Friday, 23 December 2011
February saw her unleash her wrath on New Zealand where a devastating earthquake shook Christchurch. (As you read this, news is coming in that Christchurch has been rattled by another quake of 5.8 magnitude.) The subsequent flooding that caused mudslides in Brazil took scores of lives. Japan had to bear the heaviest brunt with the March 2011 tsunami, though true to their spirit, they're bouncing back the best they can. Unfortunately, the extent of damage of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster is still uncertain.
Natural disasters continued unabated all through the year, with severe cases of floods in various parts of the world - Thailand, Cambodia, Bihar, Orissa, Pakistan, Dublin, Australia to name some (click links for videos). If floods were not enough, there was the ghastly earthquake in Sikkim. Then there was Hurricane Irene, first in the annual hurricane season in the US.
Being no stranger to loss of life and damage to property, India had to grapple with uncertainty again this year with two terrorist attacks in Mumbai and Delhi, eerie in their twin what-can't-kill-them-makes-them-tough resilience. Still recovering from the Park Street fire accident of 2010, Kolkata had to encounter a second fire tragedy in recent times with the AMRI Hospital disaster.
A recent study has found out that 2011 could well be the costliest year where natural disasters are concerned. But in spite of the horrors of 2011, the earth having to witness disasters, man-made or natural, is nothing new. Here's a look at ten highly destructive ecological disasters in recent years, some of them still ongoing: