A natural disaster is a sudden event that causes widespread destruction, lots of collateral damage or loss of life, brought about by forces other than the acts of human beings. A natural disaster might be caused by earthquakes, flooding, volcanic eruption, landslide, hurricanes etc. In order to be classified as a disaster, it will have profound environmental effect and/or human loss and frequently incurs financial loss.
List of natural disasters by death toll Wikipedia
* Estimate by Nova's sources are close to 4 million and yet Encarta's sources report as few as 1 million. Expert estimates report wide variance.
The list does not include several volcanic eruptions with uncertain death tolls resulting from collateral effects (crop failures, etc.), though these may have numbered in the millions; see List of volcanic eruptions by death toll.
The list does not include the man-made 1938 Yellow River flood, caused entirely by a deliberate man-made act (an act of war, destroying dikes).
An alternative listing is given by Peter Hough in his 2008 book Global Security.
This list does not include industrial or technological accidents, epidemics, or the 1938 Yellow River flood.
Note: Some of these famines may be caused or partially caused by humans.
Note: Some of these floods and landslides may be partially caused by humans – for example, by failure of dams, levees, seawalls or retaining walls.
The list does not include the man-made 1938 Yellow River flood caused entirely by a deliberate man-made act (an act of war, destroying dikes).
Measuring the number of deaths caused by a heat wave requires complicated statistical analysis, since heat waves tend to cause large numbers of deaths among people weakened by other conditions. As a result, the number of deaths is only known with any accuracy for heat waves in the modern era in countries with developed healthcare systems.
(Only 2 recorded cases.)
A 1782 possible tsunami causing about 40,000 deaths in the Taiwan Strait area may have been of "meteorological" origin (a cyclone)