Bengaluru, Dec 30: As the year 2014 is coming to a close, here is a look at some of the gravest natural disasters that hit various parts of the planet in last 12 months:
In September 2014, the Kashmir region which lies in India and Pakistan, witnessed disastrous floods across majority of its districts caused by torrential rainfall.
The region includes Jammu and Kashmir, which is ruled by India, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Punjab which lie in Pakistan. According to estimates, nearly 277 people in India and 280 people in Pakistan had died due to the floods.
India was struck by another severe natural disaster in 2014 - A cyclonic storm Hudhud, the second strongest tropical cyclone of 2014, which started from Andaman sea, intensified into a cyclonic storm on October 8 and as a severe cyclonic storm on October 9.
Shortly before it made a landfall near Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on October 12, the storm reached its peak strength.The cyclonic storm caused extensive damage to Visakhapatnam , Vizianagaram and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh.
Properties worth at least 70000 crore were damaged and at least 109 people were confirmed to have been dea. Most of the damage happened in Andhra Pradesh and Nepal.
The storm caused Uttar Pradesh and Nepal, causing widespread rains in both areas and heavy snowfall in the latter.
Snowstorm in Nepal
After the Hudhud disaster, Nepal was hit by a severe snowstorm which resulted in the deaths of at least 43 people of various nationalities.
Known as the country's worst trekking disaster, the severe snowstorms and avalanches on and around the mountains of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri killed at least 43 trekkers who were caught unaware.
The trekkers were citizens from several countries, including 78 from New Zealand. Twenty one trekkers and guides from Nepal, Slovakia and Germany were rescued on 15 October and by 19 October, up to 400 people were rescued.
On 30 July 2014, a landslide hit a village, Malin in the Ambegaon taluka of the Pune district, in Maharashtra.
The deadly landslide killed at least 140 people, said reports. However, unofficial numbers go upto 160.
The tragedy occured early in the morning when the residents were asleep and it was believed to have been caused by a burst of heavy rainfall.
The National Disaster Response Force jawans, who led the rescue mission, also recovered 33 animal carcasses from the huge mound of debris that buried the village.
On 7 June 2014, a flash flood hit Baghlan in Afghanistan, killing around 200 people and leaving another 200 missing. Around 850 houses were completely destroyed and more than 1,000 were damaged by the heavy rain and flooding, leaving thousands of people in need of shelter, food, water and medicine.
An earthquake struck off the coast of Chile on 1 April, with a magnitude of 8.2. The epicenter of the earthquake was approximately 95 kilometres northwest of Iquique.
The quake triggered a tsunami of up to 2.11 metres (6.9 ft). Similar-sized tsunamis hit the coasts of Pisagua and Arica as well.
On June 19, torrential rains caused severe flash flooding across northeastern Bulgaria. Several dozens of villages were left without electricity for many days. Large parts of several cities in the region were submerged by the flood waters. At least 16 people were reported killed, said reports.
Earthquake in Alaska
On July 25, 2014, an earthquake struck the northern southeastern part of the U.S. state of Alaska. The quake was of a magnitude of 5.9 on the Richter Scale. It was centered on Palma Bay. The quake broke down the communication networks in Alaska and no deaths were reported.