DEATHS DUE TO NATURAL DISASTERS – THROUGHOUT WORLD HISTORY MILLIONS HAVE DIED

PREHISTORIC AND HISTORIC

African Hominid population

Eurasian (Europe) Homo erectus population

Eurasian (Europe) Neanderthal population 

Homo sapiens sapiens populations – Middle Ages to Present:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death

 The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1346–53.[1][2][3] Although there were several competing theories as to the etiology of the Black Death, analysis of DNA from victims in northern and southern Europe published in 2010 and 2011 indicates that the pathogen responsible was the Yersinia pestis bacterium, probably causing several forms of plague.[4][5]

The Black Death is thought to have originated in the arid plains of central Asia, where it then travelled along the Silk Road, reaching the Crimea by 1346.[citation needed][6] From there, it was most likely carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships. Spreading throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, the Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60% of Europe’s total population.[7] All in all, the plague reduced the world population from an estimated 450 million down to 350–375 million in the 14th century.

The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social, and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe’s population to recover.[citation needed] The plague recurred occasionally in Europe until the 19th century.

 

Coming out of the East, the Black Death reached the shores of Italy in the spring of 1348 unleashing a rampage of death across Europe unprecedented in recorded history. By the time the epidemic played itself out three years later, anywhere between 25% and 50% of Europe’s population had fallen victim to the pestilence.

The plague presented itself in three interrelated forms. The bubonic variant (the most common) derives its name from the swellings or buboes that appeared on a victim’s neck, armpits or groin. These tumors could range in size from that of an egg to that of an apple. Although some survived 

 

The Plague’s Progress

the painful ordeal, the manifestation of these lesions usually signaled the victim had a life expectancy of up to a week. Infected fleas that attached themselves to rats and then to humans spread this bubonic type of the plague. A second variation – pneumonic plague – attacked the respiratory system and was spread by merely breathing the exhaled air of a victim. It was much more virulent than its bubonic cousin – life expectancy was measured in one or two days. Finally, the septicemic version of the disease attacked the blood system.

Having no defense and no understanding of the cause of the pestilence, the men, women and children caught in its onslaught were bewildered, panicked, and finally devastated.

The Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio lived through the plague as it ravaged the city of Florence in 1348. The experience inspired him to write The Decameron, a story of seven men and three women who escape the disease by fleeing to a villa outside the city. In his introduction to the fictional portion of his book, Boccaccio gives a graphic description of the effects of the epidemic on his city.

 

THE IRISH POTATO FAMINE:

 

The Irish catastrophe

The Great Famine in Ireland began as a natural catastrophe of extraordinary magnitude, but its effects were severely worsened by the actions and inactions of the Whig government, headed by Lord John Russell in the crucial years from 1846 to 1852.

The Irish famine was proportionally more destructive of human life than…the famines of modern times.

Altogether, about a million people in Ireland are reliably estimated to have died of starvation and epidemic disease between 1846 and 1851, and some two million emigrated in a period of a little more than a decade (1845-55). Comparison with other modern and contemporary famines establishes beyond any doubt that the Irish famine of the late 1840s, which killed nearly one-eighth of the entire population, was proportionally much more destructive of human life than the vast majority of famines in modern times.

 

Throughout the Famine years, nearly a million Irish arrived in the United States. Famine immigrants were the first big wave of poor refugees ever to arrive in the U.S. and Americans were simply overwhelmed. Upon arrival in America, the Irish found the going to be quite tough. With no one to help them, they immediately settled into the lowest rung of society and waged a daily battle for survival.

The roughest welcome of all would be in Boston, Massachusetts, an Anglo-Saxon city with a population of about 115,000. It was a place run by descendants of English Puritans, men who could proudly recite their lineage back to 1620 and the Mayflower ship. Now, some two hundred thirty years later, their city was undergoing nothing short of an unwanted “social revolution” as described by Ephraim Peabody, member of an old Yankee family. In 1847, the first big year of Famine emigration, the city was swamped with 37,000 Irish Catholics arriving by sea and land.

Proper Bostonians pointed and laughed at the first Irish immigrants stepping off ships wearing clothes twenty years out of fashion. They watched as the newly arrived Irishmen settled with their families into enclaves that became exclusively Irish near the Boston waterfront along Batterymarch and Broad Streets, then in the North End section and in East Boston. Irishmen took any unskilled jobs they could find such as cleaning yards and stables, unloading ships, and pushing carts.

 

And once again, they fell victim to unscrupulous landlords. This time it was Boston landlords who sub-divided former Yankee dwellings into cheap housing, charging Irish families up to $1.50 a week to live in a single nine-by-eleven foot room with no water, sanitation, ventilation or daylight.

