War/Battles/Insurgencies/Rebels/Civil Violence | Terrorism | Earthquakes | Hurricanes | Tornadoes | Volcanoes | Tsunamis | Pandemics

I. Introduction
II. 70 largest (> 100,000 deaths) Disasters in History; (Including wars with > 250,000 deaths.)
III. Significant or recent disasters with fewer than 100,000 casualties. (in chronological order)
    1500 | 1700 | 1900 | 1950 | 1968 | 1970 | 1990 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | Ongoing
Other Links (More detail on earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorism, ...)
IV. Natural Disasters
V. Mass Extinctions

This page is a part time hobby of mine started because I couldn't find similar data elsewhere. It's based on information from encyclopedias, almanacs, media reports and articles and web pages. Many of the death toll statistics are estimates with varying accuracy. I am always finding new data which differs from the original sources, so I can't guarantee it's accuracy.

19th and 20th Century Deaths (Millions)
Type Specific Occurrences
Below *
Other Estimates (a)
Wars 35 M 61 M 60 M Civilian and Military deaths in the 20th century according to Matthew Whites, Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century
Democide (Genocide, Rebellions, ...) * 7.5 M 80 M 180 M in last 200yrs. (d)
The 20th century includes 50 M (Mao), 20 M (Stalin), 11 M (Holocaust)
Famine(b) 51 M 32 M 5-15M per year Disease and Starvation from Hunger and Poverty. (See: Food First)
2.6M/yr. AIDS
Pandemic 10 M 46 M
Natural Disasters 21 M
(Incl. Drought)
World: 250K/yr
Drought 50%, Floods: 34%, Windstorms 6%, Earthquakes: 9%, Volcanoes: 0.5%, Landslides 0.3%, Avalanches 0.1% (Source: "The Vulnerable Become More Vulnerable" New York Times Week in Review, Jan. 2, 2005.)
Other sources report fewer deaths with earthquakes exceeding floods.
US: Heat: 32%, Flood: 22%, Lightning: 17%, Tornedo: 12%, Winter: 9%, Cold: 4%, Hurricane: 3%, Earthquake: 1% (See: US Weather Deaths)
Accidents 500 K 150K/yr Medical Mistakes,
100K/yr Auto Accidents. (c)
12 K 11K (1980-99 per State Dept.)
Average Population 1.3 B 3.4 B
* Data collection in the 19th century was not as good, so numbers are probably undercounted. (a) Rates/yr. are current, not average over last 2 centuries.
(b) Famine can be caused by Drought, Floods (in the case of N. Korea in 1995), insects and politics (e.g. Ukraine starvation caused by Stalin in 1926-37). The various sources I used were not consistent in categorizing them. For example the 2005 famine in Niger was caused by a combination of drought and a locust invasion.
(c) Accidents in the US:
44-98,000 Medical Mistakes per yr. (Infections in hospitals is largest) (See: Dr. Mercola's page)
42,000 Motor Vehicle deaths (1/3 are alcahol related) (See Cause of Death Stats, Transportation Deaths)
(d) Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book Out of Control: "Global Turmoil on the Eve Of The Twenty-first Century" puts the total between 167 to 175 million people. Professor Rudolph J. Rummel in his book: "Death By Government" gives a total of over 258 million.
Rummel calls democide government mass murder

US Natural disaster deaths per year 1960-1996: (Src: unl.edu)
flash floods  129     tornadoes   76
lightning      89     hurricanes  31
See Also: US Cause of Death.
I. Introduction

This page includes all events with more than 100,000 casualties. It also includes significant (recent or historically significant to Americans) events with fewer casualties. Concentration of and increases in population (the world population in 2000 was 10 times what it was in 1600) has resulted in higher death tolls.

Other pages have more information for specific categories. Human against human conflicts (civil wars, genocide, terrorism, ...) details are on the Wars, Battles, Civil Violence & Empires page and the Terrorism and Terrorist Groups page. Matthew White lists "The 25 highest percentages of national populations killed during periods of mass brutality" at his Twentieth Century Atlas Site. There are also Earthquake, Hurricane, Volcano, Tornado and other disaster pages here.
Terrorism data can be found in the following places:
  Major world terrorist attacks: Terrorism page
  Civil Wars and regonal conflicts (e.g. N. Ireland), Arab-Israeli conflict: Wars page.

