With COVID-19 almost a part of collective history now that most of the world has access to their vaccines, it’s almost weird to imagine how life was for the last year and a half. But now that the epidemic is practically done and dealt with, we can look back to some other tragedies of the past and realize that it doesn’t always have to be a virus that wipes out a depressing amount of people.
Let’s take a look at some of the deadliest natural disasters we’ve ever been confronted with. If nothing else, it’ll prove that humanity really does conquer all adversity. At least up until now.
The Yellow River Flood
This flood took place in September 1887 and took the lives of at least 900 000 Chinese citizens with the highest estimates going up to 2 million. The flood was estimated to have covered an area of no less than 130000 square kilometers, which is about one third of Germany.
The Bhola Cyclone
Cyclones don’t usually kill loads of people, but this 1970 cyclone in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) killed half a million people. It reached peak wind speeds of 185 km/h and killed near half (45%) of the population in the most affected city.
The China Floods
I’ll just give you a small spoiler – this isn’t going to be the last time China pops up in this list. The 1931 China floods have a high estimate of 4 million casualties, but the lows seem to hover around half a million or even 140 000. The actual number is hard to determine since the floods took place over a three-month period and it does become difficult to determine whether the flood caused the death or not.