The number of disasters that hit countries around the world this year were enough to make us believe in the Mayan belief that the world will end on December 21, 2012. Here's a look at the major natural disasters that rocked humanity in 2012.
Life in New York was thrown out of gear after superstorm sandy hit the US in October this year. New Yorkers struggled to restore vital services and clear debris after a wall of storm-driven seawater swamped road and rail tunnels and triggered massive fires that left at least 120 people dead. Over 8 million homes and businesses from the Carolinas to Maine faced power outages and food shortage.
A sign asks for volunteers in the clean-up effort in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood where a large section of the iconic boardwalk was washed away in the Queens borough of New York City. AFP
Cyclone Nilam hit Tamil Nadu coast in November leading to heavy rain and power outages in Chennai. State authorities turned 282 schools into relief centers in Chennai and the city's port halted cargo operations. About 150,000 people were moved to shelters in Nellore. The cyclone with maximum winds of 75 kph (45 mph) caused Pratibha Cauvery an oil tanker to run aground and five sailors aboard the tanker lost their lives.
Indian Coast Guards lead crew members to safety on a rescue mission on the ship Pratibha Cauvery which ran aground due to strong winds on the Bay of Bengal coast, off Chennai. AP Photo
Typhoon Bopha killed 902 people mostly on the southern island of Mindanao, where floods and landslides caused major damage in nearly 2,000 villages in December. The typhoon, the deadliest natural disaster to hit the Philippines this year, destroyed 149,000 houses, government agency said. About 80,000 people remain in government shelters, where they face months in difficult, crowded conditions as relief officials look for safe areas to build more permanent shelters.
A man holds a rooster next to his house toppled at the height of Typhoon Bopha in the coastal town of Boston, Davao Oriental in southern Philippines. Reuters
A 7.1-magnitude earthquake has been reported off the coast of Indonesia in December.The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck offshore in December morning, with the epicenter 147 miles (236 kilometers) northwest of the city of Saumlaki. The quake was reported at a depth of 96 miles (155 kilometers).
Residents stand next to the collapsed altar wall of a chapel after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Basey, western Samar province, in the central Philippines. AFP
A powerful earthquake that struck Myanmar at the weekend has left 38 people dead or missing in Naypyidaw.Hundreds of buildings were destroyed or damaged in November tremor, which sent terrified people running from their homes in the country's second-biggest city of Mandalay and surrounding villages.At least 26 people were killed while 12 others are missing and about 230 were injured, Myanmar Red Cross Society deputy general secretary Aung Kyaw Htut said.
Uttarakashi flash flood
A young boy walks past cracks in the ground at Sintgu township, Mandalay division in central Myanmar. AFP
Torrential rains in August led to flash floods, cloudbursts and landslides in Uttarakashi, killing as many as 31 people and leaving thousands stranded on the Char Dham Yatra route that takes pilgrims to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. An estimated 20,000 people were affected. Pilgrims were trapped after the floods wiped out roads, cutting off 80 Uttarkashi villages from the rest of Uttarakhand.
Part of a three storey building is washed away in flash floods in the Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand. AP
Twin earthquakes struck Iran leaving 227 people dead and 1,380 injured in the disaster. Hundreds of villages were flattened.The first of the earthquakes registered a strong 6.4 on the moment magnitude scale, according to the US Geological Survey.The second, almost as strong at 6.3 on the scale, rumbled through just 11 minutes later. While the biggest city in the region, Tabriz, and nearby towns escaped with only relatively minor damage, scores of outlying villages made of more flimsy mud and concrete bricks were decimated.
An Iranian woman tends her injured relative in the town of Varzaqan some 60 kms northeast of Tabriz, after a strong earthquake hit the town.
Assam and parts of North-East India was struck by floods in July leaving atleast 33 people dead and over 17.60 lakh affected. The flood occured due to breaches inthe upperareas of river Brahmaputra that caused death of 595 wild animals. Around 512 were hog deer who failed to navigate high speed of water. However, lesser casualty of bigger animals such as elephants and rhinos were reported.
Army personnel shift flood-affected people to safer places at Dhola in Tinsukia District of Assam.
Beijing flash flood
A flash flood hit the city of Beijing in China on July. Within a day of the flooding, 56,933 people had been evacuated, while the floodwaters killed 79 people, causing at least 10 billion Yuan (US $1.6 billion) in damages and destroying at least 8,200 homes. In the city, more than 1.6 million people were affected by the flood overall.
Fangshan district was the most heavily-affected area of Beijing, located in the southwest, which received a record-setting 460 mm (18 in) of rain, while on average the city received 170 mm (6.7 in) during the same period, the highest recorded since 1951.
A man walking by a collapsed bridge in the devastated area of Beijing, after the worst rainstorms in six decades pounded the capital city, leaving the metropolis flooded and tens of thousands of people stranded in surging waters. AFP
Monsoon floods in Pakistan killed 480 people and affected more than five million, according to the government's disaster relief agency. Pakistan was hit by heavy rain in mid-August, which caused floods in Southern Punjab, Northern Sindh and North-Eastern Balochistan, forcing many people to evacuate. Pakistan Government's statement on November 7 said, some 474 people were reported dead and approximately 5.4 million (including approximately 160,000 evacuees) were affected so far.
Disclaimer: Listing in no particular order.
Pakistani flood survivors shift their house hold items in Mirali Village of Jacobabad district, around 500 kilometres (300 miles) north of the metropolis of Karachi. AFP