Top 10 Disasters around the World in 2010

2010 has been a tough year for most of the world, considering the spread and diversity in disaster. The year has had a higher death toll that most other years and the damage and impact of the disaster have affected millions of people across the world. Here’s a list of disasters manmade and natural that have affected us in more than one way.

1. Haiti Earthquake:

On January 12, 2010 a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. The epicentre of the earthquake was 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince. Since Haiti has no real construction standards most of the poorly constructed buildings toppled as if they were made of paper. The exact impact of the disaster has been measured by different organizations differently. The Week indicated that ‘The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is estimating that between 50,000 and 100,000 people have been killed. But General Ken Keen, the head military officer in charge of relief efforts in Haiti, says the total may be closer to 200,000. The Red Cross calculates that 3 million — roughly one-third the country’s entire population — have been directly affected by the quake.

2.    Machu Picchu Landslide:

On January 24, 2010 the Andes in Peru had landslides that wiped out straw-and-earth huts, farms, and economically vital roads and bridges. It is estimated that the disaster killed 26, stranded 1,900 tourists and displaced 20,000 villagers near Cusco. The Lost City of the Incas was forced to shut down for more than two months. As a major tourist attraction in Peru, Peru lost about $1 million a day in tourism revenue.

3.    East Coast Blizzard:

In February the first major winter storm of the year dumped two feet of snow on Washington, D.C and a fierce blizzard walloped D.C. The federal government was shut down for the longest times over the first weekend of February and stayed shuttered for four and half days. This complete shutdown is estimated to cost $450 million in productivity. D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York, experienced snowdrifts that caved in roofs, caused SUV to flip over, led to at least two deaths, cancelled flights, closed schools, power cut offs, and so on.

4.    Chile Earthquake:

On February 27, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck just off the coast of Maule, in Chile. A tsunami swept through the fishing village of Constitucion and other coastal towns. The quake’s epicenter was 70 miles from the country’s second-largest metropolis, Concepcion. The earthquake shook the six major Chilean states and parts of Argentina. The quake killed more than 500 people, and the disaster caused is estimated at more than $30 billion in damage. The quake also left over 200,000 Chileans homeless, and destroyed about 20% of the country’s wine.

5.    Iceland Volcano:

The 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull is a timeline of volcanic events at Eyjafjöll in Iceland. They caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe. March 20, 2010 saw a small eruption rated as a 1 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. In April 14, 2010 the eruption entered a second phase and created an ash cloud. This closed most of Europe’s IFR airspace. The ash plume rose to a height of approximately 9 kilometres (30,000 ft), which rates the explosive power of the eruption at 4. The eruptions were caused havoc until October 2010, when Ármann Höskuldsson, a scientist at the University of Iceland Institute Of Earth Sciences officially declared it was over.

6.    Guatemala Sinkhole:

A gaping sinkhole in Guatemala City swallowed a three-story building on May 31, 2010. This was after Tropical Storm Agatha hit Central America over the weekend. According to some reports, the sinkhole was 20 meters wide and 204 feet deep. It killed three people. Though this phenomenon caused a lot of shock amongst scientists who believe that sinkholes are common in certain areas but that Guatemala’s sinkhole was unusual.

7.    Pakisthan floods:

Pakistan floods began in July 2010. This was because of torrential monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan and affected the Indus River basin. Reports suggest that at one point approximately one-fifth of Pakistan’s total land area was underwater. The Pakistani government estimated that the floods directly affected about 20 million people. The impact included destruction of property, livelihood and infrastructure, with a death toll of close to 2,000.

8.    Russian Wildfires:

In July 2010 when Pakistan was flooding, seven regions in Russia were fighting wildfires. The wildfire covered more than 300,000 acres and filled the air with toxic fumes. Moscow was covered by dense smoke that led to delays in flights and smog covered seats. The wildfire killed over 50 people leaving 3,000 people homeless. August a sudden temperature drop in temperature and rainfall helped douse the fires.

9.    Canada Forest Fires:

Northern Quebec, Canada was affected by 56 forest fires during May and June. Over 2,300 people evacuated their homes. There was no sign of rain for several weeks though winds were supposed to stay light through to the beginning of September. Western Canada was affected by many fires in July and August, including British Columbia and Alberta. Close to 40,000 hectares of forest was destroyed in British Columbia. Additionally, close to 291,700 hectares of forest were burned in British Columbia by August 23.

10Hurricane Earl:

Hurricane Earl was a long and powerful tropical cyclone. On August 25, it formed a typical Cape Verde-type hurricane. It, however, became a tropical storm later that day several hundred miles east-southeast of the Cape Verde Islands. After the first two days of winds of 45 mph (75 km/h) it started to strengthen. On August 29, Earl was upgraded to a hurricane to a major hurricane shortly after brushing the northern Leeward Islands. It attained 135 mph (215 km/h) wind speeds. It further increased to 145 mph (230 km/h) on September 2. The estimated damages on Leeward Islands were $40.8 million. New Jersey, Massachusetts and Florida saw some fatalities because of the currents and rough seas. In Nova Scotia and Canada where Earl made landfall as a category 1 hurricane, one person drowned and hundreds of thousands of people lost power.

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