Talk:List of natural disasters by death toll

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526 Antioch Earthquake[edit]

The #6 top disaster actually occurred in Antioch while been part of the Byzantine Empire, currently part of Turkey. I believe that we should add this on the table, in the same way as #4 and #10 locations are listed. Mppf (talk) 00:08, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Agreed DLinth (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Haiti earthquake[edit]

The death toll for the earthquake is different in the 2 lists. This has the strange affect that this disaster is ranked higher in the first list... Roland (talk) 09:40, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Fixed: Although both were citing the same source, one listed a 225,570 death toll and the other a 316,000 death toll. After checking the source in question, the lower figure was changed and both are now at 316,000. Mauri96 22:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mauri96 (talkcontribs)
I'm confused about 'ranking' the Haiti earthquake: writing in Dec. 2012, a quick internet search offers a death toll of 230k (rescue.org--no ref.) and Wikipedia's referenced estimate of 316k; it appears that we're assuming Wikipedia's numbers are accurate--but why has't it been added to the "top 10 by death toll" chart at the top? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Curranb79 (talkcontribs) 17:50, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
It hasn't been added to the list because it appears that no one has done it. However, if you really want to make the list correct, it needs to be filled with "Famines" and "Communicable Diseases" as there are many in these categories that are well over a million deaths. I'm not sure who came up with the original "Top 10" list or decided that it would not include items from either of the noted categories, so I've just left it alone.
Also as far as the Haiti Earthquake, I've seen death tolls as low as 25K (see thread all the way at the bottom) so 316K should just be seen as a guess and nothing concrete
Ckruschke (talk) 16:14, 10 December 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke
The toll for the Haiti earthquake is extremely dubious and likely driven by political motivations for pity or monetary assistance - in either case, they are not to be taken seriously at any level greater than 80,000 dead. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.136.4.113 (talk) 22:15, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Agree in principle, but as you see above (and in at least one other Talk topic on the Haiti earthquake) the current number is supported by reference from the USGS. If you have a credible reference for "<80K", please supply it for review by the group, but I've looked at this issue on two different occassions and I can't find one eventhough I've found "ANECDOTAL" numbers that are in the 25K-55K range. Ckruschke (talk) 18:06, 4 March 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke
Agree with the comment two above. BTW, As mentioned elsewhere by Ckruschke who does a thorough job caretaking this page, there are even lower numbers, but they all seem to originate with the Schwartz USAID study that's not admissable for WP since it is not published in any form; it was "leaked" by someone with an agenda and despite much time passing, has never "passed muster", was declared by USAID to have flaws, and has never been officially published, perhaps for good reason (Schwartz has been charged with being against excessive US aid and thus inclined to "low-ball" casualties) DLinth (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

RFC involving this article[edit]

Wikipedia:Content noticeboard#A mess of WP:Content Forks

This article is currently being discussed as part of WP:Request for Comment at the Wikipedia:Content noticeboard under the section heading A mess of WP:Content Forks. The discussion is to decide how this and other closely related articles could be systematically organized to avoid redundancy The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 21:01, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

How to handle Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami[edit]

The subject natural disaster is listed under both "Earthquakes" and "Tsunamis" with similar death tolls. As we will probably never be able to assertain the actual death tolls attributed to either occurance separately, I was wondering if there was a similar disaster (recent or otherwise) and how it was handled. I think we can probably agree that the tsunami caused the higher death toll (whole towns washed away), but then again the earthquake CAUSED the tsunami. Just seems odd to list it in both places. Eitherway, I edited the title of the disaster in the Earthquake list to say Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami so that it would mirror its title in the Tsunami list.

On an unrelated issue, has this page established a death toll limit for having a disaster make one of the lists. Obviously you aren't going to have many Meteorite deaths, but the list for Earthqaukes is at 56 and counting - appears that there is an un/official limit of 10,000 on this one. Or are people just adding as they find documented evidence and the lists will just grow to "whatever"? Ckruschke (talk) 17:44, 25 March 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke

No death toll limit that I know of, I would be happy to see a shorter list, but where to apply the cut-off? Perhaps we could just use the 'template Deadliest earthquakes', see below. Mikenorton (talk) 11:13, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Inconsistency between tables[edit]

As no-one has begun the discussion following addition of the 'contradict' tag, I'm starting it here. I've removed the 1730 Hokkaido earthquake as it seems to be a phantom event (discussed further up this page), so the two tables are now in agreement down as far as 12, with the 1703 Genroku earthquake being the next point of difference. This earthquake has a lot of different casualty numbers from a variety of sources, although most are about 10,000, the higher figure of 100,000 seems likely to be a typo that has been copied from source to source. In the NOAA/NGDC database they use 5,233 although they mention one estimate of 200,000. The IISEE database gives 10,000. Other values that I've seen are 'more than 5,000', 37,000, 150,000, 100,000 and so on. My long term plan is to try and reconcile all of this in some logical way, not only for the 1703 event but for others where the death toll varies from source to source (that's just about every earthquake in the list). This is not proving to be easy and I keep dropping it to get on with other more tractable stuff. Mikenorton (talk) 11:37, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Toba Eruption[edit]

