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Flashback 2018: Earthquake, floods and wildfire devastate human lives


Bengaluru, Dec 18: Natural disasters around the world caused alarming damage to human lives and properties in 2018. Notably tsunami and floods in Indonesia, flood in India's Kerala, and wildfires in California left caused enormous damage. The impact of these events inevitably causes political, social, and economic problems, escalating the tragedy and creating a vulnerable climate.

In the worst flood recorded in 100 years, more than 300 people were killed due to floods in the southern Indian state of Kerala. PTI file photo


A 7.5 magnitude earthquake and subsequent 20-foot tsunami brought widespread devastation to Sulawesi island in Indonesia in late September, erased entire cities. According to World Vision, a global humanitarian nonprofit, more than 330,000 people rendered homeless and the death toll reached 2,783.


In August, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Lombok and neighbouring Bali. The earthquake was preceded with a 6.4 magnitude quake in late July, and the areas also were hit with a number of aftershocks. Approximately, 468 people were killed.


According to The New York Times, 425 people were killed when Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupted in early June. Surrounding areas were soon engulfed in a deadly pyroclastic flow, a mixture of hot gas and volcanic rock that can move at speeds up to 90 miles per hour.

Flashback 2018: PM Modi visited 22 countries


In the worst flood recorded in 100 years, more than 300 people were killed due to floods in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The Kerala government said many victims died after being crushed by debris after landslides, the BBC reported.


Heavy rains and landslides impacted large areas of Japan in July, killing more than 200 people. Officials said the flooding was particularly bad because much of the rain fell in mountainous areas and funneled down into cities, CNN reported.


According to FloodList, more than half a million people were displaced and more than 13,000 homes destroyed due to floods in September. The floods struck one-third of Nigeria's 36 states, affecting nearly 2 million people.


Temperatures in the Pakistani city of Karachi stayed above 104 degrees Fahrenheit for several days in May, according to news reports. The heat wave coincided with power cuts and Ramadan, a month when many Muslims refrain from eating or drinking during the daytime. Most of those who died were from poor areas, and included children and elderly people, the reports said.

North Korea:

Heavy rains at the end of August and in early September caused dangerous flooding and landslides in North Korea, which destroyed more than 800 buildings, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported.

Papua New Guinea:

A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Southern Highlands province of Papua New Guinea in February. According to ReliefWeb, nearly half a million people were affected by quake.


Fierce wildfires tore through a coastal area of Greece in late July. While most victims died in the fire, some drowned in the sea as they attempted to flee the flames, according to news reports.

California's deadliest wildfire:

California's deadliest wildfire claimed 85 lives and 11 people went missing. Three separate wildfires broke out in early November 2018: the Camp fire in Paradise; the Hill fire in the Santa Rosa Valley, and the Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The worst of the three, the Camp fire, completely devastated the town of Paradise, causing all 27,000 residents to evacuate their homes and taking the lives of 88-in addition to scorching over 150,000 acres. Those in southern California were heavily affected by the Santa Ana winds, which caused the fires to spread quickly. The death toll in the Camp fire alone made it the deadliest (and most destructive) fire in California history. In total, over 15,000 structures (including homes) and 230,000 acres were scorched by the fires.

Earthquake in Indonesia

Earthquake in Indonesia

Houses damaged by an earthquake are seen in North Lombok, Indonesia, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. The powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, killing a number of people and shaking neighboring Bali, as authorities on Monday said thousands of houses were damaged and the death toll could climb. AP/PTI Photo

Volcano fire

Volcano fire

Forensic workers carry a plastic tarp that contains the remains of a victim of the Volcan de Fuego, or Volcano of Fire, eruption, at a makeshift morgue in a warehouse in Escuintla, Guatemala, Friday, Jan. 8, 2018. Forensic workers are trying to identify victims of this week's deadly volcanic explosion. The death toll currently stands at 109 but is expected to rise. AP/PTI Photo

Kerala floods

Kerala floods

Chengannur: Flood affected areas of Chengannur seen from a Indian Navy helicopter, at Alappuzha district of the Kerala, on Sunday August 19, 2018. (PTI Photo)

Japan floods

Japan floods

In this July 7, 2018 photo, a resident is rescued in a flooded area in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture, following heavy rain. Heavy rainfall hammered southern Japan for the third day, prompting new disaster warnings on Kyushu and Shikoku islands Sunday. AP/PTI

Heatwave in Pakistan

Heatwave in Pakistan

A zookeeper sprays water to cool off an elephant at Margazar Zoo during a heat wave, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. According to Pakistan's state-run Meteorological Department, the highest temperature 49 C (120.2 F) was recorded in Moenjodaro, Sibbi and Bhakkar. AP/PTI

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