When you are talking about the most famous natural disaster, there are quite a few that are lined up. Natural disasters have occurred throughout recorded time. However, it's only been in the last two hundred years that we have kept incredibly detailed records. Even then, some of the records of long ago are questionable, due to the political and demographic issues at stake.
Deciding on the most famous natural disaster can bring into play a variety of criteria to select from. Should we consider the most damage? How about the natural disaster that had the highest fatality rate? What about the natural disaster that had the most world coverage by the media? To be honest, all of those questions should be addressed. Fame does not just encompass what has hit the news but includes property damage and loss of life.
The tsunami in December of 2004 was caused by a 9.3 earthquake and the resulting death toll was at 275,000. The damage is still being assessed so we are unsure of the actual dollar cost that will be involved. This was called the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and it was the third largest ever recorded. As horrible as this was, it did not top the 1976 Tangshan earthquake in China. All these years later, the magnitude eight earthquake total fatality list is still unknown. The range is between 255,000 and 655,000 people.
From a damage standpoint, the 1995 Kobe earthquake was configured for an estimated damage total of $150 billion. The amount of property damage was so high that it totaled more than the Los Angeles 1994 and San Francisco 1806 earthquakes combined. The Kobe quake was an accident waiting to happen due to the fact that it is located at the intersection of three active tectonic plates.
If we want to take into consideration the most devastating natural disaster that encompassed all of the three criteria topics, it would have to be the one that is called mass extinction. It happened over sixty five million years ago and ended not only the dinosaurs, but a majority of all other species on earth. Most scientists believe that this was due to impact from an asteroid, but new theories have included super volcanic activity.
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