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Earthquakes | Volcanoes | Tornadoes | Hurricanes

Earthquakes

Sumatra, Indonesia
December 26, 2004, 7:58 a.m.
Richter magnitude: 9.0
Dead or missing: More than 200,000, mostly from tsunamis
Damage: Early estimates of $14 billion; tsunamis rearranged the geographic features of the Indian Ocean

Bam, Iran
December 26, 2003, 5:26 a.m.
Richter magnitude: 6.6
Dead: More than 26,000
Injured: 30,000
Damage: 85 percent of buildings damaged or destroyed

Izmit, Turkey
August 17, 1999, 3:01 a.m.
Richter magnitude: 7.4
Dead: Between 30,000 and 40,000

Kobe, Japan
January 17, 1995, 5:46 a.m.
Richter magnitude: 7.2
Dead: More than 5,500

Colima-Jalisco, Mexico
October 9, 1995
Richter magnitude: 9.0

Northridge, California
January 17, 1994, 4:30 am
Richter magnitude: 6.7
Dead: 61
Damage: More than $43 billion

Loma Prieta, California
October 17, 1989, 5:04 p.m.
Richter magnitude: 7.1
Dead: 63
Injured: Nearly 3,800
Damage: More than 28,000 homes and businesses

Michoacán
September 19, 1985
Richter magnitude: 8.1
Dead: 9,500 (although some sources say it could be as high as 35,000)
Damage: About $3-4 billion; tremors felt by about 20 million people

Tangshan, China
July 28, 1976, 4 a.m.
Richter magnitude: 7.8
Dead: At least 240,000
Injured: At least 500,000
Damage: 85 percent of buildings destroyed

Puebla, Mexico
January 30, 1973
Richter magnitude: 7.1
Dead: 600

San Fernando, California
February 9, 1971, 6:01 a.m.
Richter magnitude: 6.6
Dead: 65
Damage: Fallen interstates and many buildings collapsed

Prince William Sound, Alaska
March 28, 1964, 5:36 p.m.
Richter magnitude: 9.2
Dead: About 130, mostly from tsunami
Damage: About $300-400 million (1964 dollars)

Chile
May 22, 1960
Richter magnitude: 9.5
Dead: Estimated from 500-2,300
Damage: Huge tsunami damage; largest recorded earthquake ever

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
June 23, 1946
Richter magnitude: 7.3
Damage: One of Canada's largest earthquakes; felt as far away as Portland, Oregon

Long Beach, California
March 10, 1933, 5:55 p.m.
Richter magnitude: 6.2
Dead: 120, mostly from collapsed houses

San Francisco, California
April 18, 1906, 5:12 a.m.
Richter magnitude: 8.3 (estimated)
Dead: 700 (although some archivists estimate the toll at closer to 3,000)
Damage: 28,000 buildings destroyed

Charleston, South Carolina
August 31, 1886, about 10 p.m.
Richter magnitude: Estimated 6.6-6.9
Dead: About 100
Damage: Large number of buildings damaged

New Madrid, Missouri
December 1811, morning
Richter magnitude: Estimated 8
Damage: Cracks opened in the ground; some islands disappeared from middle of Mississippi River; felt in Washington, D.C.

Cascadia
January 26, 1700, about 9 p.m.
Richter magnitude: Estimated 9.0
Damage: Native American oral history indicates that whole villages were wiped out

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Volcanoes

Kilauea, Hawaii
1983-present
Damage: Lava flows have destroyed homes and businesses

Mount Etna, Italy
1500 B.C.-present
Dead: More than 20,000
Damage: More than 200 eruptions have buried towns and swept villages away

Soufriere Hills, Montserrat
1995-present
Dead: At least 19
Damage: Ongoing eruptions of ash and stone; capital evacuated; more than half island's population has left

Pinatubo, Phillipines
June 12, 1991
Dead: About 400
Damage: Rain-soaked ash (rainfall came from a concurrent typhoon) collapsed many buildings; early warnings and evacuations helped limit the death totals

