The World’s Deadliest Storms

From hurricanes to earthquakes, floods to tsunamis this article written by Jim Flannery of Balcombes Claims Management outlines just a handful of history’s deadliest storms. Cyclone Nargis   Year: 2008 Where: Myanmar Scale: equivalent of a category 3 or 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale...

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From hurricanes to earthquakes, floods to tsunamis this article written by Jim Flannery of Balcombes Claims Management outlines just a handful of history’s deadliest storms.

Cyclone Nargis

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Year: 2008

Where: Myanmar

Scale: equivalent of a category 3 or 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale

Deaths: 84,500

Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar and devastated the Ayeyarwady Delta region along with its 37 townships for two days leading to numerous storm surges and flooding.


Hurricane Mitch

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Year: 1998

Where: Yucatán Peninsula and South Florida

Scale: Category 5 hurricane

Deaths: 19,325+

Deaths due to catastrophic flooding made it the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history; nearly 11,000 people were killed with over 11,000 left missing by the end of 1998. Additionally, roughly 2.7 million were left homeless as a result of the hurricane.


Bhola cyclone

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Year: 1970

Where: India

Scale: Category 3 Hurricane

Deaths: 300,000 – 500,000

This cyclone was not extremely large, however the killing power of this storm was attributed to the cyclone’s surge, which flooded most of the low lying islands in the Ganges Delta. Many villages and crops were irreparably destroyed.


Galveston Hurricane


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Year: 1900

Where: Galveston, Texas

Scale: Category 4 hurricane

Deaths: 6,000 approx.

When the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 made landfall on September 8th, it brought a 15-foot tall storm surge, along with 135mph winds that it washed over the entire island.


Hurricane Ike

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Year: 2008

Where: Caribbean and Texas

Scale: Category 4 hurricane

Deaths: 195

Hurricane Ike is in the top three for most destructive hurricane’s to ever hit the United States, with $24 billion and with additional damage of $7.3 billion in Cuba, $200 million in the Bahamas, and $500 million in the Turks and Caicos, amounting to a total of $32 billion in damages.


Super Typhoon Nina

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Year: 1975

Where: China and Taiwan

Scale: Category 4 (Saffir–Simpson scale)

Deaths: 229,000

Approximately 229,000 people died after the Banqiao Dam collapsed and devastated areas downstream. In all, 62 dams failed during the disaster, causing large temporary lakes and $1.2 billion in damage.


Hurricane Jeanne

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Year: 2004

Where: Caribbean and eastern United States

Scale: Category 3 hurricane

Deaths: 3,035

Building on the rainfall of previous hurricanes Frances and Ivan, the storm brought near-record flood levels. Jeanne is blamed for at least 3,006 deaths in Haiti with about 2,800 in Gonaïves alone, which was nearly washed away by floods and mudslides.


Valdivia Earthquake

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Year: 1960

Where: Lumaco, Chile

Scale: 9.5 magnitude

Deaths: 6,000 approx.

The Valdivia Earthquake is the largest earthquake that has been measured on a seismograph, reaching 9.5 magnitude on 22 May 1960. The death toll and monetary losses arising from the widespread disaster of the earthquake and tsunamis is not known.


The Central China floods of 1931

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Year: 1931

Where: China

Deaths: 2,500,000–3,700,000

The Central China floods of 1931are generally considered among the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded, and almost certainly the deadliest of the 20th century. Heavy snowstorms in the winter on 1930 were followed by a spring thaw and heavy rains that raised the Yangtze River levels significantly.


Hurricane David

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Year: 1979

Where: Caribbean and eastern United States

Scale: Category 5 hurricane

Deaths: 2,068

David is believed to have been responsible for 2,068 deaths, making it one of the deadliest hurricanes of the modern era. It caused torrential damage across its path, most of which occurred in the Dominican Republic where the hurricane made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane.

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