II. Disasters resulting in 100,000 or more deaths
TypeDeathsDateWhat/WhereOther Ref
Pandemic 100 M 540-90 Justinian plague (1) Europe.  
Pandemic 75 M 1347-51 Black Death plague (1) Up to 1/3 of the population in Europe plus Asia and North Africa.  
Pandemic 60 M 1353-54 Black Death plague (1) China. 1/2 - 2/3 of population.  
Democide 30-50 M 1949-75 Mao's regime in China. (Includes Labor Camps, Cultural Revolution and other)  
Pandemic 50 M 1663-68 plague (1) Europe  
Famine 50 M 1876-79, 1896-97 Famine from drought as a result of El NiñoEl Nino in China, India, Brazil and across the Southern Hemisphere. Articles at Third World Netw., Victorian Holocausts.
Genocide 2-35 M 1311-40 Mongol extermination of Chinese  
Famine 30 M 1959-61 Northern China Famine Story
Pandemic 23 M 1978-2001 AIDS (HIV) - At the end of 2004 over 25 million had died from AIDS. In 2004 there were from 2.8 - 3.5 M deaths worldwide. New HIV infections peaked at 3.5 M in 1998, and were 2.5 M in 2007. Almost 33 Million were infected with HIV, 29 Million of those were in sub-saharan Africa. More
Pandemic 21-50 M 1918 Influenza -Worldwide (Spanish Flu) (3)  
Civil War 20 M 1850-64 Taiping Rebellion  
Democide 20 M 1926-53 Stalin's regime  
15-30 M yearly Worldwide - Lack of water, clothing, shelter, food or medicine. Food First
War 17-21M military 1939-45 WWII (Total 50M) Soldiers 17-21, Civilian 20, Civilian Sino-Japan 7-15. Democides: Hitler 15-21 Stalin 13, Natonalist Chinese 2 More
Civil War 20 M 1850-64 Taiping Rebellion - Hung Xiu-quan organized Chinese peasantry to topple the Qing dynasty.  
Famine 20 M 1907 China  
Famine 20 M 1960 China  
Famine 20 M 1969 China  
Slave Trade 15-20 M 1700-1865 Includes slaves who died in Africa before getting on a ship, those who died in transport and those who died in the first "seasoning" phase of slave labor. (More)
Famine 10 M 1769 Bengal, India.  
Civil War 9 M 1917-1922 Russian Communist Revolution (Russian Civil War)
Up to 40 M reported in some places.
War 10M military 1914-18 WWI (Total 15M including Armenian massacres and other related deaths)  
Pandemic 10+ M 1892-96 Plague (1) China-India
War 10-30 M 1931-42 Sino Japanese War. Mostly Chinese killed by japanese.  
Democide 7.5 M 1886-1908 Congo Freedom  
Genocide 6 M (66%) 1941-45 Holocaust - Hitler  
7 M (25%) 1926-37 Stalin's Forced Famine to stop Ukraine independence movement.
(Total including other atrocities under Stalins regime account for up to 40M)
1-12+ M 1650-1900 Native Americans (Indians) from disease and war. (2)
Indian Wars: 19 K whites, 40-50 K indians
Famine 5 M 1936 China  
War 4 M 1928-37 Civil War (Warlord & Nationalist era), China  
Flood 3.7 M 1931 tze-Kiang River, China  
Famine 3.5 M 1943 Bengal, India Drought  
Smallpox 3 M 1508-1518 Hispaniola  
Famine 3 M 1928-30 China Drought  
Famine 3 M 1941 China Drought  
War 2-3 M 1793-1815 Napoleonic Wars  
Flood 2 M 1959 China  
Famine 1.5-2 M 1921 Ukraine - Bolshevik government took grain from Ukrainian peasants and shipped it to Russia and other places.  
Pandemic 1-4 M 1957 Asian Flu (3)  
War 2.8 M 1950-53 Korean War  
Civil War 2.5 M 1946-50 China - Communist Revolution (Civil War)
Many more were killed during Mao's reign.
Famine 1-3 M 1995-98 North Korea  
Civil War 2 M 1985-2004 Sudan civil war pitting black Christians and animists in the south against the Arab-Muslims of the north has cost lives in war and famine-related deaths.  
Flood 2 M 1959 N. China  
Genocide 1.7 M 1975-79 Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Total deaths from several regimes in the years 1970-1980 was close to 4 M.  
Pandemic 400 K/yr. 1600-1800 Smallpox Europe  
Famine 1.5 M 1845-49 Ireland potato famine  
Famine 1.5 M 1965 India Drought  
Famine 1.5 M 1942 India Drought  
Democide 1.4 M 1900-20 Mexican Revolution  
Famine 1.25 M 1900 India Drought  
Famine 1.2 M 1921 Soviet Union Drought  
Genocide 1.1 to 1.8M
1915-17 Turkish troups killed Armenians in Ottoman lands. (Story)
War 1 M 135 Roman siege of Jerusalem (Many historians say the number was lower)  
War 1 M 1979-88 USSR - Afghanistan  
Flood 1 M 1887 Huayan Kou, China - Yang-tse Kiang flooding  
Earthquake 1 M 1201 Near East, Syria, Egypt  
Genocide 1M 1941-44 Yugoslavia -Nazis, Chetniks, Croatian Ustashi, and the communist Partisans and successor Tito regime committed massive democide. Story
Democide 1M 1966-76 Tibetans killed in Mao's Cultural Revolution
War 1M 1980-88 Iraq-Iran War
Famine 500 K -1 M 1984 Ethiopia Drought  
Biblical Flood 500K - 2 M 5000 BC Assuming the biblical flood affected 5-10% of the worlds population (5-20M) in the middle east.  
900K 1938 Yangtze Kiang dam blown up by KMT during Sino-Japanese war  
Flood 900K 1877 Huang He (Hwang Ho or Yellow) River China  
War 850K Military 1960-75 Vietnam ( 100K French, 58K American, 250K S. Vietnamese, 1M N Vietnamese and Viet Cong, 2M civillians [N. and S.])  
Earthquake 830K 1556 Shansi (Shensi), China  
Genocide 800 K 1994 Rwanda - Conflict between the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, and Tutsis resulted in the genocide of roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus.  
Pandemic 750 K 1968-9 Hong Kong Flu (3)  
War Battle 647 K 1942 The Battle of Stalingrad  
Civil War 600K 1861-65 US Civil War - 200 K killed in battle and 400 K killed by disease  
Earthquake 255-655K 1976 Tanashan (Tianjin) Earthquake- E. China (8.2)  
Flood 500K 1939 Honan province China  
Famine 500K 1920 China Drought  
Famine 500K 1965 India Drought  
Famine 500K 1966 India Drought  
Epedimic 500K 1870-71 France - Smallpox  
Famine 500K 1967 India Drought  
Cyclone 300-500K 1970 Ganges Delta isles, Bangladesh - Flood  
Civil War 350K 1998-2003 Warring factions (local and foreign) in the Congo
200-300K 1937 Japanese massacre -Nanking (Nanjing), China . Story
Typhoon 300K 1737 Calcutta, India (Was shown as an earthquake, but later determined to be a typhoon)  
Genocide 300K 1972-79 Amin, Idi Uganda
Earthquake 300K 1850 Sichuan, China
Typhoon 300K 1881 China
Genocide 200-300K 1991-95 The break-up of the Balkan State of Yugoslavia resulted in many deaths in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania. (Story)
See Wars for those with less than 250,000 killed
Earthquake 250K 526 Antioch, Syria  
See Wars for those with less than 250,000 killed
Earthquake 230K 1138 Syria  
Earthquake 230K 2010 Hati Magnitude 7.0  
Earthquake, tsunami 225K 2004 A 9.0 Earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami which spread over more than 10 countries in SE Asia and NE Africa. Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia were worst hit. The worst natural disaster since the 1976 8.2 earthquake in Eastern China. More
Cyclone 200K 1876 Bangladesh  
Earthquake 200K 1780 Iran  
Earthquake 200K 1927 Xining (Nanshan), China (magnitude 8.3)  
Earthquake 200K 856 Iran  
Famine 200 K 1973-74 Ethiopia - Drought  
Earthquake, Landslide 180K 1920 Gansu (Kansu), China (magnitude 8.6)  
Persecution 160K yearly In "Their Blood Cries Out", Paul Marshall states that a christian is killed every 3 minutes. Article
Earthquake 150K 893 Iran  
Earthquake 142K 1923 Shinsai or Great Quake, Kuato (Kwanto) plain, Yokohama, Great Tokyo Fire, Japan (8.3)  
Flood 142K 1935 Changiyang River, China  
Earthquake 140K 1730 Hokkaido, Japan  
Epidemic 130K 1775-82 Northamerica - Smallpox  
Cyclone Flood 138K 1991 Bangladesh. Tropical cyclone
Earthquake 110K 1948 Turkmenistan, Russa (magnitude 7.3)  
Earthquake 100K 1290 Chihi (Chihli), China  
Flood 100K 1099 The Netherlands and England A combination of high tides and storm waves on the North Sea flooded coastal areas.  
100 K 1883 Krakatoa, Indonesia. Volcano/island blows up. Most killed by tidal wave. 36K killed by Volcano.  
famine 100K 1181 Japan
flood 100K 1228 Holland
Earthquake 100K 1290 Chihli, China
Red River flood 100K 1971 Vietnam
III. Other Disasters (sorted by date)

