Scary Facts About Natural Disasters: Flood/Fire Whirl/Heat Wave

It’s amazing that something as vital and seemingly gentle as water can cause massive destruction. Water has the capacity to easily take lives when certain conditions are reached. In this article, you will learn about the destruction caused by floods, fire whirls and heat waves.

A flood causes a normally dry area to become submerged with water. Rainstorms, hurricanes, slow water run-off, earthquakes, broken dams, underwater volcanic eruptions and tsunamis can cause a flood to occur. Even excessive melting of snow can cause a flood to develop. Sometimes, blockages (such as ice) can affect the natural flow of a river , causing it to overflow and spread outside of its regular boundary.

During a flood, a number of things may occur, which can cause extensive damage to property and homes. Animals and people die from floods. Communities located in flood zones are forced to rebuild , especially when they lack the appropriate equipment that can help control the level of damage a flood can cause.

The most extensive flood damage in history took place in August 1950 involving the Hwai and Yangtze Rivers. 890,000 homes were destroyed and 490 people lost their lives. 10 million people were left without housing. The water covered about 5 million acres of land, which left the locals at a loss in the agriculture. 3.5 millions acres were left unfit for planting.

Fire Whirl

Under certain conditions, the inside of a fire can develop tornado-like features. A fire whirl is a rare form of fire that has the potential to produce catastrophic results. Columns of fire can erupt, which transport smoke, flames, and debris. The combination of elements causes the fire to spread at an increasing rate. Fire whirls are sometimes comparable to small tornadoes in regards to size and intensity. They can range from one foot to two feet in diameter. Once a fire whirl departs from the main fire, it gradually loses its strength.

The highest death toll associated with a fire whirl accompanied the Great Kanto Earthquake of September 1, 1923, which raged though the Kanto region of Honshu, Japan. About 38,000 people were incinerated when a fire whirl broke out into the Former Army Clothing Depot in Tokyo.
Heat Wave

A heat wave is characterized by stretches of time where the weather is significantly warmer usual for the typical climate and season. The summertime is the most common time of the year when a heat wave takes place.

The highest death toll from a heat wave took place during the hottest August in the northern hemisphere in 2003. The extreme heat was at the cause of at least 35,000 deaths. There are other estimates that state that as many as 52,000 lives were lost. France got the worst of it with 14,802 deaths. The elderly suffered the weight of the heat wave when temperatures reached 104 degrees for seven consecutive days.