As a giver and nurturer of life, Mother Nature can also be the bringer of wrath and destruction that not even the most powerful countries on the planet can escape from. In fact, governments and nations all over the globe have witnessed nature’s devastations not only in terms of lost lives but also in its massive effect on the economy, leaving billions worth in ruins. Let’s take a look at some of the world’s costliest natural disasters in recent history.
Hurricane Katrina in the U.S.
It was during the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season when Katrina made its presence known and that fateful day on August 25, 2005 would be remembered as one of the saddest and most expensive tragedies ($81 billion as of 2005 U.S. dollars) that America has ever seen. According to the reports, 1,836 died in the hurricane and the floods that followed. The devastation did not end there; five years later, many residents were displaced and had no choice but to stay in temporary shelters.
Sichuan Earthquake in China
In May 2008, the entire Sichuan province was rocked by a massive 8.0 magnitude that killed about 70,000 people, and left over 18,000 missing. According to authorities, the damages and losses were estimated to have reached $29 billion – not including the indirect damage caused by the disaster’s aftermath. AIR Worldwide reported official estimates of insurers’ losses at US$1 billion from the earthquake. A huge number of livestock and large areas of agricultural lands were also destroyed, including 12.5 million animals. In the Sichuan province, around 60 million farm hogs died.
Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan
The entire world witnessed the horrors and destructions of the double-tragedy that struck Japan’s Sendai region on March 11, 2011. According to report, 8,649 people have been confirmed dead and there are still 13,262 missing.
The deadly tremors and the tsunami that followed were not the end of the resident’s nightmare. The 9.0-magnitude quake had resulted to a deadlier and toxic aftermath when the nearby Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant’s cooling system failed and threatened 200,000 people to a deadly radiation exposure.
According to the World Bank, the damages might reach $235 billion, but Japan’s government expected a higher estimate of $309 billion – and could go even higher because of how it could disrupt the country’s economic activities.