A sample of significant (Either, US, highly publicized or events with a high death toll) or recent disasters with fewer than 100,000 casualties is listed below. See Wars, Battles, Civil Violence, Insurgencies, Rebels and Empires for more information and foreign civil wars with little US involvement. The Earthquake, Hurricane, and Terrorism pages have dates prior to 1700. Other Disasterlinks more data.
TypeDeathsDateWhat/WhereOther Ref
Plague   1350 BC Middle East - 30-40% of the population  
Witch Trials 70 K 1500-1700 Up to 70,000 people worldwide were executed for witchcraft. 35 were executed in colonial New England. 19 were hanged and 5 or more died in jail during the 1692 Salem (MA) Witch Trials. Story
Fire 17 K 1666 Great Fire of London Story
Earthquake 140K 1730 Hokkaido, Japan  
Epidemic 130K 1775-82 Northamerica - Smallpox  
Earthquake, Tsunami, Fire 77 K 1755 Lisbon, Portugal, Fire  
Hurricane 22 K 1780 Barbados, Martinique, St. Eustatius  
Volcano 92K 1815 Tambora Sumbawa, Indonesia  
epidemic 500K+ 1816-75 Women died of puerperal fever (result of a bacterial infection of the uterus) following childbirth. Incidence increased in the 19th century when women starting going to hospitals for childbirth. In the middle of the 19th century in the hospitals of Vienna, the major medical center of the world at that time, about one of every eight women died.  
epidemic ? 1832, 49, 66 US cholera epidemics  
Winter Storm 40 1846 Truckee CA, Donner Party. About half of the 81-member party perished.  
Marine 1,547 1865 Mississippi River, nr. Memphis, Tenn.: explosion on steamboat Sultana. Most of the dead were Union POWs finally heading home at the end of the Civil War.  
Fire 15-25 K 1871 Peshtigo, WI: Forest fire. 3.8 million acres burned. Web Page
Fire 2-300 1871 Great Chicago Fire. 100,000 lost their homes. Story.
100 K 1883 Krakatoa, Indonesia. Volcano/island blows up. Most killed by tidal wave. 36K killed by Volcano.  
Psychopaths 5 1888 London - Jack the Ripper strangled 3-7 prostitutes and was never caught. See Serial Killers
Racial Violence 5,000 + 1882-1968 White mobs in the Southern US lynched, burned, shot, and mutilated blacks and black sympathizers. See 1919 & 1965 and More Information
Blizzard 400 1888 East Coast: the "Blizzard of 1888." as much as 5 ft of snow. Damage was estimated at $20 million Story
Dam burst/
2,209+ 1889 Johnstown, Pa.: collapse of South Fork Dam.  
1-12+ M 1650-1900 Native Americans (Indians) from disease and war. (2) (See Wars page for more.)  
Volcano 30 K 1902 Mont Pelée in Martinique  
Tornadoes 39 May 1903 80 Tornadoes Kansas and Missouri  
Hurricane 6-8 K 1900 Galveston Hurricane - worst American natural disaster of the 1900's.  
Tornadoes 39 May 1903 80 Tornadoes Kansas and Missouri  
Marine 1,021 1904 General Slocum: excursion steamer burned in East River, N.Y..  
Earthquake 450-3,000 1906 San Francisco (magnitude c. 8.3) Story
Colonial conflict 54 K 1907 German South West Africa (now Nambia) - Germany puts down a revolt killing from 36-70% of the Herero population. Story
Mining 362 1907 Monongah, W. Va.: coal mine explosion. Mining Safety and Health Admin.
Asteroid ?? 1908 Tunguska fireball over central Siberia. (Probably an asteroid fragment 150-180 ft. in diameter exploding with the force of 2000 A bombs 6 miles up.) 1908 Siberia Explosion
Avalanche, Train 96 1910 Wellington, Wash.: two trains snowbound in Stevens Pass in Cascade Range swept off tracks into canyon 150 ft below.  
Marine 1,500 1912 Unsinkable British ocean liner, Titanic, went down on maiden voyage after colliding with an iceberg in the north Atlantic.  
Marine 1,024 1914 Empress of Ireland: sank after collision in St. Lawrence River.  
Train Wreck 227 1915 Gretna Green, Scotland. Collision between a passenger train and a wooden prop. List at InfoPlease
Marine 1,000 1915 Chicago - Excursion steamer, Eastland, tipped over in the Chicago River. Story
War battle/
1,198 1915 Lusitania: Cunard liner sailing from N.Y. to Liverpool, England, was sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland. 1,198 passengers and crew, 128 of them Americans, died. Unknown to the passengers, the ship was carrying a cargo of small arms. Disaster contributed to entry of the U.S. into World War I.  
War 10M military 1914-18 WWI  
Epidemic 7K 1916 US Polio  
Train Wreck 550 1917 Modane, France: Derailment of troop train near mouth of Mt. Cenis tunnel. List at InfoPlease
Train Wreck 101 1918 Nashville: 2-train collision. List at InfoPlease
Racial Violence 100+ 1919 In the summer of 1919, known as the Red Summer, there were twenty-six race riots in such cities as Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Elaine, Arkansas; Charleston, South Carolina; Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee; Longview, Texas; and Omaha, Nebraska plus overseas. There was an annual average of sixty-two lynchings for the years 1910 to 1919. See More Information
Epidemic 500K 1918 US: Spanish Flu Story
Racial Violence 300+ 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black business district is destroyed by white mob violence. See More Information
terrorist 45 1927 Bath, Mich. - Andrew Kehoe, who was resentful of the higher taxes that resulted from a school's construction bombed the school. See More Information
Tornadoes 689 Mar 1925 Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
Flood 246 1927 Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. 13% of Arkansas was covered by floodwater. $400 million in damages
Drought ? 1930's Dry regions stretched solidly from N.Y. and Pa. across the Great Plains to the Calif. coast. longest drought of 20th century. Peak periods were 1930, 1934, 1936, 1939, and 1940. During 1934, A great "dust bowl" covered 50 million acres in south-central plains during winter of 1935-1936.
Flood 250 1937 Mississippi and Ohio river floods affecting 12 states.  
Hurricane 700 1938 Great New England Hurricane  
World War II (See wars page for more)
War 17-21M military 1939-45 WWII (Total 50M) More
Panic 4K 1941 Air raid shelter Chungking China  
War battle 2,403 1941 Dec. 7 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  
fire 491 1942 Boston, Mass.: Coconut Grove nightclub fire. 
War battle/
9-10 K 1945 Wilhelm Gustloff: Nazi passenger ship, carrying German refugees and soldiers, was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea. World's largest marine disaster.  
War battle 120 K 1945 Atomic Bombs - Hiroshima & Nagasaki  
Tsunami 159 1946 Hilo, Hawaii - Tsunami trigered by an earthquake in the Aleutian islands.
Explosion 516 1947 Texas City, Tex.: a fire and subsequent explosion on the French freighter Grandcamp destroyed most of the city.  
War 44-72 K Military
50 K Civilian
1947- Arab-Israeli Wars  
Train Wreck 79 1950 Richmond Hill, N.Y.: One Long Island Railroad commuter train crashed into rear of another. List at InfoPlease
Train Wreck 85 1951 Woodbridge, N.J.: Pennsylvania Railroad commuter train plunged through temporary overpass. List at InfoPlease
Democide 12-14 K 1948-93 Apartheid in South Africa. 69 killed in 1969 riot in Sharpville.  
Epidemic 3K 1952 US Polio  
Smog 4K 1952 London, England: high-pressure system settled over London, trapping pollution near the ground. Some 4,000 people died in "Great Smog," mostly from respiratory and cardiac distress.  
1 1952 One engineer was killed when his rescue snowplow was hit by an avalanche trying to rescue passengers on a train snowbound in the Sierra Nevada for 3 days. Story
War 1-2 M 1950-53 Korea  
2000+ 1953 North Sea Storm. 1835 died in from flooding in Holland. 133 died when Princess Victoria sank on the way to Ireland. 300 died on UK mainland.  
Avalanche 56 1954 Blons, Audstria: avalanche hits town.  
Marine 1,000 1954 Commercial ferry, Toya Maru, sank in Tsugaru Strait, Japan.  
Marine 52 1956 Andrea Doria: Italian liner collided with Swedish liner Stockholm off Nantucket Island, Mass., and sank the next day. At least 52 died or were unaccounted for.  
Pandemic 1-4 M 1957 Influenza -Worldwide (Asian Flu) (3)  
Civil War 10-20 K 1958-67 Cuban Communist Revolution.
Rebellion 87K 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese  
Earthquake, Tsunami 2 K 1960 Chile (magnitude 9.5). 61 people were killed in Hilo Hawaii  
Typhoon 130 1962 Hong Kong: Typhoon Wanda killed 130 people, left 53 missing and sank or wrecked nearly 1,300 small ships.  
Military Accident 129 1963 North Atlantic: US atomic-powered submarine Thresher sank.  
Sports riot 300 1964 Lima, Peru: riot and panic following unpopular ruling by referee in Peru vs. Argentina soccer game. It is worst soccer disaster on record. Sports Disasters
Tsunami 11 1964 Crescent City - An Alaskan earthquake triggered a tsunami up to 20 feet tall that killed 120 people in all.
Psychopaths 11 1962-64 Boston - Thirteen single women in the Boston area were victims of either a single serial killer or possibly several killers. At least eleven of these murders were popularly known as the victims of the Boston Strangler. See Serial Killers
Tornadoes 256 Apr-65 Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.  
Famine 1.5 M 1965-67 Drought in India  
Racial Violence 195 1965-68 Racial Riots in LA (Watts 35), Newark, NJ (23), Detroit (43), Atlanta, Buffalo, Cambridge (Maryland), Cincinnati, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Tampa, and Plainfield (New Jersey). Twenty-eight other cities had serious disorders, lasting 1 to 2 days (More Information)
Space Accident 3 1967 Apollo 1: a fire aboard the space capsule on the ground at Cape Kennedy, Fla.  
War 15 K 1967 Six-Day War. 759 Israeli dead and 15,000 Arab Deaths. Story
Psychopaths 37+ 1966-69 CA - Zodiac Killer. Never caught. See Serial Killers, Story
Social Unrest ? 1968 Although only a few people were killed (with the exception of the Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico (see below). Two of the most well known Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were assinated. See Social unrest
