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Number 10 Florence
In September 2018, this powerful and long-lived storm affected many areas particularly the Carolinas. Within 24 hours of making landfall, Florence flooded streets and homes in North Carolina. On September 11, 2018, during a presidential press briefing, US President stated ‘They haven’t seen anything like what’s coming at us in 25, 30 years, maybe ever. It’s tremendously big and tremendously wet’.
Number 9 Michael
Low atmospheric pressure that originated in the southwestern Caribbean Sea created Michael, in October 2018. With wind speeds that reached close to 155 mph, the Category 4 storm caused immediate damage along the shoreline. When it comes to property damage, early estimates indicate that it exceeded $6.1 billion. Central America experienced extensive flooding and, in Cuba, more than 200,000 people were left without power. In Florida, cities like Mexico Beach and Panama City experienced damage as the extreme winds felled trees and flattened numerous houses.
Number 8 2018 Attica Wildfires
During the 2018 European heat wave a series of catastrophic wildfires hit the coastal areas of Attica, in Greece. It would become the second-worst wildfire of the 21st century. They started in July 2018, spreading rapidly and containment proved challenging.
Number 7 2018 Volcan de Fuego
On Sunday, June 3, 2018 a series of volcanic eruptions and pyroclastic flows from Guatemala’s Volcan de Fuego happened. By the middle of June, 2018, only half of the cases had been identified. The ash column rose to a height of 9.3 miles.
Number 6 Black Saturday
The events of February 7, 2009 and their aftermath will live forever in Australian memory as Black Saturday. On Black Saturday, 400 individual fires were recorded across the Australian state of Victoria. Many of them are believed to have been caused by all-time record temperatures, which in Melbourne hit 115.5 Fahrenheit.
Number 5 2018 Sulawesi
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 struck the province of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, in late September 2018. The epicenter was approximately 48 miles from the provincial capital of Palu. Prior to the event, there was a sequence of foreshocks, including a tremor that was measured at 6.1.
Number 4 2017 Atlantic Season
It was the costliest hurricane season ever, with around $282 billion in property damage. There were ten hurricanes during the 2017 season and, amazingly, they all occurred in a row. Harvey, Irma and Maria were the worst out of all them and they were responsible for almost all of the damage. Irma and Maria were both Category 5 hurricanes, which is the highest on the current scale. They made landfall within two weeks of each other and the latter had recorded wind speeds of a staggering 175 miles per hour. Some areas, like the Leeward Islands, for example, hadn’t even recovered from Irma when Maria made landfall.
Number 3 2010 Russia
They were attributed to what was described as ‘the hottest summer in Russian history’ and the record-high temperatures were regarded by many as a consequence of climate change. President Dmitry Medvedev declared a state of emergency in several regions. Many of the areas that weren’t directly affected by the wildfires faced the risk of crop failures because of the drought. There were also numerous volunteers that took part in the firefighting, which, in some cases, proved faster and more effective than official assistance.
Number 2 2010 Haiti Earthquake
The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.0 and it occurred on January 12, 2010. By the 24th at least 52 aftershocks of varying intensity had been recorded.The densely populated capital city of Port-au-Prince was only a few miles from the earthquake’s epicenter.
Number 1 Mallorca Flood
Over the course of just two hours, more than 9 inches of rain fell in the area. Meteorologists claimed that it was very difficult to forecast an event of this magnitude, the likelihood of it occurring being once in a thousand years. The flood ravaged the small towns, taking down telephone lines, dragging cars and trapping people in their houses. Many of them had no other choice but to wait for rescue on balconies or rooftops. According to El Pais, the effects of the floods were amplified by the geography of the land and the infrastructure. Since most of the affected area is surrounded by steep mountains, they acted like a ramp through which humid air fed the storm at the summit. Some of the old homes were built next to water courses. The concrete channel, built just outside Sant Lorenc, was less resistant to water than the natural terrain so it enabled the current to pick up speed.