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Historical December Disasters: These Tragic, Unforgettable Events All Happened This Month

December is a month of merriment and celebration, no doubt. However, it’s also a month that reminds us of some historical disasters and unfortunate events that the world can’t possibly forget. What are the major disasters that have happened in the last month of the year? How ghastly were these events? This article is dedicated to answering these questions and more.

Typhoon Bopha

Also known as Super Typhoon Pablo in the Philippines, Typhoon Bopha was the fourth and final super typhoon of the 2012 Pacific typhoon season. This super typhoon affected Palau, Philippines, and the Caroline Islands. 

The typhoon killed 1,901 people in Mindanao and made thousands of others homeless on December 3, 2012. In Palau, typhoon Bopha caused power outages, flooding, house destruction, and even uprooted trees. The typhoon dissipated on December 9, 2012.

White Friday

White Friday is a term used to describe the tragic event that happened on the 13th of December, 1916.  On that fateful day during the First World War, avalanches struck Austro-Hungarian barracks on Mount Marmolada.

Courtesy: Pinterest

The first avalanche killed over 250 soldiers, and then others followed, striking other Austro-Hungarian positions and even Italian positions. In total, at least 2,000 soldiers and a few dozen civilians were killed that day. 

Armenian Earthquake

Also referred to as the Spitak earthquake, the Armenian earthquake remains one of the most disastrous earthquakes to have occurred worldwide. A slip on a thrust fault just to the north of Spitak was said to have been the source of the unfortunate event.

Courtesy: BBC

On the 7th of December, 1988, the Armenian earthquake killed over 38,000 people in the Spitak, Vanadzor, Gyumri, and smaller outlying villages. About 130,000 injured people were injured. International assistance was employed to help rehabilitate the victims.

Erzincan Earthquake

The Erzincan earthquake is the second most powerful earthquake that occurred in Turkey after the 1668 North Anatolia earthquake. This earthquake majorly affected the Erzincan Province in Turkey, hence the name.

Courtesy: National World

The earthquake occurred in a 360 km long area of the North Anatolian Fault Zone on December 27, 1939. Killing more than 32,000 people and injuring about 100,000, the Erzincan earthquake was the most severe natural loss of life in Turkey in the 20th century. 

Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami

Also called the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake in science, the Indian Ocean earthquake was caused by a rupture along the fault between the Indian and Burma plates. The undersea megathrust earthquake happened on Boxing Day in 2004.

Courtesy: World Vision

Affecting 14 countries along the Indian Ocean’s surrounding coasts, the massive Boxing Day tsunami is one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Killing over 227,000 people, the earthquake is the most powerful earthquake in the 21st century and the third most powerful in the world since 1900. 

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