7 of the Most Catastrophic Floods in History

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7 of the Most Catastrophic Floods in History


Earth has been providing us with food, water, shelter, medicine, and other resources since the beginning of time. However, Mother Nature can also be merciless. Floods were considered a blessing by our ancestors but they can also be a most devastating natural disaster. They have claimed thousands of lives and left communities in ruin. In some cases, floods have also permanently damaged the planet’s geography. Let’s take a look at some of the world’s deadliest floods.


Photo grabbed from History.com


1931 Yangtze River Flood

Estimated death toll: 3.7 million

Considered one of the deadliest single events of all time, the great Yangtze River flood in 1931 was one of the worst natural disasters in human history. The river’s waters spread throughout an area of roughly 500 square-miles after a period of extreme rainfall. It forced half a million people to evacuate. However, the flood was not the only reason why millions of people died. Most deaths occurred due to famine and disease.


Photo grabbed from History.com


1887 Yellow River Flood

Estimated death toll: 900,000 - 2,000,000

The Yellow River, also known as Hwang Ho in Chinese, is considered the deadliest river in history. In September 1887, floodwaters increased due to heavy rainfall, inundating 50,000-square miles of land. It earned the nickname “China’s Sorrow” because had displaced two million people and killed about 900,000. Famine and diseases were also the other reasons why a lot of people died.


Photo Credit via Ozy.com


1975 Banqiao Dam Failure

Estimated death toll: 171,000 - 230,000

When a massive typhoon slammed China on August 8, 1975, the Banqiao dam failed. According to an article by Value Walk, a news website responsible for breaking the worldwide news on business, politics, technology, etc, the initial flood instantly killed more than 86,000 people. Another 145,000 people also died due to diseases and starvation.


Photo grabbed from History.com


1841 Indus River Flood

Estimated death toll: 500,000

Recorded as one of the worst floods in terms of water discharge, the Indus River flood was believed to have killed over half a million people. It was also believed that a Sikh-army of 500 men was wiped out by the sudden rush of huge floodwaters. According to an article by History, an online history-based site, the trouble started when an earthquake triggered a massive landslide on the slopes of Nanga Parbat, considered as the ninth highest mountain in the world. Bedrocks fell off the mountain, which blocked the flow of the rushing Indus River, creating a lake 500 feet deep.


Photo Credit via Wikimedia Commons


1530 St. Felix’s Flood

Estimated death toll: More than 100,000

On November 5, 1530, the Netherlands experienced the most disastrous flood in Europe. Aside from wiping over a dozen villages and several towns, the flood also caused an estimated 120,000 deaths and damaged properties worth more than 100 million euros in today’s estimates. This is why the Dutch considered November 5 as “Evil Saturday.”


Photo Credit via Pinterest


1287 St. Lucia’s Flood

Estimated death toll: 50,000

In 1287, a massive storm hit the Dutch coast that caused a huge flood, wiping out several villages. Due to the damage it caused and the people it killed, it is considered as one of the darkest chapters in the history of the Netherlands. The flood was triggered by a combination of low pressure, windstorm, and high spring tide. It was so powerful that an inland village of Amsterdam became a coastal town.


Photo Credit via Wikimedia Commons


1974 Bangladesh Flood

Estimated death toll: 28,700

Between April and June of 1974, the Brahmaputra, a major river in Asia, experienced heavy rainfalls that led to a series of floods in Bangladesh where it flowed through. An estimated 28,700 people lost their lives during the initial flood. As it worsened, it wiped out crops throughout the country, leading to one of history’s deadliest famines. The famine following the flood left roughly 1.5 million people dead. 




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