Shouldn't the Toba supervolcano eruption be on the list of top 10 deadliest natural disasters? Some estimates say before the eruption, there was a human population of up to 60 million. Afterwards, genetics indicate the human race dropped to as low as 10,000 or even 1,000 breeding pairs. That's at least 59.99 million people killed off! Don't forget the other species that went extinct or were reduced to very low numbers by the eruption. Tyrannosaurus.jpgUS 101.svgDinokidI-80.svgExample image not be used in article namespace.jpg 00:46, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

what reputable source gives a human population in the tens of millions at that time?Kdammers (talk) 08:19, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
None. The "60 million" for then is a bit off to say the least. See [1] where 37,000 years ago we had 3 million; in Toba's time (~73,000 years ago) perhaps 2.5 million at most.DLinth (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Russian Heat Wave 50,000 deaths[edit]

It's number 1 on the list yet no reliable source. Most of what I can find indicates around 10-15,000 total. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.219.23.59 (talk) 20:05, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

1931 Chinese Floods[edit]

There are 3 different ranges for the 1931 China Floods across the article. Which estimates should be favoured? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.129.36.36 (talk) 13:11, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

See article. Chinese govt. deliberately stated the death toll as less than half of actual.DLinth (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Epedemic in central America left out[edit]

I think an important and very deadly epedemic is missing in the list of the deadliest pandemics. The Pandemic suffered by the Inca's and Aztec population in Central America after the arrival of Spain is very significant. It killed ten's of millions and would come second to the black death. Could someone with more knowledge about this pandemic list it? 83.160.61.76

The methodology/definition in the lede for this article limits this page (I agree) to natural disasters (at least mostly, it goes on to say further down) and that only "sudden events" are included (I agree). The latter eliminates famines, epidemics, droughts, etc. DLinth (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Missing disease in Communicable diseases[edit]

In World War one around half of the losses (around 10 million people) died from infuenza. Why is this major epidemic/disease not listed in top 10 Communicable diseases? --Leonardo Da Vinci (talk) 07:41, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

The methodology/definition in the lede for this article limits this page (I agree) to natural disasters (at least mostly, it goes on to say further down) and that only "sudden events" are included (I agree). The latter eliminates famines, epidemics, droughts, etc. DLinth (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Haiti death toll[edit]

The death toll statistic for the Haiti earthquake on this page is extreme POV. There is no consensus. It would be wise to reflect the debate, but using the lowest possible estimate is no more correct than using the highest. The official UN figure is roughly 230,000. The official Haitian govt figure is 316,000. Those should be reflected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.122.160.141 (talk) 23:21, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree that the figure is open to debate. However, my research showed that all non-UN/Haitian sources agreed on a death toll of 25K-55K or so (so I linked one article that showed all the numbers AS WELL AS the argument for/against them). My argument is that if we choose to show the "inflated number", then we are running a POV risk from the opposite side. However, I'm certainly open to debate a better solution. Ckruschke (talk) 18:02, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke

Disasters are NOT natural...![edit]

I want to congratulate those who put together this article. I just wpuld want to propose a change in terminology. Disasters are "NOT" natural... Even if they derive from the impact of a natural hazard, what makes them become a "disaster" is human vulnerability. To sustain this statement, let me offer you a series of articles I have written about the topic; the links to access the paper online is also provided. Of course, I remain at your disposition for any further discussion. Best regards and thanks for the opportunity to express my thoughts. Sergio Mora Castro, sergiomo@geologos.or.cr:

- Disasters are not natural: Risk management, a tool for development. Geological Society, London, Engineering Geology Special Publication 2009; v.22; p.101-112; doi10.1144/EGSP22.7; http://egsp.lyellcollection.org/cgi/reprint/22/1/101.pdf?ijkey=t0zzngz8DHPBz9N&keytype=finite

- Disasters should not be the protagonists of Risk Management. Keynote speech at the 11th International Congress, International Association of Engineering Geologist and the Environment. Auckland, New Zealand. 2010. 18pp. http://www.scribd.com/doc/40784124/Manejo-del-riesgo-Sergio-Mora-geologo

- Mora et al. 2012. Slope instability hazard in Haiti: Emergency assessment for a safe reconstruction. Banff, Alberta, Canada. Keynote speach. Landslides and Engineered Slopes: Protecting Society through Improved Understanding – Eberhardt et al. (eds) © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-0-415-62123-6; https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Haiti/Tropical_Storms_2012; https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_C6dUAEbjPia2dXaFNWRTZqRGc/edit