Student Violence 4+ 1965-1970 Demonstrations against the Viet Nam war (mainly by students) culminated in a series of large scale riots at the Chicago 1968 Democratic Convention and in 1970 when four students were killed at Kent State after the National Gard was called in to stop a protest.  
Demonstration 500 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre - A student demonstration against the Diaz Ordaz regime ended in a storm of bullets in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas at Tlatelolco, Mexico City. 
Pandemic 750 K 1968-9 Influenza -Worldwide (Hong Kong Flu)  
Psychopaths 7 1969 Los Angeles - Charles Manson and his "family" of young women, including Leslie Van Houten & Squeaky Fromme, go on a killing spree, the most famous victim was actress Sharon Tate. See Serial Killers
Hurricane 256 1969 Hurricane Camille hits Cuba, Mississippi, Louisiana, & Alabama  
Avalanche 18K 1970 Yungay, Peru - Earthquake trigered a rock and snow avalanche  
Train Wreck 236 1970 Buenos Aires: Express train crashed into standing commuter train.  
Space Accident 3 1971 Soyuz 11: three cosmonauts, found dead in the craft after its automatic landing. Apparent cause of death was loss of pressurization in the space craft during reentry into the earth's atmosphere.  
Train Wreck 45 1972 Two Illinois Central commuter trains collided during morning rush hour near Chicago.  
Flood 238 1972 Rapid City, SD  
War 1.2-2.5 M 1964-73 Vietnam War  
Flood 6 1973 A storm droping 8" of rain in 6 hours floded North Plainfield as water came down from the Stony Brook canyon from the Watchung mountains, causing $80 M in damaages.  
Drought 200 K 1973-74 Ethiopia  
Tornadoes 315 Apr-74 11 states in the East, South, and Midwest. Largest number of tornadoes - 148.  
Hurricane 8 K 1974 Hurricane Fifi in Honduras  
Psychopaths 36 1974-78 Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, and Florida - Ted Bundy admitted killing 28 women but probably killed many more. See Serial Killers
Flood 140 1976 Big Thompson Canyon near Denver  
Aircraft Crash 583 1977 Ground crash in Tenerife, Canary Isl. List at InfoPlease
Psychopaths 6 1976-77 New York City - David Berkowitz, "the Son of Sam" shot to death 6 people, 5 of them young women. See Serial Killers
Cult Suicide 900 1978 Jim Jones' Peoples' Temple cult mass suicide in Jonestown Guyana. Cults
Dam Burst 5K 1979 Manchu River, India  
Democide 90 K 1971-79 Equatorial Guinea - President Francisco Macias Nguema brutal reign or terror. Up to 18% of population killed.  
Alpine Ski 4 1978 Squaw Valley Tram (Story)
Dam Burst 5K 1979 Manchu River, India  
Aircraft 272 1979 Chicago: American Airlines DC-10 crashed seconds after takeoff. List at InfoPlease
Volcano/Landslide 57 1980 Mt. St. Helens, OR.  
Building walkway collapse 113 1981 July 18, Kansas City, Mo.: suspended walkway in Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed.  
Terrorist 7 1982 Chicago area: Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules were laced with cyanide. 31 million bottles of Tylenol were eventually taken off the market. The murderer was never caught.  
Alpine Ski
12 1982 Alpine Meadows (Story)
fire 7 1982 Caldecott Tunnel near Oakland CA: A Honda car driven by an intoxicated driver struck the raised curbs inside the tunnel and came to rest at the left edge of the roadway. It was struck by a gasoline tank truck and then by an AC Transit bus. 
Stampede 340 1982 Moscow. Stampede at a soccer game. Stadium Disasters
Train Wreck 120 1982 Tepic, Mexico: Nogales-Guadalajara train plunged down mountain gorge.  
Tsunami 104 1983 Japan - Tsunami spawned from a nearby earthquake.
Terrorist 241 Marines 1983 Bombing of U.S. military barracks at Beirut airport  
Drought 1 Million 1984 Ethiopia  
Industrial Accident 2-3K 1984 Bhopal, India: Toxic gas, methyl isocyanate, seeped from Union Carbide insecticide plant. Up to 20,000 others may have died since from the effects of the leak.  
Volcano/ Avalanche (mud) 23K 1985 Small eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, Colombia  
Police Bombing 11 1985 In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a group called "MOVE" was charged with making too much noise and having strange habits. When the police tried to evict them, they resisted. The Mayor and FBI dicided to bomb them out.  
Earthquake 5-10 K 1985 Mexico City (magnitude 8.1) Story
Tornadoes 75 May-85 PA and Ohio  
Terrorism 329 1985 Air India flight 182 (Toronto to Bombai via London) exploded in flight. Evidence pointed to Sikh extremists.  
Nuclear Accident 31+ 1986 Chernoble, Ukrainian. Nuclear power plant reactor melt down. (Story)
Space Accident 7 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle: exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all 7 crew members. A booster leak, caused by a seal failure due to cold weather, ignited the fuel, causing the explosion.  
Radiation 4 1987 Goiania, Brazil: 244 people contaminated with cesium-137 that was removed from a steel cylinder taken from a cancer-therapy machine in an abandoned clinic and sold as scrap. Four people died in worst radiation disaster in Western Hemisphere.  
Marine 4,000 1987 Passenger ferry, Dona Paz, collided with oil tanker Victor off Mindoro Is., 110 mi south of Manila, Philippines.  
Human Smuggling 18 1987 Iowa - 18 dead illegal aliens found locked in a railroad car. The car left Matamoros, Mexico, in June and was parked in Oklahoma until being sent to Iowa in Oct. where the bodies were found. More Information.
Genocide 50-100 K 1988 Iraq's Anfal campaign against the Kurds using gas.  
Earthquake 25 K 1988 Armenia, USSR (mag. 6.9)
Marine 166 1988 North Sea off Scotland: 166 workers killed in explosion and fire on Occidental Petroleum's off-shore oil and gas platform "Piper Alpha". It is the world's worst offshore oil disaster.
Heat Wave 5-10 K 1988 Central and Eastern US drought and heat wave.  
Fire 0 1988 Yellowstone Fire burned 793,000 acres (36% of the park's total acreage). $3 million in property damage.
Terrorist 270 1988 Bomb planted in N.Y.-bound Pan-Am Boeing 747 which crashed at Lockerbie, Scotland  
Industrial Accident 1989 Prince William Sound, Alaska: tanker Exxon Valdez hit an undersea reef and released 10 million plus gallons of oil into the waters. Cost of Cleanup $2.1 Billion Story
Demonstration 241-1,000+ 1989 Beijing, China, Tiananmen Square (Story)
Aircraft Crash 111 1989 Sioux City, Iowa: United Airlines DC-10 crashed during an emergency landing. Out of a total of 296 aboard, 111 were killed, 172 were injured, and 13 escaped unharmed. List at InfoPlease
Train Wreck 400 1989 Ufa, Russia. A gas explosion erupted beneath two trains.  
Stampede 95 1989 Sheffield, England. Stampede at a soccer game when police open gates to alleviate crowding outside Hillsborough Stadium. Stadium Disasters
Stampede 1,426 1990 Mecca, Saudia Arabia. A stone-throwing ritual at the annual Hajj pilgrimage resulted in a stampede.  
Earthquake/Landslide 40-50 K 1990 Iran
Psychopaths 15+ 1978-91 Milwaukee, WI - Jeffrey Dahmer murdered, raped, and dismembered young men. See Serial Killers
War 50-100 K 1990-91 Gulf War ("Desert Storm") See Wars
Civil War 400 K 1991-93 Somalia - Civil War. 18 U.S. Rangers died in a battle in Mogadishu, in 1993  
Fire 13 1991 Oakland Hills Damages $2.2 B
Flood 138K 1991 Bangladesh. Tropical cyclone
Auto pileup 17 1991 Coalinga, Calif.: a massive traffic accident during a severe dust storm involved 104 vehicles in a pileup on Interstate 5.
Volcano 800 1991 Pinatubo, Philippines.
Floods & Mudslide 6K 1991 Leyte, Philippines.
Auto pileup 17 1991 Coalinga, Calif.: a massive traffic accident during a severe dust storm involved 104 vehicles in a pileup on Interstate 5.
Race Riot 54 1992 Race riots in Watts region of Los Angeles following acquittal of police in Rodney King beating
FBI siege 3 1992 FBI battle with suspected white supremacist Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge Idaho resulted in the death of his wife and son. An agent was also killed when a friend of Randy's shot back in self defence.  
Civil War 80 K 1992 El Salvador - FMLN signed a peace accord that ended 12 years of civil war.
Blizzard 270 1993 Eastern US: "storm of the century"  
Train Wreck 47 1993 Mobile, Ala.: Amtrak's Sunset Limited, en route to Miami, jumped rails on weakened bridge and plunged in Big Bayou Canot. List at InfoPlease, Story
Cult battle with ATF and FBI 100 Apr-93 David Koresh and the Branch Davidian religious sect in Waco, Texas. FBI stormed the compound after a failed ATF raid. Most were killed in the resulting fire.
Terrorist 6 1993 World Trade Center Bomb  
fire 187 1993 Bangkok, Thailand: fire in doll factory. World's deadliest factory fire. 
Human Smuggling 10 1993 Queens, NY - The freighter Golden Venture carrying 138 Chinese immigrants ran aground and 10 died trying to swim to shore. More Information.
Earthquake 71 1994 Northridge, CA $15 B in damages
Tornadoes 42 Mar-94 Ala., Ga., and N.C.  
Marine 900 1994 Passenger ferry, Estonia, capsized off coast of southwest Finland and sank in a stormy Baltic Sea. Only about 140 of the estimated 1,040 passengers aboard survived.  
Fire 13 1994 Storm King fire (also known as the South Canyon Fire) near Glenwood Springs, CO. A sudden change in wind direction and speed (gusting to 47 MPH) caused a wall of flame moving at at a speed of about 30 feet per sec. trapping firefighters. Story
Aircraft Crash 132 1994 Aliquippa, Pa.: USAir Boeing 737 crashed into a ravine shortly before it was supposed to land at Pittsburgh International Airport. List at InfoPlease
Cult Suicide 74 1994-97 The "Solar Temple" cult led by Luc Joret, a supposed homeopathic healer who lectured about "New Age" theories, nutrition and parenting. 53 shot and stabed in Switzerland near Geneva; 5 in Canada 45 miles from Montreal; 16 in France in 1995; 5 near Quebec City, Canada in 1997. Story
Earthquake 6000 1995 Kobe - magnitude 7.2  
Flood 186 1995 N. Korea - Worst rains of the century flooded 40% of the total farmland, destroying 1.5 million tons of grain and leaving 500,000 homeless.  
Domestic Terrorist 168 1995 Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing by Timothy McVeigh  
Train Wreck 300 1995 Firozabad, northern India: a speeding passenger train rammed another train that was stalled after hitting a cow.
