, 2018:


Hi pandas on May 08, 2018:

What up with comments?

luis on April 26, 2018:

im the turkey lord

cugcgy on April 18, 2018:

this is good info

kikikikikiki on April 13, 2018:

whats are these comments lol

Pancakes on March 19, 2018:

I love pancakes. I think this is a really good factual site

UNDER 1400 BULLET on March 19, 2018:

need more recent............................2017, or 2018?!!?

tide pods on January 19, 2018:

perfect plan to become famous: eat a tide pod, as it is de wae, then appear in a logan paul vlog

knucks on January 17, 2018:

do u knoe de wae??

Baby kitty on December 01, 2017:

just love this site so nice and it makes me want to meowww very happy because i am a baby kitty i just love to cuddle with my favorite yarn toy.

Aaliyah castillo on December 01, 2017:

love this site very intresting

pickle rick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on November 30, 2017:

it 2017 not 2014 update the site

dont matter on November 29, 2017:

not enough info

no one on October 25, 2017:

this was posted in 2014 not 2017 so it is the past 10 yrs m8

dank memes on September 27, 2017:

This is dank

Anonymous on September 20, 2017:

What is mofo

i are suppa smurt on August 16, 2017:

dis aint in da past 10 yrs m8.

briana on May 30, 2017:

This helps

D.V. on May 24, 2017:


Dat Boi on May 16, 2017:

Nice meme

Rayle Tomsen on April 18, 2017:

The worst disester is rain because you put make up on and it goes away straight on April 12, 2017:

good information thank you whoever wrote this

jordan smith on March 29, 2017:

Nice answer i needed it for my agriculture assignmnet.

230250068853333 on March 16, 2017:

it is part of life that is the way God intended it to be so get your head in the game

catastrophic bob on February 09, 2017:

this help a little

noalie on December 19, 2016:

great thing i live in Canada on top of the northern shield or something like that

karan chhabra on December 18, 2016:

Helpingb peoples during disaster is a great thing done by NGOs

John on November 25, 2016:

I used this website to do my project it was really helpful

Not Brandon on November 10, 2016:

Ikr this website is awesome

harley bennett on October 30, 2016:

i used this website to do my homework it was really use full

lul on October 27, 2016:

i need withen last 5 years

Bob on October 02, 2016:

Bad web

skilla on September 18, 2016:

hello i am 50 years old and from grecce and found this very interesting

shakira3487 on August 29, 2016:

Hello :) i am just wondering about any volcanoes that have eurupted in the last 50 years??? :)

-Thnx 4 the help :) -Shakira

mohammad on August 13, 2016:

i got help for my projects

DISHA KAUSHAL on June 29, 2016:

I got a little help for my assignment. thank u soo much

Maverick Dionne on June 03, 2015:

You are giving very helpful advice thank you so much for your help baby

ankit on May 22, 2015:


rukaya on May 20, 2015:


v on May 17, 2015:

i think this is a resonable website to use for research

M.T.Pham on April 21, 2015:


It is very nice review, may I ask for the source of the figure of The Rising Cost of Global Warming: Increasing Frequency and Cost of Natural Disaster.

I would like to mention it in my research, thanks

Please send info to my email:

Many thanks

Best regards


leighton on April 20, 2015:

wow that was is nice

roshni on March 05, 2015:

very...... nice

janhavi on January 03, 2015:

helped completing my assignment.thanks.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Jassi on December 26, 2014:

It is helpful

leo messi on October 08, 2014:

suuuuuuuuuuuuuupper message and information!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

khushi on June 23, 2014:

Got a bit help.Thanks!!!!!

Sammy on June 18, 2014:

I. Was. In. The. 2004. Tsunami

mahak on June 05, 2014:

good information given by this website

jyoti on May 30, 2014:

its really bad these are unexplanabale

Rahul Kyal on May 02, 2014:

Very Very Nice

sakshi pvv on April 21, 2014:

Reading dis was knowledgeable but a great time passssssssss,............

Iflah on April 12, 2014:

Website is awwsome....

I got great help in my assignment..

Thank u

ra on March 16, 2014:

this is a good website for looking up info

Thatoneguy on March 04, 2014:

Aliens its always Aliens

anne on February 05, 2014:

been in hurricane katrina, it was horrible

shruthi on January 31, 2014:

nice web site............

cabriella on January 11, 2014:

wah great website !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kitty on December 08, 2013:


yddet on August 29, 2013:

Having lived in several places where earthquakes, floods and fires are a reality, I have learned how to live prepared. But in most part, most of my extended family has not taken my lead. So I took it upon myself to help get the ball rolling and most importantly, get them prepared. I did want to make it easier on myself and didn't want to assembly all of the items for each kit. I found a great online site that has affordable well thought out kits. And to test this company out I had placed several separate orders to ensure the quality of the kits was not a random event. I just wanted to pass this info along to anyone else out there trying to help family members prepare with little effort. The site is Prices are great, shipping prices are in line with the weight of these kits. My hope is that everyone who lives in areas of potential disasters (and that is basically everywhere) prepares now sooner than later.

dools on December 28, 2012:

good information

Raah on December 09, 2012:

Na, Its volcanos

aamna on August 01, 2012:

nice things!

aamna on July 31, 2012:


natrual disasters on March 11, 2012:

we need a answer to has there br=een an increase in natural disasters in the past 10 years????

Paul Profitt from England on March 19, 2011:

I live in the UK. Where we thankfully only have the occasional minor earth tremor. EarthQuakes are the most devastating natural disaster to the human race.

Related Articles