List of disasters in the United States by death toll
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This list of United States disasters by death toll is a list of notable disasters which occurred either in the United States, at diplomatic missions of the United States, or incidents outside of the United States in which a number of U.S. citizens were killed. It does not include death tolls from the American Civil War. Due to inflation, the monetary damage estimates are not comparable. Unless otherwise noted, the year given is the year in which the currency's valuation was calculated. This list is not comprehensive in general, and epidemics are not included.
Over 400 deaths
|1900||Tropical cyclone||6,000 to 12,000||$28,000,000 (approximate)||1900 Galveston hurricane||Texas||Fatalities estimated. Remains the deadliest natural disaster in United States history.|
|2017||Tropical cyclone||112 to 4,760 (official death toll is 112, potential death toll 800 - 8,498) ||$90,000,000,000||Hurricane Maria||Puerto Rico|||
|1906||Earthquake and fire (urban conflagration)||3,000+||1906 San Francisco earthquake||San Francisco, California||Conflagration followed quake; fatalities estimated; also major casualties in Santa Rosa and San Jose. Deadliest earthquake in U.S. history.|
|September 11 attacks||New York City, Arlington County, Virginia, and Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania||2,977 victims and 19 hijackers. Costliest disaster in United States history. Deadliest in New York City.|
|1928 Okeechobee hurricane||Florida, Puerto Rico||4,078 believed dead total. 2500 in Florida, 312 in Puerto Rico.|
|1941||Military strike – bombing||2,467||Attack on Pearl Harbor||Honolulu, Hawaii||2,403 U.S. victims and 64 Japanese attackers.|
|1889||Accident – dam burst||2,209||Johnstown Flood||Pennsylvania||Much rain, deforestation; dam failed|
|1893||Tropical cyclone||2,000||1893 Cheniere Caminada hurricane||Louisiana||Fatalities estimated|
|2005||Tropical cyclone||1,836||$160,000,000,000||Hurricane Katrina||Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Ohio||Costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.|
|1865||Accident – shipwreck||1,700||Sultana||Marion, Arkansas / Helena, Arkansas||Steamboat sank due to boiler explosion; fatalities estimated. Deadliest maritime disaster in U.S. history|
|1980 United States heat wave||Central and southern states||Official death toll, may have been higher|
|1871||Fire (rural)||1,500–2,500||Peshtigo Fire||Peshtigo, Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula of Michigan||Fatalities estimated; most deaths in single fire in U.S. history|
|1943||Military strike – bombing||1,173||HMT Rohna||Mediterranean Sea||Luftwaffe glide bomb hit troopship causing the largest loss of US soldiers (1,050) at sea due to enemy action in a single incident.|
|1904||Accident – shipwreck||1,021||PS General Slocum||East River near New York City||Steamship sank due to fire on board. Deadliest maritime disaster in New York City, and deadliest in city's history until 2001.|
|1893||Tropical cyclone||1,000–2,000||1893 Sea Islands hurricane||Georgia, South Carolina||Fatalities estimated|
|1978||Mass murder – suicide||909||Jonestown||Georgetown, Guyana||Cult leader of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, Jim Jones convinced 909 U.S. members of the group to drink grape flavor aid poisoned with cyanide or to inject themselves and their children with cyanide. Others were shot and killed while trying to escape.|
|1945||Military strike – submarine||879||USS Indianapolis||Philippine Sea||Largest loss of life in the history of the U.S. Navy at sea|
|1915||Accident – shipwreck||844||SS Eastland||Chicago, Illinois||Passenger ship capsized in Chicago harbor while loading charter for company picnic, causing great loss of life despite shallow water and proximity to land. Deadliest disaster in the history of Great Lakes shipping, and deadliest disaster in Chicago history.|
|1944||Military strike – submarine||819||SS Leopoldville||English Channel||Approximately 763 United States Army soldiers drowned.|
|1944||Military strike – E-boats||749||Exercise Tiger||English Channel||USS LST-289, LST-507 and LST-531 sunk during a training exercise.|
|1995||Heat wave||739||Chicago Heat Wave of 1995||Chicago, Illinois|
|Tri-State Tornado||Missouri, Illinois and Indiana (Kentucky, Tennessee)||Lower number for single 3-state tornado; higher for 5-state outbreak|
|1942||Military strike – submarine||683||USS Juneau||Guadalcanal||Sunk by submarine while retreating with damage from naval battle of Guadalcanal.|
|1943||Military strike – submarine||675||SS Dorchester||Greenland||United States troopship.|
|1943||Military strike – submarine||644||USS Liscombe Bay||Gilbert Islands||Submarine torpedo detonated the aircraft carrier's bomb magazine during Operation Galvanic.|
|1903||Fire (building)||602||Iroquois Theatre fire||Chicago, Illinois||Worst theater fire in American history; worst single-building fire.|
|1919||Tropical cyclone||600||1919 Florida Keys hurricane||Florida, Texas|
|1928||Accident – dam failure||600||St. Francis Dam||Santa Clarita, California|
|1938||Tropical cyclone||600||1938 New England hurricane|
|1947||Accident – explosion||581||Texas City disaster||Texas City, Texas||Ammonium nitrate onboard ship|
|1871||Fire (rural)||500 (estimated)||Great Michigan Fire||Michigan|
|1942||Fire (building)||492||Cocoanut Grove fire||Boston, Massachusetts||Deadliest nightclub fire ever, and second-deadliest structure fire in U.S. history; loss of life due to blocked exits; burn victims were among the first treated with penicillin|
|1927||Exploitation, silicosis||476-1,000+||Hawks Nest Tunnel disaster||Gauley Bridge, West Virginia||178 admitted deaths, 476 with congressional inquiry, 1,000+ by epidemiologists.|
|1918||Fire (rural)||453||$7,300,000||1918 Cloquet fire||Minnesota|
|1936||Tornado outbreak||436+||1936 Tupelo–Gainesville tornado outbreak||Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee||Two tornadoes in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Gainesville, Georgia, killed 233 and 203 people respectively|
|1913||Flood||428||1913 (Ohio) statewide flood||Ohio|
|1894||Fire (rural)||418||Great Hinckley Fire||Hinckley, Minnesota and vicinity|
|Hurricane Audrey||Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama|
|1935||Tropical cyclone||408||1935 Labor Day hurricane||Florida|
201 to 400 deaths
81 to 200 deaths
41 to 80 deaths
15 to 40 deaths
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- List of disasters in Great Britain and Ireland by death toll
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- List of disasters in Poland by death toll
- Kishore, Nishant; Marqués, Domingo; Mahmud, Ayesha; Kiang, Mathew; Rodriguez, Irmary; Fuller, Arlan; Ebner, Peggy; Sorensen, Cecilia; Racy, Fabio; Lemery, Jay; Maas, Leslie; Leaning, Jennifer (29 May 2018). "Mortality in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria". New England Journal of Medicine. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa1803972. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
- "Hurricane Costs". www.coast.noaa.gov. Retrieved 2018-05-30.
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- Wise, James E; Baron, Scott (2003). Soldiers lost at sea: a chronicle of troopship disasters. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. pp. 25,31&101. ISBN 978-1-59114-966-8.
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