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Some of the Worst Natural Disasters that Struck 2017

From hurricanes to earthquakes, monsoons to drought, and landslides to fires, it seems that no continent was safe from these crazy weather and climate catastrophes in 2017.

Ashley Bedore, Editor-in-Chief

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2017 was a year that saw some of the deadliest and most intense natural disasters in history. Here are just five of the most extreme natural disasters that happened around the world in the past year.

At just the beginning of 2017, the country of Zimbabwe was wrecked by intense rains and a cyclone that left thousands without a home, isolated many communities, and killed 117 people. Floods are a common occurrence in Zimbabwe, and since December of 2016, the death toll caused by these disasters is at 246.

Satellite image of a cyclone

Floods and landslides affected nearly half a million people living in Sri Lanka during last year. It has been reported that these disasters killed 213 people. With a desperate need for clean drinking water, Sri Lanka reached out to the United Nations and nearby countries for help. However, due to the horrific landslides that cut off many villages from the rest of the country, receiving help was nearly impossible.

People of Sri Lanka fleeing the floods

Hurricane Harvey was a natural disaster that most Americans will never forget. Affecting people in Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, Harvey killed 82 people and left $180 billion in damages. Rosanna Boswell, a resident of Corpus Christi, had to evacuate from her home for four days due to the storm. 203,000 homes, including Boswell’s home, were damaged. Boswell, who was left without any electricity for a week, explains that she has “Experienced hurricanes before, but not quite as close as this one [was].”

The National Guard responding to Hurricane Harvey

Northern California’s Tubbs fire was a part of California’s worst wildfire season ever recorded. More than half of the a million acres burned in California last year. The Tubbs fire spread fast and far, destroying more than 5,200 homes. The fire spread so fast that most people barely had enough time to evacuate before the flames reached their homes. 43 people died from these deadly fires.

Northern California fires aftermath

Hundreds of people went missing after a massive landslide destroyed the city of Mocoa, Colombia. The landslide struct early on a Sunday morning, while most of the town was still asleep. More than 300 people died from the rushing water, mud, and rocks that was caused by heavy rain, leaving many others injured. Over 1,000 emergency responses came to help search and rescue.

Landslide aftermath

Many extreme disasters shook the world in 2017. However, throughout disaster and tragedy, communities around the world share one thing in common: they know how to work together to rebuild the place they call a home even after such calamities.

 

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