Blizzard 187 1996 Eastern US  
AIrcraft Crash 230 1996 Coast of Long Island, N.Y.: TWA Boeing 747-100, Flight 800, bound for Paris from N.Y. exploded over waters of eastern L.I. and crashed into Atlantic Ocean. Explosion was atributed to a spark from an electrical wire in a fuel tank. List at InfoPlease
AIrcraft Crash 110 1996 Everglades, Fla.: ValuJet DC-9 went down in swamp. Cargo fire caused by oxygen generators missing safety caps. List at InfoPlease
Stampede 80 1996 Guatemala City. Stampede at World Cup qualifying match. Fake tickets may have resulted on overcrowding.  
Mountaineering 15 1996 Mt. Everest, Nepal: The worst single loss of life on Everest. On May 10-11 8 climbers died near summit during a storm on mountain. See
Building Collapse 206 1996 Seoul, Korea: five-story wing of Sampoong Department Store collapsed.  
Cult Suicide 39 1997 The "Heaven's Gate" cult led by Marshall Applewhite in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. They thought that by killing themselves they could migrate to a huge UFO that accompanied the comet Hale-Bopp. Story
Terrorist 19 1996 Truck bomb at U.S. Base (Khobar Towers) In Saudi Arabia  
Hurricane 11 K 1998 Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and Nicaragua. More than $5 B in damages in Honduras.  
Psychopaths 3 1978-95 IL, NY, UT, TN, CA, WA, MI - Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski, sent mail bombs to various people, killing three and wounding 29. See Serial Killers
Terrorist 224 1998 U.S. Embassies at Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania bombed.  
Train Wreck 100 1998 Eschede, Germany. A high-speed train traveling from Munich to Hamburg derailed. List at InfoPlease
Flood 43 1998 Midwest. $12 B in damages.  
Floods 4,150 1998 China - flooding in heavily populated areas along the Yangtze River and in the northeast during the summer rainy season.  
Famine 1-3 M 1994-1998 N. Korea - The government in Pyongyang blamed it on a "loss of socialist markets" (i.e. Russian Aid), but a series of floods and drought may be the main reason. Story at Asian Times
Tsunami 3 K 1998 Papua, New Guinea - A 7.1 magnitude earthquake 15 miles offshore was followed within 10 minutes by a Tsunami some 40 feet tall.
AIrcraft Crash 229 1998 Nova Scotia, Canada: Swissair McDonnell Douglas MD-11, from N.Y. to Geneva crashed off Canadian coast. List at InfoPlease
Alpine ski 20 1998 A Marine jet sliced a gondola cable in the Italian Alps.  
Aircraft Crash 217 1999 Nantucket Island: EgyptAir Boeing 767-300, Flight 990, from N.Y. to Cairo crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The NTSB blamed the crash on the co-pilot, but stoped short of saying it was a suicide mission, as was suspected. List at InfoPlease
fire 42 1999 Chamonix, France: Belgian truck carrying margarine and flour broke out in flames in the Mont Blanc tunnel, trapping dozens of cars.  
marine 21 1999 Interlaken: 21 people drowned while whitewater canyoning when a flash flood surprised them as they made their way down a narrow gorge near Interlaken in the Bernese Alps. 
Earthquake 17 K 1999 Izmit, Turkey (magnitude 7.4)
Landslide 30 K 1999 Venezuela
Psychopaths 13 1999 Columbine, CO - 12 students and a teacher shot to death by two students at Columbine High School near Denver. See Mass Murderers
Genocide 3-5 K 1999 East Timor - Killed by Indonesia militia and pro-Indonesian forces after a vote for independence. More than 200,000 displaced.  
Hurricane 75 1999 Hurricane Floyd. $6 B damages in the US. Bound Brook, Raritan and Manville flooded by Raritan River. 13 in. of rain fell in Somerville during a two day period.  
Tornadoes 41 May-99 Oklahoma and Kansas  
Train Wreck 285 1999 Gaisal, India.  
Flood 10-30 K 1999 Northern Venezuela and Columbia  
10 K 1999 Eastern India - Cyclone - a 5-meter tide that penetrated 26 km inland.  
Avalanche 30 1999 Galtuer (Galtür), Austria: Two avalanches converged into a massive slide that smashed dozens of homes and automobiles.  
2000 Disasters at InfoPlease
TypeDeathsDateWhat/WhereOther Ref
Terrorist 17 2000 The warship USS Cole was bombed in the harbor in Yemen.  
Typhoon 11 2000 Aug. 22 - Super Typhoon Bilis slammed into Taiwan with sustained winds of more than 160 mph and gusts more than 200 mph.  
fire 156 2000 Kaprun, Austria: cable car transporting skiers to the Kitzsteinhorn glacier broke into flames while moving through mountain tunnel. Austria's worst Alpine disaster.  
Fire 0 2000 The Cerro Grande Fire of 2000 was the largest wildfire that New Mexico has ever known. The fire swept across 47,000 forested acres in Bandelier National Monument, the Santa Fe National Forest, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County, and the Santa Clara and San Ildefonso Indian Reservations, causing about $1 billion in property damage. Story
Human Smuggling 58 2000 58 people from Fujian, China were found suffocated in a truck at the British port of Dover.  
Military Accident 118 2000 The nuclear submarine Kursk sank in the Barents Sea.  
Typhoon 11 2000 Aug. 22 - Super Typhoon Bilis slammed into Taiwan with sustained winds of more than 160 mph and gusts more than 200 mph.  
Flood 700 2000 Mozambique and Zimbabwe. - 280,000 were left homeless.  
2001 Disasters at InfoPlease
Terrorist 3063 2001 Sept 11 Attacks - 2830 World Trade Center (Incl. 343 firefighters and 78 other uniformed rescuers), 189 Pentagon, 44 UA flight 93, (Includes passengers and crew on hijacked planes).  
Terrorist 5 2001 Wash. DC: Anthrax  
Stampede 120 2001 Ghana. Stampede at a soccer game when police fired teargas after fans hurled missiles near the end of the game. Stadium Disasters
Aircraft Crash 260 2001 Queens, N. Y.: American Airlines Airbus A-300 bound for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, crashed into residential neighborhood minutes after taking off from JFK International Airport. List at InfoPlease
Marine 9 2001 U.S. submarine Greeneville collided with Japanese fishing boat, Ehime Maru, near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Twenty-six people aboard the Ehime Maru were rescued; nine others, including four students, were presumed dead.  
2002 Disasters at InfoPlease
Marine 1,863 2002 Joola: overloaded Senegalese ferry capsized off the coast of Gambia. Only 64 passengers were rescued.  
Terrorist 200 2002 Bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia.  
Avalanche 150 2002 Karmadon Gorge, North Ossetia, Russia: an avalanche caused by a 500-foot chunk of glacier.  
Train Fire 361 2002 Ayyat, Egypt: Fire after gas cylinder used for cooking exploded aboard crowded passenger train.
Fire 0 2002 The Biscut fire in the Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon burned 500,000 acres. It was sparked by a lightning strike July 13. $170 million in damages. biscuitfire.com
Psychopaths 10 2002 Wash DC, VA - Beltway Snipers, John Lee Malvo and John Allen Muhammad were responsible for 13 shootings -- 10 of them fatal -- in the Washington area and in six others across the country.  
Train Wreck 200 2002 Msagali, Tanzania: runaway passenger train collided with freight train on same track.
Ethnic violence 2,000+ 2002 Gujarat, India - A Muslim mob set fire to a train carrying Hindus, killing 59 people. Hindu retaliation attacks claimed over 2,000, mostly Muslim, lives. More Information.
Illegal immigration 400 2002 400 Mexicans died in 2002 trying to reach the US. More Information.
2003 Disasters at InfoPlease
Nightclub Fire 100 2003 West Warwick, RI: Stage fireworks ignited the flammable soundproofing foam on the ceiling.  
Space Accident 7 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle broke up on reentering Earth's atmosphere on its way to Kennedy Space Center, killing all seven crew members. Foam insulation fell from the shuttle during launch, damaging the left wing. On reentry hot gases entered the wing, leading to the destruction of the space craft.  
Pandemic 812 2003 SARS Virus - Nov. 2002 - Jul 2003. 15% death rate. Stats
Terrorist 34 2003 Car bomb at housing complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  
Heat Wave 35-70K 2003 Heat Wave in Europe  
Terrorist 50 2003 Bombings in Istanbul, Turkey: two Jewish synagogues killed 23. Less than a week later 27 killed in bombs outside the British consulate and the British-owned HSBC bank.  
Earthquake 2-3K 2003 Algeria 6.8 Earthquake  
Earthquake 2 2003 6.5 earthquake near San Simeon, CA  
Earthquake 40K 2003 6.6 earthquake in Bam, Iran  
Solar Flare 2003 X17.2 flare in Oct.  
Earthquake 1 2003 Hokkaido, Japan - Magnitude 8.1  
Typhoon 32 2003 Sept. 2 - Dujuan, a Category 3 typhoon with 200 mph. winds swept through Taiwan and then southern China.  
Marine 10 2003 Staten Island ferry slammed into a pier amid high wind. The pillars broke off and ripped through the side of the boat.  
Fire 22 2003 Thirteen forest fires burned for two weeks, primarily in San Diego County, Ventura County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County, burning 800,000 acres. More than 3,500 homes were destroyed, and damages were estimated at more than $2 billion. The Cedar Fire in San Diego, which burned through 200,000 acres, was the largest fire in California's history. Several of the fires are blamed on arsonists.  
Human Smuggling 19 2003 S. Texas - 19 illegal aliens die locked in the back of a truck in the hot sun. More Information.
Psychopaths 40 1993-2003 PA, NJ - Charles Cullen, a nurse, killed up to 40 patients. The later ones were killed with injections of digoxin, a heart drug. See Serial Killers
Flooding, Landslides 200 2003 Philippines  
Civil War 350 K 1998-2003 Congo. - Up to 3.3 M died of starvation and disease. See wars.
2004 Disasters at InfoPlease | Terrorism Page.
Stampede 244 2004 Feb. 1, Mecca, Saudia Arabia. A stone-throwing ritual at the annual Hajj pilgrimage resulted in a stampede. This has happened in the past. See 1990.  
Train Wreck 300 2004 Northeastern Iran. Runaway train cars filled with fuel and chemicals derailed and exploded, destroying five nearby villages. List at InfoPlease
Earthquake 628 2004 Northeastern Morocco/strait of Gibraltar: Feb 24 - Magnitude 6.5
Earthquake 33 2004 Niigata, Japan: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake, the deadliest in more than a decade, : Oct 23 - Magnitude 6.6
Marine 115 ? 2004 Manila, Philippines: Feb 28 - A superferry carrying over 800 passengers caught fire. Over 100 were reported missing.
Terrorism 191 2004 Madrid, Spain - Co-ordinated train bombings by Moroccan members of Al Qaeda  
Terrorism 326 2004 Southern Russia - Chechen rebels took more than 1,200 hostages in a school. See terrorism.  
Train explosion 154 2004 N. Korea - An explosion of a train carrying explosive materials damaged the area around the train yard.  
Floods 3,300 2004 Hati, Dominican Republic. May-June  
Floods 1,029 2004 China - Thru out the country during the summer rainy season. 773 people died in mountain areas.  
Hurricanes 1,000+ 2004 Charlie 15 in Florida, Frances - 14 in Florida, Ivan 113 in Grenada, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, Florida Keys, LA, AL, NJ, PA., Jeanne 1,100 in Hati See Hurricane page
Typhoon 650 2004 Philippines
Earthquake, tsunami 225,000
2004 A 9.0 Earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami which spread over more than 10 countries in SE Asia and NE Africa. Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia were worst hit. More
2005 Disasters
Train Wreck 9 2005 Two freight trains collided in Graniteville, SC, and released chlorine gas from tanker cars. 250 people received treatment after being exposed to the gas, 33 remained hospitalized, 2 in critical condition.
Winter Storm
30+ 2005 California: A steady stream of wind, rain and snow hit Calif. from Dec. 27, 2004 to Jan 12, 2005. 10 are dead and 6 missing from mudslide in La Conchita. 5 died in an avalanch in Park City, Utah. Others died in storm related auto accidents, and drownings. Over 19 ft. of new snow at Tahoe in a 2 week period (the most snowfall in 90 years) posed danger from potential avalanches. 7 died in Arizona and there were also deaths in Nevada and Western Colorado.
Train Wreck 11 2005 A passenger train near Los Angeles hits a SUV left on the track by a man who was going to commit suicide then decided not.
Winter Storm 20 2005 Eastern US, A blizzard blanketed parts of the Northeast with snow depths up to 38 in.
Stampede 250 2005 Wai, India: A stampede at a Hindu procession to the Mandhara Devi.
Psychopaths 9 2005 Red Lake Indian Reservation, MN - Scool shooting. See Mass Murderers
Terrorist 55+ 2005 London - Bombs went off in 3 underground (subway) stations and a bus. They wounded 700. An Al Qaeda group claimed responsibility. Attacks seemed to be timed to coincide with G8 talks in Scotland. See Mass Murderers
Earthquake/ Tsunami 1,000 2005 Sumatra, Indonesia - 8.7 Earthquake
Stampede 965 2005 Bagdad, Iraq - Iraqui pilgrims die in a stampede on a Bagdad bridge.
Earthquake 612 2005 Iran - 6.4
Earthquake 2005 Off the Calif. coast - 7.2
Terrorist 90 2005 Sharm El Sheik, Red Sea Resort, Egypt
Monsoon 200 2005 India
Hurricane 1,200+ 2005 Hurricane Katrina - LA, MS, AL see hurricanes
Hurricane 100+ 2005 Hurricane Rita - Texas, Lousiana see hurricanes
Earthquake 73K 2005 Pakistan, Afghanistan, India - 7.6. - 3 Million homeless
Hurricane/Mudslide 1,500 2005 Guatemala, El Salvador - Maya village was completely destroyed in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Stan
2006 Disasters
stampede 360 2006 Mecca, Saudi Arabia: a stampede by pilgrims on the annual hajj killed at least 360. 
Marine 1,000+ 2006 A fire on a Red Sea ferry, enroute from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, caused it to sink 60 miles off the Egyptian coast, killing more than 1,000 of the 1,400 on board.
Mudslide 1,200+ 2006 Guinsaugon, Philippines: a mudslide caused by the collapse of a mountain engulfed the town of Guinsaugon, burying more than 1,000 people.
Psychopath 5 2006 Bart Township, Pa - Five young Amish girls are dead, and five more are seriously injured, after being shot by a heavily armed milk truck driver.
Earthquake 5,000+ 2006 Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia - 6.3
War 1,445 2006 Israel - Lebanon Conflict (1,287 Lebanese and Hezbollah plus 158 Israelis)
2007 Disasters
Earthquake 52 2007 Solomon Islands - 8.1  
Earthquake 514 2007 Peru - 8.0
Psychopath 33 2007 A Virginia Tech student killed 32 fellow students and then himself in the most deadly shooting rampage in U.S. history.
Flood 600+ 2007 West Bengal, India
Bridge collapse 9 2007 Minneapolis, Minn. - An eight-lane interstate bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River.
Fire 60+ 2007 200+ fires in Greek countryside
Fire 7 2007 24 Wildfires in Southern California. As of Oct. 24th it had scorch more than 500,000 acres, burned more than 1,500 homes, caused the evacuation of more than 900,000 people and was far from being controlled.
Flood 3,500 2007 Bangladesh - Cyclone
Psychopath 8 2007 Omaha, Nebraska - Gunman kills 8 in department store 
2008 Disasters
Tornedos 79 2008 55 - Feb. Tenn., Ark., Ala., Ky., Mo.
20 - May - Okla., Mo., Ga.
4 Boy Scouts - June - Iowa
Psychopath 6 2008 Northern Illinois University shooting. 
Train accident 72 2008 Jinan, Shandong China - A high-speed passenger train jumped the track hitting another train. 
Cyclone 78-130 K 2008 Myanmar  
Earthquake 65 K- 88 K 2008 SW Sichuan province, China (magnitude 7.9) 
Train wreck 25 2008 a metrolink commuter train collides with a freight train northwest of Los Angeles. 
2009 Disasters
Marine 200 2009 passenger ferry sinks off the coast of the Indonesia
Earthquake 200 2009 Magnitude 6.3 earthquake in central Italy
Aircraft 228 2009 Air France Airbus A330 disappears somewhere off the northeast coast of Brazil with 228 passengers on board
Typhoon/ mudslide 600 2009 Southern Taiwan
Earthquake 115 2009 Magnitude 8.0 earthquake in Samoa
Earthquake 1,000 2009 Magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia
Flooding/ mudslide 140 2009 El Salvador - low-pressure storm.
Terrorist/ psychopath 12 2009 Ft. Hood, Texas - 12 soldiers shot and killed and 31 wounded by Major Malik Nadal Hasan, an army psychiatrist.
2010 Disasters
Earthquake 230 K 2010 Hati - 7.0
Earthquake 700 2010 Chili - 8.8
Genocide 500 2010 massacre of Christians by Muslims- Jos, Nigeria
Disease and Starvation 5-15
Disease and Starvation from Hunger and Poverty. According to a 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine, 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die unnecessarily every year from medical mistakes made by health care professionals. More
Hospital Accidents 44-98 K yearly According to a 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine, 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die unnecessarily every year from medical mistakes made by health care professionals. More
Accidents 42 K yearly US - Deaths from car accidents
Earthquakes 10 K yearly Long term average total worldwide deaths from earthquakes. Explore Zone
Murders of females in India 7-20 K yearly In India according to government statistics, husbands and in-laws angry over small dowry payments killed nearly 7,000 Hindu women in India in 2001. Another 1,000 female babies are killed and more aborted. Nisha Sharma story
Epidemic 23M 1978- AIDS - At the end of 2004 more than 23 million had died and there were about 3 million deaths per year. See AIDS above
Epidemic 800+ 1976- Ebola virus, a hemorrhagic fever causing severe internal bleeding. 50 to 90 percent of the victims in Africa die.
1976: 340 deaths - The first recorded outbreak in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (formerly called Zaire); 1979: 22 - Sudan; 1995: 316 - Kikwit, DRC; 1997; 10 - Gabon; 2000: 224 - Gulu, Uganda; 2001: 23 - DRC; 2005: 9 - DRC.
Disease 150 1990- Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) (Mad Cow Illness) 150 deaths as of Jan. 2006  
Epidemic 153 1997- Bird Flu - From Jan. 2004 - Nov 2006 a total of 153 deaths from the H5N1 avian flu virus have been reported in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and China. More Info.
Epidemic 280 2005 Uige, Angola The deadliest outbreak of Marburg haemorrhagic fever, similar to the deadly Ebola virus.
Civil War hundreds 1993- Somalia - Ethiopian troops backing the Somali government clash with Islamist insurgents. Many die from disease and malnutrition.
Epidemic 610 K yearly Rotavirus - Mostly children. Many of the deaths are from diarrhea caused by rotavirus. Africa, Asia, Packistan, and Afghanistan have the most cases.
Famine thous-
2005 Niger - famine from locust invasion and prolonged drought  
Air pollution400K-750K2005- Premature deaths per year from pollution-related illness in China's large cities. see World Bank Rpt suppressed
Civil War2 M1985-2004 Sudan civil war pitting black Christians and animists in the south against the Arab-Muslims of the north has cost lives in war and famine-related deaths. see Sudan-Darfur
Genocide 250-400 K 2001- Sudan - Arab govt. has armed nomadic Arab herdsmen, or Janjaweed, against rival African tribes, Massaleit and others, in Darfur, western Sudan. see Sudan-Darfur
Civil War 150 K 1991- Algeria - Conflict between the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and existing government. See wars.
War 986 Coalition 2001- Afghanistan ( Operation Enduring Freedom - War against Terrorism) See Wars
War 40 K 2003- Iraq War See Iraq War
Civil Violence 600 2004- Hati. Violence since President Aristide left the second time in March 2004.
Drug Violence 43 K 2006- Mexican Drug Violence
1. pandemics of bubonic plague
2. Diseases afflicting American Indians from 1520-1918 were smallpox, measles, bubonic plague, influenza, tuberculosis. The number affected was from 1 - 10 M according to Dobyns (1983).
David E. Stannard states in American Holocaust: Columbus and the Conquest of the New World, 1992:
"Today, few serious students of the subject would put the number of Native Americans north of Mexico at less than 8,000,000 to 12,000,000, while one of the most well-regarded specialists puts the number at 18,000,000."
(Ed.: The population was down to 200-500,000 by the early 1900's.) "

