Nature has always proved to be more powerful than human. Humans have made a lot of progress in scientific and technological fields but have not been able to beat supremacy of nature. There is no natural way to prevent disasters, but there had been a lot of development in weather forecast techniques to alert people on natural calamities like tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, cyclones, famines etc.
Natural disasters cause a great havoc, kill thousands of people and destroy lives and properties. Here we will put light on 5 worst natural disasters that shook India:
1. The Bengal Famine
A massive famine affected the pre-independence state of Bengal and some parts of Bihar and Odisha in the year 1770. It is of the greatest natural calamities to have hit India ever, it led to the deaths of about 1 crore people due to hunger, thirst and disease. This reduced the population in Bengal to 30 million. The pre-partition British India’s Bengal province was hit by another famine in the year 1943, which lead to death of around 4 million people due to starvation, malnutrition, and disease. This famine took life of more than half of the population of Bengal.
2. The Great Famine
In 1876-78, the Southern and southwestern parts of India were affected by a major famine which took life of nearly 3 crore. The Great famine started in China and spread over to India and affected parts of Hyderabad, Bombay (modern-day Mumbai), Mysore, and Madras. It is considered as one of the worst natural disasters to have hit India ever.
3. Odisha Super Cyclone
Odisha Super Cyclone (Paradip cyclone or super cyclone 05B) is one of the deadliest storms that affected the state of Odhisa in the year 1999. It affected the coastal districts of Puri, Bhadrak, Balasore, Ganjam etc. This Super cyclone took life of over 10,000 people in the state, destroyed 275,000 houses, and left about 1.67 million people homeless.
4. Gujarat Earthquake
On January 26, 2001, when the whole nation was celebrating 51st Republic Day, a massive earthquake affected Gujarat. The intensity of the earthquake was 7.6-7.9 on the Richter scale and the center was Bhuj. The impact of the 2 minute earthquake was so great that it took life of almost 20,000 people, injured 167,000 people, and left 400,000 people homeless. Ahmedabad, Kutch, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Surat, Jodia, Rajkot and Surendranagar districts were affected by the earthquake.
5. The Indian Ocean Tsunami
In the year 2004, after a massive earthquake a huge tsunami occurred in the Indian Ocean. This caused immense loss of life and property in India. Our neighbouring countries Indonesia and Sri Lanka also came under its effect. The earthquake measured 9.1 and 9.3 on the Richter scale and had its epicenter in the ocean bed which led to the huge tsunami. The earthquake lasted for 10 minutes and is considered as the third largest earthquake in the world ever recorded. It took life of over 2 lakh people and its impact was almost equal to the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs.