In the outgoing year 2023, various natural disasters have caused massive loss of life and damage in different parts of the world. In addition, due to these disasters, unlimited humanitarian disasters have occurred in the country. Millions of people have suffered with casualties due to various disasters like earthquakes, heavy rains, floods, wildfires, air pollution, snowfall.
The world witnessed two of the most horrific and devastating earthquakes in memory at the beginning and end of 2023. Major earthquakes hit Türkiye and Syria on February 6 and Morocco on September 8. Half a million people were killed in these earthquakes.
On February 6, at 4:17 am local time, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 shook Turkey and its neighboring country Syria. 15 minutes after that earthquake, another large earthquake of magnitude 6.7 followed by several aftershocks.
According to the immediate statement of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the origin of the earthquake was at a depth of 17.9 kilometers near the city of Gaziantep in the southern province of Kahramanmaras, Turkey.
Gaziantep city is located just 30 kilometers from the Türkiye-Syria border. On one side of the border is Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province, on the other side is Syria’s northeastern province of Aleppo. Therefore, a large area of Türkiye-Syria was turned into rubble due to the impact of the earthquake. More than 60,000 people were killed when hundreds of thousands of buildings collapsed in the earthquake. Many were injured. Türkiye-Syria earthquake leaves more than 1 million people homeless.
More than 3,000 people were killed in the earthquake in the South African country of Morocco. About 2,500 were injured.
On September 8 at 11:11 PM local time, a powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck the central region of Morocco. Its source was 18.5 km deep in the Atlas Mountains area, 71 km from the city of Marrakesh. It is said to be the deadliest earthquake to hit the country since 1960.
Climate experts fear that the world’s average temperature is rising at an ‘unprecedented’ rate every year. In the outgoing year 2023, wildfires have affected people and animals in many countries. Fires have resulted in loss of life and displacement during the fires.
During the month of July 2023, severe heat wave is blowing in most parts of the world. It broke various temperature records. Millions of people are suffering from excessive temperature in the country. Fire occurs. This is believed to be due to El Niño, a natural climate change event.
As of July 17, the world’s highest recorded temperature is officially 56.7 degrees Celsius, which was recorded in 1913 in Death Valley, California.
The highest recorded temperature in Africa is 55 degrees Celsius, which was recorded in 1931 in Kabli, Tunisia. The highest temperature ever recorded in Asia was 54 degrees Celsius, which was recorded in Iran in 2017.
In 2021, Sicily, Italy recorded the highest temperature in Europe at 48.8 degrees Celsius.
On the other hand, in 2023, the Chinese people saw a new record of the lowest and highest temperature in their history in just six months. At the beginning of the year, some areas of the country were shivering with severe cold. At one point, new records were set for the lowest temperature exceeding sub-freezing (minus) 50 degrees Celsius. In the aftermath of that incident, China saw a new record for the highest temperature. The temperature eventually rose to a record 52 degrees Celsius.
891 buildings collapsed in the storm in Libya
Cyclone Daniel hit the northeastern coast of Libya on September 10. Due to the impact of this cyclone, two dams broke due to record rainfall and caused severe flooding. 11,500 people were killed and 10,000 people went missing. In all, the death toll is close to 20,000.
According to a report by a team from Libya’s National Unity Government, 891 buildings in the port city of Darna were completely destroyed after two dams collapsed in severe flooding caused by Cyclone Daniel. 211 buildings were partially damaged. Another 398 buildings will be demolished.
Floods and landslides in Pakistan-Afghanistan
At least 31 people were killed in Afghanistan in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in the last week of July. At the same time, another 13 people were killed in landslides and rain-related incidents after heavy rains in Pakistan. In the span of a month, vast areas of East Punjab in Pakistan were submerged in floods. According to Pakistan’s Chief Meteorologist Muhammad Aslam, the water level of the river has not increased so much in the last 35 years. According to the country’s disaster management agency, more than 175 people died in this flood that started in June till August 24. In total, the death toll in Pakistan and Afghanistan stands at 219.
Heavy rains in Meghalaya caused temporary flooding in Sunamganj, Bangladesh
In the second week of June, due to heavy rains in Meghalaya, India, it entered Bangladesh from upstream. Due to this, temporary flooding occurred due to the water flowing through Jadukata and Dhopajan rivers in bordering Sunamganj.
Heavy rains flood in India, 34 dead
Before the end of the first week of July, heavy rains started in various parts of the northern states of India. The northern regions including Himachal, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Delhi received continuous rain for several days. 34 people died till July 10 due to severe floods. Knee-deep water accumulates in most of the buildings, starting from the streets of most of the cities of the provinces, including Delhi, the capital of India. Normal life came to a standstill in Himachal Pradesh due to heavy rains, landslides and flash floods.
Severe fire in Canada
In August 2023, the worst wildfires in Canadian history began. More than 1,000 fires are burning across the country. In the third week of August, wildfires raged in British Columbia. At least 30,000 people were evacuated when fire broke out in about 400 places. A state of emergency was earlier declared in British Columbia due to the ferocity of the wildfires.
“We are dealing with the worst wildfire in the history of our province,” said provincial premier David Eby, describing the situation as “unprecedented”.
‘Severe’ air pollution in Delhi
India’s capital city Delhi is hit by severe air pollution in October. During the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, this disaster put the health of not only the locals, but also the cricket board authorities and coaching staff at risk, along with the open-spectators from different countries. Considering the situation, all schools in Delhi were closed. Later during Diwali the air pollution situation worsens.
After the Air Quality Index (AQI) in various parts of the capital New Delhi entered the ‘severe’ category on November 3, some schools in the city were ordered to remain closed for two more days.
Volcanic eruptions in Indonesia
One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Merapi in Indonesia, has erupted, killing 11 climbers. 12 climbers went missing in the December 3 incident. The volcano in West Sumatra is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. As a result of the eruption there, ash spread up to an area of 3 km. Apart from this, cars, roads are covered with ash.
Heavy rains and landslides in Tanzania
At least 65 people have died in landslides and floods caused by heavy rains in northern Tanzania. Heavy rain swept away vehicles and collapsed many buildings in the hillside town of Katesh, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of the country’s capital, Dodoma. The East African country’s roads and bridges were severely damaged in this disaster. Flooding is considered to be the biggest natural hazard in Tanzania. Hundreds of thousands of people are affected by floods in the country every year.