A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake shook Mexico on Wednesday, killing at least 225 people, leaving many trapped under collapsed buildings and forcing people on to the streets for a second time in two weeks.
The earthquake in Mexico is only the latest in a long list of deadly incidents which affected a large number of people. Just two weeks earlier, Mexico was at the receiving end of nature's fury, with an earlier earthquake claiming 60 victims and a subsequent hurricane leaving two dead, according to an article in Washington Post.
This year has been a bad one as far as natural disasters are concerned, with large-scale calamities affecting diverse parts of the globe. Here are the major natural disasters that have taken place this year.
Floods in India: While most media attention was focussed on floods and disruption of civic services in Mumbai, the monsoon was much deadlier in several other parts of the country. According to the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 600 people have died in Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. As many as 32.1 million people (nearly equivalent to the entire population of Jharkhand) have been affected.
Flash floods in Sierra Leone: Large scale rainfall caused flash floods and landslides in Sierra Leone, affecting around 6,000 people directly. The official death toll is now around 600 people, according to the UN. Even as the country reels from the effect of the floods, officials from the country have been reported as saying that they now fear outbreaks of cholera and malaria, as reported by IANS.
Landslide in Colombia: While Mexico has seen back-to-back natural calamities in the recent past, disaster also hit Colombia across the Caribbean sea this year. A major landslide hit Mocoa, a major southern city in Colombia, killing at least 300 people, according to US News. A similar incident took place two weeks later in the town of Manizales. The second landslide left 17 people injured, and around two dozen injured, according to CBS news.
Floods in Sri Lanka: Closer home, torrential rains followed by mudslides in the island nation of Sri Lanka killed 164 people. India proactively extended assistance to Sri Lanka, sending three ships with relief material. Deforestation for cash crops is believed to be one of the reasons behind frequent landslides there, as per this PTI copy.
Avalanches in Afghanistan and Pakistan: While rainfall caused large-scale destruction to the south of India in Sri Lanka, snowfall caused the damage in Afghanistan and Pakistan in India's north-west. At least 156 people died in avalanches caused by snowfall in the two countries, according to CNN. Most of the casualties (143) were reported to be in Afghanistan.
Hurricane Harvey: Hurricane Harvey was an extremely destructive event that lashed the Caribbean islands and the United States in August 2017. Authorities have estimated that at least 82 people died in the US because of the hurricane, according to The Washington Post. It was said to be the most powerful hurricane to have hit the state of Texas in 50 years, displacing more than a million people.
Hurricane Irma: Along with Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma caused widespread damage in the northeast Caribbean and the Florida Keys in August-September 2017. It caused at least 84 deaths, and was one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Sep 21, 2017 15:50 PM | Updated Date: Sep 21, 2017 15:50 PM