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Deadly United States Disasters

List of the Ten Deadliest Natural Disasters in U.S. History

By

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was the fifth deadliest disaster in United States history.

NOAA
Updated March 03, 2011

A natural disaster is defined as natural hazard event which leads to significant environmental devastation, loss of human life and/or significant financial losses. Natural disasters include hazards such as flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, wildfires, drought, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. These different hazards occur all over the world every year and vary in their levels of severity. Many of them however have been very deadly.

The United States, like many other countries, has a varied topography which developed due to different geological processes. As a result, it has highly geologically active areas which have produced significant natural disasters. In addition, it has experienced severe hydrologic and meteorological disasters.

The following is a list of the ten most deadly natural disasters to hit the United States:

1) Galveston Hurricane of 1900
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 12,000-6,000
• Location: Galveston, Texas

2) 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
• Estimated Number of Fatalities : 6,000-3,000
• Location: San Francisco, California
Note: These estimates include deaths from both the initial earthquake and the massive fire that followed.

3) 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 3,000
• Location: Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Florida

4) 1889 Johnstown Flood
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 2,209
• Location: Pennsylvania

5) Hurricane Katrina - 2005
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 1,836
• Location: U.S. Gulf Coast (Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama)

6) 1980 Heat Wave
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 1,700
• Location: Southern and Central U.S. States

7) Peshtigo Fire - 1871
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 1,200 (but it could be as high as 2,500)
• Location: Peshtigo, Wisconsin

8) 1893 Sea Islands Hurricane
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 1,000 (but it could be as high as 2,000)
• Location: Georgia and South Carolina

9) 1995 Chicago Heat Wave
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 739
• Location: Chicago, Illinois

10) Tri-State Tornado - 1925
• Estimated Number of Fatalities: 695-727
• Location: Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee

References

Wikipedia.org. (1 March 2011). List of United States Disasters by Death Toll - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_disasters_by_death_toll

Wikipedia.org. (28 February 2011). Natural Disaster - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_disaster

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