Last Updated: Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 3 Worst natural disasters of 2015 so far


Earthquake, heat waves and floods were among the worst natural disasters to hit the world in 2015. Here’s a look at top three natural disasters as covered by Disaster Report that caused major damage to lives and properties in 2015.

Earthquake – Nepal


A massive earthquake of magnitude 7.6 rattled Nepal on April 25, 2015 at 11:56 am Saturday morning. The earthquake was followed by another major 6.8-magnitude aftershock on May 12, 2015. The earthquake claimed lives of at least 8,891 people as of December 31, 2015, Government of Nepal, Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction Portal mentioned. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake. 

The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest and Langtang valley, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 200 others. Earthquakes also destroyed old monuments, temples at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley. Click for detail report on Nepal earthquake

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Earthquake damage in Kathmandu, Nepal (Disaster Report)

Heat Wave – India and Pakistan


A severe heat wave in India in May 2015 claimed lives of at least 2,500 people. Fatalities were from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal and Odisha. The 2015 heat wave recorded the highest temperature since 1995. The meteorological department had issued “red box” warnings for Odisha, Jharkhand and coastal Andhra Pradesh. Click for detail report on Indian heat wave

A severe heat wave in southern Pakistan in June 2015 killed about 2,000 people. Heat wave affected mostly in Sindh province and its capital city, Karachi. Click for detail report on Pakistan heat wave

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People cooled themselves off in water during the heat wave in Karachi (Xinhua/Masroor)

Flood – South India


Heavy flooding triggered by weeks of torrential rainfall of annual northeast monsoon in November claimed lives of more than 400 people in South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the union territory of Puducherry. At least 347 people died in Tamil Nadu, 81 in Andhra Pradesh and three in Puducherry.
Chennai was hit by heaviest rainfall in a century. Chennai received 1,049 mm of rainfall in November, the highest since receiving 1,088 mm in November 1918. Experts blamed climate change for the occurrence of floods in Chennai. Click for detail report on South India flood 2015

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Submerged houses in Chennai (Reuters)

Other Natural Disasters


Other major natural disasters that Disaster Report covered in 2015 include:

Landslide in Jade Mine in Myanmar
Landslide in Shenzhen's Hengtaiyu Industrial Park, China
Flooding in Kinshasa, DR Congo
Flooding and Landslide in Perak, Malaysia
Flash flood along Red Sea coast in Saudi Arabia
Typhoon Koppu in Philippines
Violent Storms and Flooding in south-eastern France
Landslide in Guatemala's Santa Catarina Pinula
Flash flood in Hildale, Utah
Lightning Storm at Mecca's Grand Mosque
Heavy Flooding in North Korea
Flash flooding in northern Iran
Heat ave in Italy
Landslides in West Bengal's Darjeeling district of India
Floods in Gujarat, India
Landslide in Taplejung, Nepal
Severe storm system in South and Midwest United States

Frequency of natural disasters have increased in rapid amount in last several decades. Some types of natural disasters are more common in some places of the world than others. In some cases, we can have warning of a natural disaster but other times it may happen without notice.

We have developed several natural disasters early warning system which provides warnings of natural disasters before they impact people and property. However, in spite of all the capabilities for advance warnings, we are still quite poor at preparing for these natural disasters.

Poor countries are those to have more serious impacts of the natural disaster. It is important for countries to develop emergency preparedness to be much safer and sustain less damage during an emergency situation caused by natural disasters.

The natural disaster map 2015 is also available (click here to get access). The map shows the occurrences of major natural disasters including earthquake, floods, Tsunami, wildfire, tornado, hurricane etc.