3. Influenza Pandemics
Date Strain Deaths
US World
1918-19 H1N1 - Spanish Flu 500,000 21-50 M
1957-58 H2N2 - Asian Flu 60,000 1 M
1968-69 H3N2 - Hong Kong 40,000 750 K
1997- H5N1, H9N2, H7N7, H7N2, H7N3 - Avian influenza (Bird Flu) none 60
K=1,000, M=Million
Note 1: Some sources report up to 4 Million worldwide flu deaths in 1957-58
See Flu under health.

Natural Disasters with highest death toll since 1750 (M-Million, K-1,000) (excluding drought) Top
See Earthquakes and Volcanoes for dates prior to 1750.
1. Flood 3.7 M 1931 Yangtze-Kiang River, China
2. Flood 2 M 1959 N. China
3. Flood 900K 1877 Huang He (Hwang Ho or Yellow) River N. China
4. Flood 500K 1939 Honan province China 1
5. Cyclone, Flood 300-500K 1970 Ganges Delta isles, Bangladesh
6. Earthquake 255-655K 1976 Tanashan (Tianjin) Earthquake- E. China (8.2)
7. Earthquake 300K 1850 Sichuan, China
8. Earthquake, tsunami 225K+ 2004 A 9.0 Earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a tsunami which spread over more than 10 countries in SE Asia and NE Africa. Sri Lanka, India, and Indonesia were worst hit. More information.
9. Earthquake 200K 1927 Xining (Nanshan), China (magnitude 8.3)
10. Earthquake, Landslide 200K 1920 Gansu (Kansu), China (magnitude 8.6)
11. Earthquake 142K 1923 Shinsai or Great Quake, Kuato plain, Great Tokyo Fire Japan (8.3)
12. Flood 142K 1935 Changiyang River, China
13. Cyclone Flood 138K 1991 Bangladesh. Tropical cyclone
14. Earthquake 110K 1948 Turkmenistan, Russa (magnitude 7.3)
15. Volcano, Earthquake, Tsunami 100K 1883 Java (Krakatoa volcano)
16. Flood 100K 1911 Yangtze River, China
17. Volcano 92K 1815 Tambora Sumbawa, Indonesia
18.Earthquake 83K 1908 Messina, Italy (7.5)
19.Earthquake, Tsunami, Fire 77K 1755 Lisbon, Portugal (c. 8.7)
20.Earthquake 70K 1932 Gansu, China (7.6)
Deaths 1900-2004
Drought Floods Earthquakes Windstorms Tsunamis Volcanoes Hurricanes
10M 7M 1.9M 1.2M 257K 96K 53K
(Source: "The Vulnerable Become More Vulnerable" New York Times Week in Review, Jan. 2, 2005)

