When I became aware of the earthquake in Japan yesterday, it struck me that there seems to be one disaster after another lately. Of course, we have more news media to cover such things, so maybe it’s all subjective. I decided to investigate to see if there is an actual increase in natural disasters within the past few years.
After digging around on the Internet for a while, the answer seems to be, no, there have been lots and lots of major disasters in the past that have killed way more people than what we’ve seen in our lifetimes. The earthquake in Haiti is way up there on the list, but that’s just an earthquake disaster. Heck, there have been floods that have killed way more people than any earthquake, not to mention cyclones, famines, and contractible diseases.
The disaster that struck me the most was the list of Heat Wave deaths. The list of the top eight cities for heat-related deaths all have dates since 1955, and five cities in the top-eight list are in the United States! Nothing close to the 56,000 who died in the Russian heat wave last year, but still… (Do you recall hearing anything about the Russian heat wave of 2010? I don’t.)
Anyway, if you’re interested in looking at the disaster list, here’s the link for it. Hope you have a nice, disaster-free weekend. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_natural_disasters