Redoubt Volcano, Alaska
1989-1990
Damage: Ash caused severe air traffic disruptions over southern Alaska; some air disturbances as far away as Texas; $160 million from ash fall and debris

Nevado Ruiz, Colombia
November 13, 1985
Dead: 23,000
Damage: Melting ice and snow produced mud flows, killing people in their paths

El Chichon, Mexico
March 28, 1982
Dead: Around 2,000

Mount St. Helens, Washington
May 18, 1980
Dead: 57
Damage: More than 230 square miles (600 square kilometers) of surrounding forest devastated

Volcán Paricutín, Mexico
1943-1952
Damage: Over nine years, covered about 100 square miles (250 square kilometers) with ash; destroyed town of San Juan

Nevado de Colima, Mexico
January 20, 1913

Katmai, Alaska
June 6-8, 1912
Damage: Pyroclastic flow buried everything within about 40 square miles (100 square kilometers); eruption created "Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes"

Mount Pelée, Martinique
May 6-8, 1902
Dead: 29,025
Damage: Among entire island population only 2 men survived pyroclastic flow—one was a prisoner in a badly ventilated underground cell

Soufriere, St. Vincent
May 7, 1902
Dead: 1,680
Damage: Eruption preceded by one day the Mount Pelee disaster about 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the north

Krakatau, Indonesia
August 1883
Dead: Around 30,000
Damage: Ash blanketed an area of 300,000 square miles (800,000 square kilometers); all vegetation stripped bare; immense series of tsunamis traveled as far as Hawaii and South America

Laki, Iceland
June 8, 1783
Dead: About 9,000
Damage: Historians noted haze from the eruption as far away as Syria, one-quarter of human population died in Iceland

Vesuvius, Italy
August 24, A.D. 79
Dead: Unknown
Damage: Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum completely buried. Cities' ruins and victims' remains were not discovered for more than 1,600 years.

Santorini, Greece
1470 B.C.
Damage: Eruption credited with sharp decline of Minoan civilization

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Tornadoes

La Plata, Maryland
April 28, 2002
Fujita scale intensity: F2, F4
Dead: 3
Injured: 122
Damage: More than $100 million

Oklahoma Outbreak
May 3, 1999
Fujita scale intensity: F3-F5
Dead: 47
Injured: More than 775

Pleasant Grove Tornado (Alabama)
April 8, 1998
Fujita scale intensity: F5
Dead: 32

Tornado Outbreak (Central Florida)
February 22-23, 1998
Fujita scale intensity: F0-F5
Dead: 32
Injured: 260

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
July 31, 1987
Fujita scale intensity: F4
Dead: 27

Super Outbreak (Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia)
April 3-4, 1974
Fujita scale intensity: F0-F5
Dead: 330
Injured: 5,484

Palm Sunday Outbreak (Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio)
April 11-12, 1965
Fujita scale intensity: F4-F5
Dead: More than 260
Injured: 3,400
Damage: More than $200 million

Flint Tornado (Michigan)
June 8, 1953
Fujita scale intensity: F5
Dead: 115
Injured: 844

Waco Tornado (Texas)
May 11, 1953
Fujita scale intensity: F5
Dead: 114
Injured: 597

Arkansas Outbreak (Arkansas, Tennessee)
March 21, 1952
Dead: More than 260
Injured: 3,400

Woodward Tornado Outbreak (Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas)
April 9, 1947
Fujita scale intensity: F5
Dead: 181
Injured: 970

Ohio Valley (Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia)
June 23, 1944
Dead: About 150
Injured: Over 800

Tupelo-Gainesville (Mississippi, Georgia)
April 5-6, 1936
Fujita scale intensity: F4
Dead: 454
Injured: 2,300

