1. Bushfires, Australia – 2019-2020
Signs of bushfires in Australia officially started to show in October of 2019 due to prolonged droughts around the country. Over the next few months, the bushfires spread fast and wide, showing no signs of stopping. With time a state of emergency was declared in Queensland and New South Wales in November, and slowly all the other states followed as the fires continued to spread. Also known as Black Summer, the Australian bushfires were deemed as one of the biggest natural disasters. The extent of damage ranged from an estimated 18 million hectares burned over 9000 buildings and homes destroyed, and 400 deaths (directly or indirectly).
2. Flash Floods, Indonesia – 2020
Occurring in the early hours of 1st January, overnight there was a heavy downpour which caused the rivers to overflow adding to the devastating flash floods that covered Jakarta and its neighboring areas entirely. The floods have been responsible for displacing a population of over 4 lakh, causing 66 deaths, landslides, and tonnes of destruction.
3. Covid-19, China and all over the world – 2019-2020
In December 2019, the first Coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, China. Because it was not considered deadly at the moment, no one could imagine the kind of impact this virus would have globally. China recorded the first death on 11th January 2020 and subsequently two months later, WHO declared the virus to be a world-wide pandemic on 11th March. As 2nd April came around, the world number of cases surpassed a million. Now slowly, people are venturing out while taking precautions and trying to sense the new normal, and countries like India and Russia are working towards finding the solution for a vaccination.
4. Volcano Eruption, Philippines - 2020
With more than 20 active volcanoes in the Philippines, the country is constantly at the danger of being affected by a catastrophe. Incidentally the second most active volcano, Taal Volcano erupted in January 2020. On 12th January, the volcano started rumbling, sending tremors out and further resulting in an eruption. As a result, a large amount of ash dust was emitted and forced authorities to evacuate over 8,000 people close by and 3,00,000 people overall. Taal Volcano’s last eruption was 43 years ago. Reports from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology put forward the following data; a total of over 2,000 volcano induced tectonic earthquakes took place, out of which 176 were felt. As an impact of this, the Philippines is still picking up the pieces and healing from the damage.
5. Earthquakes, China-India-Iran-Philippines-Russia-Turkey-The Caribbean - 2020
With the ongoing pandemic, this year and the people have faced so many catastrophic situations such as earthquakes all over the world. 45 major earthquakes have been categorized over 6 degrees on the Richter scale. Jamaica and Russia faced earthquakes with a reading of over 7 magnitudes and were symbolically the worst-hit countries. An earthquake in Turkey was responsible for 41 deaths.
6. Swarms of Locusts, Asia-East Africa-India-Middle East - 2020
Desert Locusts are migratory pests that can eat as much food is around the amount 35,000 people can eat. They feed on crops and have the power to destroy crops within seconds. Moreover, they breed rapidly and almost 150 million of these pests can exist in a 1 square kilometer area. They do not harm human beings.
Being called one of the worst pest attacks in almost 26 years, it is being said that the sudden increase of these locusts has occurred due to a change in the climate. The increase in temperature has made it possible for breeding to happen while also making it habitable.
In India, videos of the locusts swarming have been circulated and they can make a person uncomfortable. The states of Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have seen the effects of these pest attacks.
7. Cyclone Amphan, Bangladesh-India - 2020
Cyclone Amphan is classified as one of the most powerful, deadly tropical cyclones to ever impact Bangladesh and India. It was categorized as a category 5 hurricane and the havoc it wreaked was devastating. It caused landfalls, heavy rains, gust windows, and lightning that left behind destruction in its wake while killing 12 people.
8. Forest Fires, Uttarakhand - 2020
In May, a forest fire that lasted for days caused Uttarakhand to burn. What may have started as a small fire has managed to engulf 51 hectares of forest land, further resulting in a loss of more than 1 lakh for the forest department. 2 deaths and several others have been injured.
9. Assam Floods, India - 2020
Heavy rains in the past few months have been seen as a boon and bane around different parts of India. Many parts of Assam have also experienced these heavy rains and as a result, have been negatively affected in the form of floods. 128 villages, 5 districts and so many more have been caused harm.
10. Green Snow, Antarctica - 2020When thinking about Antarctica, one can imagine everything white; from glaciers to snow, penguins, seals, and more. However, it has been noticed that parts of Antarctica are turning green due to climate change and the bloom of snow algae. Snow algae tend to thrive on temperatures that are above the freezing temperature and as the climate is causing the snow to melt, it has accelerated the speed at which the snow algae grows. If someone were to look at the continent from space, they would see some of the green parts.
Eight months into the year, and we hope to see the world heal, be healthy, and happy!