- Mora, S; Barrios, R; 2001. Conceptualización estratégica para la prevención de desastres en América Latina. Segundo Simposio Panamericano de Deslizamientos. Cartagena, Colombia. 9pp. http://www.cne.go.cr/CEDO-Riesgo/docs/2641/2641.pdf

- El impacto social, político y económico de los desastres. Segundo Simposio Colombiano de Ingeniería Geotécnica y Sismológi-ca. Asociación de Ingenieros Civiles de la Universidad nacional. Santafé de Bogotá. Agosto, 1997. 17pp. http://www.cne.go.cr/CEDO-Riesgo/docs/2675/2675.pdf — Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.127.152.162 (talk) 15:39, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Matter of degree and a matter of semantics. Humans are "natural" inhabitants of the planet (a few species have popped up since homo sapiens.) However, the normal meaning of "natural" opposes the definition of "man-made" in common usage, so you raise a good point. This article does, in a place or two, point out that while events are listed here as "natural", there were other (though rarely the primary) cause of the "sudden event disasters" to which this page limits itself. So these lists are "mostly natural-triggered" though certainly would be far, far less in scope if not for man-made factors. Haiti (and the recent flooding in India) have been (correctly IMHO) attributed largely to man-made denuding of steep slopes and to climate-change exacerbated warmer oceans and thus more severe single-event storms in places. A slippery slope indeed...mostly man-made, mostly natural?DLinth (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

1770 Bengal Famine - Not a natural disaster[edit]

Why is the 1770 Bengal Famine included in this? The way I understand and and the way the article for it reads is that the large loss of life was caused not by the drought but by the extensive human error on account of the British East India Company. Enlighten me if I'm wrong. Leonffs (talk) 00:23, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Same could be said of the Ukraine famine which was basically brought about by Stalin forcing them into collectivism (which provides less food) and witholding food aid from them. So I guess someone needs to go through the list and decide which of the Famines are "natural" and which are man-made. I only do cartaker duty on this page. It has way too many issues and I'm way too busy with other stuff to rollup my sleeves and do more than that... Ckruschke (talk) 19:21, 8 July 2013 (UTC)Ckruschke
Agree with Ckruschke.
A large plurality of topics/complaints on this talk page deal with famines/plagues which, by the methodology/definition in the lede for this article limits this page (I agree) to only "sudden events" (I agree). The latter eliminates famines, epidemics, plagues, etc. And WP already has an excellent List of famines and List of epidemics not necessary, IMHO, to duplicate here on the natural disasters list page. I will delete those two here; please WP:BRD if you feel otherwise and discuss here. DLinth (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Deadliest wildfires and Landes fire death toll[edit]

There is no source that I can find that corroborates this page's death toll of 230 for the 1949 Landes forest fire. On the French-language Wikipedia, the fire has its own page and lists the death toll at 82. The French page for the Landes forest also lists the death toll at 82. These claims have sources, but they're in French. The only sources that list the 230 death toll appear to pull their information from this page.

Barring any reputable sources for the 230 death toll, the Landes fire should be removed from this list and the next-deadliest fire should be added at the bottom or another deadly fire slotted into the appropriate place based on death toll.


Leavethelighton (talk) 20:28, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

order[edit]

shouldn't these two be reversed? The second one is higher at both the lower and upper ends. 4 242,000–779,000 1976 Tangshan earthquake China

5 500,000–1,000,000[1] 1970 Bhola cyclone East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)Kdammers (talk) 07:09, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

tsunamis are earthquakes[edit]

Why separate them? They should be in the same table as earthquakes. http://earthweb.ess.washington.edu/tsunami/general/physics/earthquake.html http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/tsunami/ http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/springle/

Because they aren't the same. Yes, Tsunamis are GENERATED by earthquakes and there have been times where an earthquake hits a region and you have tsunami damage in the same region, but you can have tsunami damage where the affected area barely feels an earthquake AND you can have earthquake damage to an area that is nowhere near water. Ckruschke (talk) 19:01, 16 December 2015 (UTC)Ckruschke
Also, tsunamis can be triggered by any displacement of the seafloor, including volcanic explosions (e.g. 1883 eruption of Krakatoa) and submarine landslides (e.g. the Storegga Slide). Mikenorton (talk) 17:41, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

1882 Bombay Cyclone[edit]

The 1882 Bombay cyclone is ranked 9 among the 10 deadliest tropical cyclones. However, I recently had a conversation with a scientist hailing from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. He had recently conducted a seminar in which his team concluded that on the basis of their research, the devastating tropical cyclone in question never occurred. His findings are based on the India Meteorological Department's archives dating back to 1882.