Northern Alabama
March 21-22, 1932
Dead: 268

Tri-State Tornado (Illinois, Indiana, Missouri)
March 18, 1925
Fujita scale intensity: F5
Dead: 689
Injured: More than 2,000
Damage: About $18 million (1925 dollars)

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
June 30, 1912
Dead: 28

Tornado Outbreak (Louisiana, Mississippi)
April 24, 1908
Fujita scale intensity: F4
Dead: 143
Injured: 770

New Richmond Tornado (Wisconsin)
June 12, 1899
Fujita scale intensity: F5
Dead: 117
Injured: 200

St. Louis Tornado (Illinois, Missouri)
May 27, 1896
Fujita scale intensity: F4
Dead: 255
Injured: 1,000

Natchez Tornado (Louisiana, Mississippi)
May 7, 1840
Fujita scale intensity: Undetermined
Dead: 317
Injured: 107

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Hurricanes

Hurricane Katrina
U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast, August 2005
Intensity at landfall: Category Four
Dead: over 1,000
Damage: over $125 billion (catastrophic damage to Louisiana and Mississippi from the hurricane and subsequent flooding; over 1 million people displaced)

Typhoon Toraji
Taiwan, China, July 2001
Dead: Estimated at more than 200
Damage: More than $100 million (U.S.)

Hurricane Floyd
North Carolina, September 1999
Intensity at landfall: Category Two
Dead: 57
Damage: About $6 billion

Hurricane Georges
Gulf of Mexico, October 1998
Intensity at landfall: Category Two

Hurricane Mitch
Central America, October 1998
Intensity at landfall: Category Five
Dead: Nearly 10,000

Hurricane Pauline
West coast of Mexico, October 1997
Intensity at landfall: Category Three
Dead: Over 200

Hurricane Fran
Southeast United States, September 1996
Intensity at landfall: Category Three
Damage: $5 billion

Hurricane Opal
Northwest Florida, Alabama, October 1995
Intensity at landfall: Category Three
Damage: $3 billion

Hurricane Iniki
Kauai, Hawaii, September 1992
Intensity at landfall: Category Four
Damage: $1.8 billion

Hurricane Andrew
South Florida, August 1992
Intensity at landfall: Category Five
Dead: 43
Damage: $25 billion (1992 dollars)

Hurricane Hugo
South Carolina, North Carolina, September 1989
Intensity at landfall: Category Four
Dead: 82
Damage: $7 billion

Hurricane Gilbert
Puerto Rico, Eastern Caribbean, September 1988
Intensity at landfall: Category Five
Dead: 318
Damage: $5 billion

Hurricane Liza
West coast of Mexico, September 1976
Intensity at landfall: Category Four
Dead: At least 630 people

Hurricane Agnes
Florida, entire Atlantic coast of U.S., July 1972
Intensity at landfall: Category One
Damage: $3.1 billion (record flooding from New York to Virginia—1972 dollars)

Hurricane Camille
U.S. South, August 1969
Intensity at landfall: Category Five
Dead: 256
Damage: $1.4 billion (1969 dollars)

Hurricane Beulah
Texas, September 1967
Intensity at landfall: Category One
Dead: 38
Damage: $100 million

Hurricane Betsy
Florida, Louisiana, September 1965
Dead: 75
Damage: $1 billion (1965 dollars)

Unnamed Hurricane
West coast of Mexico, 1959
Intensity at landfall: Category Four
Dead: More than 1,000

Hurricane Diane
Northeast United States, September 1955
Intensity at landfall: Category One
Damage: $831 million

Hurricane Hazel
South Carolina, October 1954
Intensity at landfall: Category Four
Damage: $2.8 billion (1954 dollars)

Galveston Hurricane
Galveston, Texas, September 1900
Intensity at landfall: Category Four
Dead: At least 10,000
Injured: At least 5,000
Damage: $30 million (1900 dollars)

Great Hurricane
Eastern Caribbean, October 1780
Dead: Estimated between 22,000-30,000

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