In Boston, as well as other American cities in the mid-1800s, there was no enforcement of sanitary regulations and no building or fire safety codes. Landlords could do as they pleased. A single family three-story house along the waterfront that once belonged to a prosperous Yankee merchant could be divided-up room by room into housing for a hundred Irish, bringing a nice profit.

 

THE GERMAN POTATO FAMINE:

 

The effect of the crisis on Ireland is incomparable to all other places, causing one million deaths, up to two million refugees, and spurring a century-long population decline. Excluding Ireland, the death toll from the crisis is estimated to be in the region of 100,000 people. Of this, BELGIUM AND PRUSSIA account for most of the deaths, with 40,000–50,000 estimated to have died in Belgium, with Flandersparticularly affected, and about 42,000 estimated to have perished in Prussia. The remainder of deaths occurred mainly in FRANCE, where 10,000 people are estimated to have died as a result of famine-like conditions.[2]

Aside from death from starvation and famine diseases, suffering came in other forms. While the demographic impact of famines are immediately visible in mortality, longer-term declines of fertility and natalitycan also dramatically affect population. In Ireland births fell by a third, resulting in about 0.5 million “lost lives”. Declines elsewhere were lower: Flanders lost 20–30%, the Netherlands about 10–20%, and Prussia about 12%.[3]

Emigration to escape the famine centred mainly on Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. Elsewhere in the United Kingdom and on the continent, conditions were not so harsh as to completely eradicate the basics of survival so as to require mass migration of the sort experienced in Ireland and Scotland. Over 1 million[4] emigrated from the Scottish Highlands, many assisted by landlords and the government, mainly to North America and Australia, and is seen as a continuation of the Highland Clearances, with overtones of ethnic cleansing.”

 

HURRICANES, TSUNAS, ETC.

 

Hurricanes and tsunamis are two of the many natural disasters in the world. They are very different but yet alike and affect people in the world everyday. To further examine the natural disasters, let us take a look at the formation, death toll, and reconstruction cost of hurricanes and tsunamis.
Many scientists have researched and studied how hurricanes and tsunamis are formed. Hurricanes, also called typhoons in other parts of the world, start as thunderstorms. Like all thunderstorms in the northern hemisphere, they rotate counterclockwise. They usually move from the Northwest Coast of Africa toward Central and North America pushed by equatorial trade winds. When the thunderstorms reach, or come into, warmer waters with easterly winds, they then strengthen into first a tropical depression, and then it could intensify into a tropical storm, and finally a hurricane. Hurricanes range from a category one hurricane all the way to a category five reaching winds up to one hundred seventy miles per hour plus. Unlike hurricanes, tsunamis form from earthquakes that form a sudden displacement on the seafloor. Volcanic eruptions, landslides, underwater explosions, and meteorite impacts can also generate tsunamis.
The most dramatic contrast between hurricanes and tsunamis is the death toll. Many people lose their lives because of hurricanes and tsunamis, which is a tragedy and disaster. A hurricanes average death toll is a much smaller number than a tsunamis, but it ranges. The size of the hurricane, ranging from a category one to a category five depends on what the estimated number of deaths could be. The deaths of many people from hurricanes are much easier to prevent than a tsunamis is. This is because, the meteorologist and storm chasers can keep track and keep everyone updated with new information on the storms status. Also it has a much faster way of getting word out to the citizens of the communities in the path of the storm that there may be a warning …

 

10 deadliest natural disasters:

Rank

Death toll (estimate)

Event

Location

Date

1

1,000,000–4,000,000*[1]

1931 China floods

China

July, August, 1931

2

900,000–2,000,000[2]

1887 Yellow River flood

China

September, October, 1887

3

830,000[3]

1556 Shaanxi earthquake

China

January 23, 1556

4

242,000–779,000

1976 Tangshan earthquake

China

July 28, 1976

5

500,000–1,000,000[1]

1970 Bhola cyclone

East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)

November 13, 1970

6

300,000[4]

1839 India Cyclone

India

November 25, 1839

6

300,000[5]

1737 Calcutta cyclone

India

October 7, 1737

8

273,400[6]

1920 Haiyuan earthquake

China

December 16, 1920

9

250,000–300,000[7]

526 Antioch earthquake

Byzantine Empire (now Turkey)

May 526

10

260,000[8]

115 Antioch earthquake

Roman Empire (now Turkey)

December 13, 115

* Estimate by Nova’s sources are close to 4 million …  Expert estimates report wide variance.

 

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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