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From Wildfires To Volcano Eruptions, These Five Natural Disasters Left Behind Thousands Of Casualties

The recent earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria was one of the deadliest in decades. With a current death toll of more than 23,000, the quake also left thousands of people homeless in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, similar natural disasters have affected other parts of the world throughout history, leaving hundreds of casualties behind and creating irreparable damage in their communities. Below are five of the biggest natural hazards that took place between 1815 and 2019 in different parts of the globe, from Australia to Pakistan.

The Black Summer, 2019-2020

Between September 2019 and October 2020, a total of 60 million acres of forest were burnt in southeast Australia. This two-year-long tragedy drove some endangered species to extinction and killed at least 34 people. Economists estimate that it was Australia’s costliest natural disaster to date. But what ignited the wildfires?

Image courtesy of WWF

The fires were caused by the deadly combination of lightning strikes and extreme drought, which had begun three years before the Black Summer. In terms of atmospheric damage, climate scientist Nerilie Abram suggests that the fire’s effects were “equivalent to the type of impact we’d see from a moderate volcanic eruption.”

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