Historic World Events / Tag Archives: Disaster

Tag Archives: Disaster

Tsunami hits Hawaii

Tsunami hits Hawaii

A tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Chile travels across the Pacific Ocean and kills 61 people in Hilo, Hawaii, on this day in 1960. The massive 8.5-magnitude quake had killed thousands in Chile the previous day. The earthquake, involving a severe plate shift, caused a large …

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Japanese power plant leaks radioactive waste

Japanese power plant leaks radioactive waste

A nuclear accident at a Japan Atomic Power Company plant in Tsuruga, Japan, exposes 59 workers to radiation on this day in 1981. As seems all too common with nuclear-power accidents, the officials in charge failed to timely inform the public and nearby residents, endangering them needlessly. Tsuruga lies near …

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Gas fire incinerates crowded campsite

Gas fire incinerates crowded campsite

On this day in 1978, a truck carrying liquid gas crashes into a campsite, crowded with vacationers, in San Carlos de la Rapita, Spain. The resulting explosion killed more than 200 people; many others suffered severe burns. Shortly after 3 p.m. on a hot day on the Mediterranean coast of …

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Tsunami devastates Indian Ocean coast

Tsunami devastates Indian Ocean coast

A powerful earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, on this day in 2004 sets off a tsunami that wreaks death and devastation across the Indian Ocean coastline. The quake was the second strongest ever recorded and the estimated 230,000 dead made this disaster one of the 10 worst of …

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Killer smog claims elderly victims

Killer smog claims elderly victims

Killer smog continues to hover over Donora, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1948. Over a five-day period, the smog killed about 20 people and made thousands more seriously ill. Donora was a town of 14,000 people on the Monongahela River in a valley surrounded by hills. The town was home …

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Dam gives way in Georgia

Dam gives way in Georgia

On this day in 1977, the Toccoa Falls Dam in Georgia gives way and 39 people die in the resulting flood. Ninety miles north of Atlanta, the Toccoa (Cherokee for “beautiful”) Falls Dam was constructed of earth across a canyon in 1887, creating a 55-acre lake 180 feet above the …

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Dam collapses in Switzerland, kills 70

Dam collapses in Switzerland, kills 70

On this day in 1887, a dam breaks in Zug, Switzerland, killing 70 people in their homes and destroying a large section of the town. The dam at Zug was 80 feet high and made of concrete. When the dam was built, concrete-making and setting techniques were not as advanced …

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Boeing 707 crashes into a mountain near Agadir, Morocco

Boeing 707 crashes into a mountain near Agadir, Morocco

On this day in 1975, a chartered Boeing 707 jetliner crashes in the Atlas Mountains near Agadir, a coastal city in southern Morocco. All 188 people aboard the plane were killed, in the fourth worst air disaster to that date. Owned by the Jordanian airline Alia and chartered to Royal …

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Train crashes into station in Yugoslavia

Train crashes into station in Yugoslavia

A train entering a Zagreb, Yugoslavia, station derails, killing 153 people, on this day in 1974. It was the worst rail accident in the country’s history to that date and remains one of the worst in Europe’s history. The express train from Belgrade to Dortmund was filled mostly with workers …

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Avalanche buries homes in Iceland

Avalanche buries homes in Iceland

An unusually large avalanche buries homes and kills 20 people in Flateyri, Iceland, on this day in 1995. This disaster was the second deadly avalanche in the region that year. Ten months earlier, on January 17, the small fishing village of Sudavik had suffered a devastating avalanche in which 16 …

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