I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “catastrophe,” I think of earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. However, there is another type of catastrophe called “environmental catastrophes.” These aren’t really happening just with disasters. They are happening in our daily lives.
I’ve seen videos of massive floods, massive landslides, massive tsunamis, massive flooding, massive fires. I’ve seen pictures of massive oil spills, massive plastic bags, massive fish kills, massive fish kills. I’ve seen a video of a massive wildfire in a small town, which was really scary. In fact, there’s even a small movie called Firestorm. It’s a movie about a fire that spreads across a small town, so big that it destroys every house in sight.
Theres an important note to make here, though. It may sound trivial, but I think Ive said enough about earthquakes and tsunamis to get you going. However, it would be good to go back and look at the disasters that didn’t make it as a topic. A couple of these disasters are still happening today, but not nearly as bad as they were back then.
A few years ago, a massive earthquake struck the Mexican state of Oaxaca, killing some 100,000 people. I think it was the largest earthquake that Ive heard of in my entire life, so it was definitely the largest disaster that Ive heard of in my entire life. It was an earthquake that spread its effects across not only the entire state of Oaxaca, but the entire country. It was also the strongest earthquake recorded on record.
Oaxacan earthquakes are considered the worst ever, but there are exceptions, like the 1989 Tumbes earthquake in Peru that killed more than a million people. Even in countries like Peru and the Philippines where disasters usually get bigger and more deadly, there are still huge numbers of deaths at the hands of earthquakes. It turns out that the earthquakes in Oaxaca are the worst in Mexico. It caused a catastrophic earthquake that killed at least 10,000 people and caused widespread damage.
These things are the fault lines between the things that happen when we get too caught up in our own thoughts and actions. We get lost in the action of our lives and forget that we’re in the middle of all of the rest of the world.
The earthquake in Oaxaca is the largest ever in Mexico, with a magnitude of 7.1. It was the deadliest in the country since a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in Mexico City in 1996 killed at least 42 people. This was the biggest earthquake in Mexico since a magnitude 5.2 earthquake in Mexico City in 2010 killed at least 28 people. In Mexico, that is the highest number of deaths since the 1960 earthquake in Mexico City, which killed at least 56 people.
The same earthquake was also the second-biggest ever in the Western Hemisphere, with a magnitude of 6.4. The first quake of this magnitude in California in 1906 was the largest ever recorded.
In the aftermath of this earthquake the city of Mexico City was badly damaged, but it survived. There were so many aftershocks that the residents eventually rebuilt the city and it is now one of the most livable cities in the world.
It’s worth remembering that after such a natural disaster, the population of many cities is usually devastated. That’s why cities in South America and other parts of the world are now going through enormous efforts to “rebuild” their infrastructure, so they can be more resilient to natural disasters. For example, in Chile, a major disaster left the city of Santiago with a population of 2 million people.