Sometimes, there are things we have absolutely no control over. Nothing reminds us more of this than a natural disaster – an extreme, sudden event caused by environmental factors that kill and injure people and cause extreme amounts of damage. A natural disaster reminds us that nature is the boss and we are left to surrender to whatever is being thrown our way. Perhaps the scariest part of natural disasters is that they can strike anywhere on earth, often without any warning at all. Deadly floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts and tsunamis – all hit unexpectedly, leaving us left to fight back with whatever resources we have. Many times, however, there is no way to fight back. The results are fatal. And the only thing we known is that they aren’t about to slow down anytime soon. In fact, it could be argued that these natural disasters are becoming more intense as the years go on. Frequency of earthquakes, heat waves and mega storms have risen considerably in the last few decades. And while scientists, geologists and storm watchers work to help predict such disasters, nothing can truly prepare us for what Mother Nature has in store. Take a look below to see some of the most deadly and scariest natural disasters of all time.
10. Chelyabinsk Meteor, Russia
The Chelyabinsk meteor was caused by a near-Earth asteroid that entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia on Feb. 15, 2013 with a speed of 60,000 to 69,000 km/h. The light from the meteor was said to be even brighter than the Sun, up to 100 km away. Eyewitnesses at the time reported feeling intense heat from the fireball that exploded over Chelyabinsk Oblast. The explosion produced a hot cloud of dust and gas and although no one died, about 1,500 people were seriously injured, mainly from broken glass that was blown out of windows. About 7,200 buildings in six cities were damaged. The meteors mass was estimated at about 12,000 to 13,000 metric tonnes and measured about 20 metres in diameter, making it the largest known natural object to have entered the Earth’s atmosphere since the 1908 Tunguska event, which destroyed a remote, forested area of Siberia. The Chelyabinsk meteor is also the only known meteor that resulted in such a large number of injuries.
Video: Russian Meteor Strike
9. Mount Ontake Volcanic Eruption, Japan
This volcanic eruption took place on September 27, 2014, killing 57 people, the first fatal volcanic eruption in Japan since the 1991 collapse of a lava dome at Mount Unzen. It’s also considered the deadliest volcanic eruption in Japan since Torishima killed about 150 people in 1902. Mount Ontake – located about 100 km northeast of Nagoya and about 200 km west of Tokyo – is a popular tourist attraction for hikers and on this date there were several hundred people on its slopes enjoying the beautiful weather. Because there was no warning of what was to come, many ended up buried under ash. It’s said today that the volcanic eruption was an extremely rare phenomenon, which made it hard to take precautionary measures.
Video: Japan Volcanic Eruption