Note: Some people include drought under natural disasters. The table above lists disasters that occur usually unexpectedly over a short period of time.

1. Columbia's China Floods page lists 500 K died in 1938 from floods on the Huang He River, The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) page Top 25 Natural Disasters in China lists 500 K died in 1939 in Honan Province from the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

US Natural disaster deaths per year 1960-1996: (Src: unl.edu)
flash floods  129     tornadoes   76
lightning      89     hurricanes  31
See Also:
The Most Deadly 100 Natural Disasters of the 20TH Century at disastercenter.com
The worst Natural Disasters ever
Disasters List at the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance / Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters' (OFDA/CRED) Emergency Disasters Data Base (EM-DAT)
US Weather Fatalities
Fact Monster, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Highest Magnitude Earthquakes.
Top 10 Natural Disasters ... China , China Floods, Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC)
Top Ten Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions, Floods and Tidal Waves at Factophile.
Dartmouth Flood Observataory, Flooding Case studies at thinkQuest
Top Weather Events of the 20th Century
Natural Hazards by country at the CIA World FactBook.

Little known outside the academic community, he suddenly received much attention when he wrote Death by Government (Transaction, 1994). In the book, Rudolph Rummel analyzed 8,193 estimates of government killings and reported that throughout history governments have killed more than 300 million people--with more than half, or 170 million, killed during the twentieth century. These numbers don't include war deaths!
See Freeman interview of Rudolph Rummel.

At this site: Wars, Battles, Civil Violence, , Insurgencies, Rebels and Empires, Terrorism, Serial Killers, Mass Murderers (Schools, Workplace, Cults, Other), Gangs and Organized Crime, Homicides/Murder, Earthquakes, Hurricane Statistics, Volcanoes, Tsunamis, US Weather Fatalities Solar Flares & Sun Spots, Near-Earth Objects - Asteroids & Comets, US Death Rates (all causes), Cities with the highest murder rate

At Matthew White's Death Tolls for the Man-made Megadeaths of the Twentieth Century: 30 Worst Atrocities of the 20th Century, Minor Atrocities of the Twentieth Century, Ninteenth Century Death Tolls, Highest percentages of national populations killed.

Military History Data Analysis at onwar.com,

List of wars and disasters by death toll at Wikipedia.

At InfoPlease: Disasters , 2004, Worst US, Terrorist, Sports Disasters, Floods, Avalanches and Tidal Waves, Dartmouth Flood Observatory , ...

World's Deadliest Disasters
Disasters at factophile
Most Recent Natural Disasters Were Not the Century's Worst, USGS Says, At FactMonster: Disaster Digest, Sports Disasters
Severe US Weather Fatalities Lightning Tornado Flood from NOAA

National Risk Index for Natural Hazards (NRI) | FEMA.govOffice of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters' (CRED)
International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC-International Training Centre for Aerial Survey*)

Other: Disasters in the United States at Eastern Connecticut State, Tornado Stats at InfoPlease and NOAA, Floods, Fires, Avalanches at avalanche.org Disasters by Continent, Disasters at ThinkQuest, Catastrophe Costs at Insurance Services Office (ISO), Important natural disasters in Central America and the Caribbean since 1970, Serial Killers & Cults, Serial Killers 1970-2002
Cause of Death Stats
Transportation Deaths
Space disasters
U.S. Catastrophe Costs
California Disasters

About 50-60 volcanoes erupt every year. About half are effusive (lava flows) and half are explosive.
See Volcanoes.

From Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War at U. Hawaii

* Democide: The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.
Genocide: among other things, the killing of people by a government because of their indelible group membership (race, ethnicity, religion, language).
Politicide: the murder of any person or people by a government because of their politics or for political purposes.
Mass Murder: the indiscriminate killing of any person or people by a government.

See also: War Casualties, US War Casualties,
Terrorist Organizations & attacks.

Democide, Genocide and Ethnocide - 1999 estimates
From Balkan Stats by Tony Snow.
persons killed in the Sudan over the past 15 years: 1,500,000
persons killed in Iraq due to sanctions: over 1,000,000
persons killed in Rwanda over the last five years: 500,000
persons killed in Chechnya: 80,000
people dying each day around the world because of lack of water, clothing, shelter, food or medicine: 100,000
Genocide in the 20th Century

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1992-1995 - 200,000 Deaths
  • Rwanda: 1994 - 800,000 Deaths
  • Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 - 2,000,000 Deaths
  • Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 - 6,000,000 Deaths
  • Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938 - 300,000 Deaths
  • Stalin's Forced Famine: 1932-1933 - 7,000,000 Deaths
  • Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918 - 1,500,000 Deaths

Holocaust and Genocide Studies, by Linda M. Woolf, Ph.D
We live in a time of unparalleled instances of democide, genocide and ethnocide. The Holocaust, the genocides in Turkey, Cambodia (1975 - 1979), Tibet, & Bosnia, the disappearances in Argentina & Chile, the death squad killings in El Salvador, Stalin's purges, the killing of the Tutsi in Rwanda . . . . and the list goes on.

Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic
More than two hundred thousands civilian Bosnian Muslims and Croats have been killed since the beginning of the war. atrocities allegedly carried out by Bosnian Serbs: massacre of over 7,000 Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995 ------------------------------ The Real Genocide in Yugoslavia from the Rockford Institute. Ustasha ("insurgent") movement, founded in 1929, was an anti-Serb and anti-Yugosla. In late spring of 1941 dozens of towns and villages throughout Croatia and Bosnia were subjected to terrorist operations in which Serbs, Jews and Gypsies were either murdered on the spot or led away to concentration camps. 350,000 victims by the end of July 1941

last updated 8 Mar 2010