Now I do agree that since its an individual's work, it does not have enough notability to be as trustworthy as other official sources. In fact, many books have claimed that the storm occurred in 1882, but no IMD content states about the storm. A newspaper article also dismisses the claim that the storm occurred. The article can be found here, dated December 2, 2015, written by Adam Sobel, a professor at Colombia University/

My question is: Is this reference enough for us to erase the storm away from the list? Rishabh Tatiraju (talk) 16:32, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

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Earthquakes[edit]

The 1976 Tangshan earthquake is listed as the second deadliest natural disaster on the over-all list but is ranked below a 16th-century earthquake in the earthquake list.  This desicrepancy needs to be addressed.Kdammers (talk) 04:12, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

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Merge with List of natural disasters by death toll#Deadliest_earthquakes[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was no consensus to merge, but implement editing suggestions of User:Klbrain below. Shhhnotsoloud (talk) 13:30, 13 May 2018 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

  • Support - Having the same list essentially twice serves no good purpose. Conciseness is desirable... Veryproicelandic (talk) 09:49, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Agree with Klbrain. Ckruschke (talk) 18:42, 6 April 2018 (UTC)Ckruschke
Agree with Klbrain on this one. Also, in that case, the Lists of earthquakes#Deadliest earthquakes should be treated as a summary, with shorter notes and less detail in individual entries, and a cap on the number of entries included. These events all have their own articles, so I summary in the notes section is unnecessary. The inclusion criteria for this page should be explicitly defined (47 is an odd number of entries, and 40,000 a fairly arbitrary cutoff).Elriana (talk) 19:51, 17 April 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Why have list of deadliest floods and deadliest land slides been included together[edit]

Totally different events, mostly unrelated to each other. The list entirely fills in floods only as they affect more and occur over a longer period of time. landslides should be given separately to reflect deadly landslides like Khait landslide which killed around 30,000 people, which is a huge figure for landslides and had no relation to any kind of flooding like most landslides. There should be a separate list of deadliest floods List of deadliest floods and deadliest landslides List of landslides...Marked Man 808 (talk) 19:21, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

Worth noting that most recent estimate of the total death toll from landslides associated with the 1949 Khait earthquake is 7,200 - see the earthquake article for the source. Mikenorton (talk) 17:07, 14 May 2018 (UTC)


Yeah, but they have little to do with floods. Floods and landslides are totally unrelated, and including them together, obvi floods which occur over a longer time and and over a vaster area will have a higher death toll, and totally undermines the devastating impacts of landslides, which have deadlier effects than some other events you mentioned separately, like "deadliest impact event". I think floods and landslides should be on a separate list.```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marked Man 808 (talkcontribs) 07:06, 17 May 2018 (UTC)

Consistency?[edit]

Someone has already mentioned far above how numbers/orders of events have drifted to where (back in 2011) tables didn't agree with each other. Well, still true.

Doesn't it bother anyone that two different numbers are given for Krakatoa? 36,417-120,000 given under tsunamis (and without a ref), but a 36,000+ under volcanic eruptions with a ref given. And this has been true since at least 2014.

Under the initial "Ten deadliest" we find 1920 Haiyuan earthquake at 7 then 1976 Tangshan at 10 as sorted by lowest limit, but under "Deadliest Earthquakes" they are reversed at 4 and 3, sorted by ???. Hmm, apparently the lower limit for 1976 Tangshan was lowered March 2017 but incorrectly/incompletely repositioned in "Deadliest Earthquakes"? Oh, and the ref causing that lowering change is mentioned in the article but not here. Sigh.

And how is the "2004 Indian Ocean" event sometimes a tsunami, sometimes an earthquake, and sometimes (as for the article) a combined event? Another example is Typhoon Nina.

So, Dawnseeker2000 repeatedly says "use the numbers from the articles", as seen several times in the page history. Sounds right - is that the rule? (I hope so) And sort order is determined by the lesser ref'd range figure? (I hope so) And refs should be kept up to date here, or perhaps better, just kept in the linked articles? Shenme (talk) 05:04, 9 July 2018 (UTC)

Of course there are no rules but, there are if we want them to be. I agree that we should have complete consistency between the list and the articles themselves. It probably helps to repeat the same key citations that are used in the articles to reduce the tinkering that all such list articles are prone to. Keeping these consistent is not any easy task, however. I still need to sort out the death toll for the 2004 earthquake and tsunami, so I'll do that before I do anything else - I've just been putting it off because of the knock-on effect on other articles such as this one. Mikenorton (talk) 16:41, 9 July 2018 (UTC)
I've updated the death toll for the 2004 event and adjusted the lists accordingly. I've also made the quoted numbers for the 1976 Tangshan event consistent throughout and removed citations to parts of the en and ja wikipedias and mentioned the 'phantom' nature of the 893 Ardabil earthquake. There's still more to do here, but I'm leaving it for now. Mikenorton (talk) 09:45, 29 September 2018 (UTC)