Worst Disasters in 2010

From Snowmageddon to Iceland's volcano eruption, 2010 was a year filled with natural and man-made (BP oil spill) disasters that changed the world.

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Debris at Japan's Sendai Airport
Debris at Japan's Sendai Airport

Debris at Japan's Sendai Airport

In March, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake shook Japan and triggered a tsunami. At the Sendai Airport in Natori, Miyagi, Japan, the tsunami washed debris inland, including a private plane. The quake was also responsible for destabilizing a power plant in the region. 960 1280

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Texas Wildfires

Texas Wildfires

Emergency crews battle one of the most destructive wildfires in Texas history. The fire claimed 2 lives, destroyed 1500 homes, burned more than 45 square miles around Bastrop and created a smoky haze over Austin, 25 miles to the west. 960 1280

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Tornado damage in Joplin,MO

Tornado damage in Joplin,MO

A tornado rips through a neighborhood in Joplin, MO, killing more than 120 people on May 25, 2011, making it the United States’ single deadliest tornado in 60 years. 960 1280

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Arizona Wildfires

Arizona Wildfires

A massive Arizona wildfire spread over 400,000 acres of land, including a portion of the Coronado National Forest. The fire destroyed 29 homes, and at one point, 10, 000 people were evacuated from the area. 960 1280

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Car submerged after Christchurch Earthquake

Car submerged after Christchurch Earthquake

A car is half submerged in water and thick mud after a 6.0 magnitude earthquake and a 5.5 magnitude earthquake strike Christchurch, New Zealand, on June 13, 2011. 960 1280

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Chilean restaurant covered in Volcano Ash

Chilean restaurant covered in Volcano Ash

After lying dormant for more than 50 years, Chile's Puyehue volcano erupted in June. Thick ash covered homes and this restaurant. Thousands of residents were evacuated. 960 1280

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Washington National Cathedral damage from Earthquake

Washington National Cathedral damage from Earthquake

A 5.9 earthquake shook the East Coast of the United States on August 23, 2011, causing damage to the Washington National Cathedral, in the nation’s capital. Although the epicenter was located near Mineral, VA, residents in southern Ontario, Canada felt the quake. 960 1280

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Stranded men on flooded road after Hurricane Irene

Stranded men on flooded road after Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene’s powerful 85-mph winds cause major damage in the Caribbean and on the East Coast, including North Carolina, where several roads were completely washed away, stranding travelers. 960 1280

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Turkey earthquake damage

Turkey earthquake damage

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake wreaks havoc in Van, Turkey on October 30, 2011. More than 600 people were killed and at least 11,232 buildings sustained some damage. On November 9, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hits Van again, causing 40 deaths and hundreds of injuries. 960 1280

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Tropical Storm Lee washes out bridge

Tropical Storm Lee washes out bridge

Tropical Storm Lee hits the US Gulf Coast on September 1, 2011, causing major storms and heavy rainfall in south Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. Rains caused significant flooding and damage in these areas. 960 1280

Ruhrfisch, Wikimedia Commons  

Arizona Dust Storm

Arizona Dust Storm

A major dust storm sweeps through the southern portion of the southwest Arizona, including Phoenix, on July 5, 2011. Triggered by thunderstorms and high winds, the storm causes flight delays and sparks numerous reports of power outages. 960 1280

Reuters  

Thailand Flooding

Thailand Flooding

In July, floods strike Thailand, killing nearly 400 people and disrupts the lives of more the 2 million people. This photo, taken in November, shows residents using boats, make-shift rafts or traveling by foot, through flood waters in northern Bangkok. 960 1280

Reuters  

Arkansas Dead Birds

Arkansas Dead Birds

A few unexplained events happened this year, including thousands of blackbirds that fell out of the sky in Beebe, Arkansas. Stress from New Year's Eve fireworks may have caused the deaths of up to 5,000 birds. 960 1280

Reuters