Natural disasters are extreme and unpredictable events resulting from natural processes of the earth. They come without a warning and cause harm to people and property. Many of them can be seen to have occurred on the 26th of different months. The time, year, and the amount of destruction they caused were different. But then, was the same date only a coincidence?
The famous volcanic eruption of 1883 in Krakatau created a small island in the middle of the ocean-filled volcanic crater. It is known as Anak Krakatau, which means child-of-Krakatau.
Fossil records suggest that the ancient earth flourished in a paradise-like environment that was very different from how it is today. The geological changes have been brought about by several natural disasters which took place in the course of time.
Natural disasters are catastrophic events that are caused by geologic processes. They lead to great destruction of life and property. There have been a number of calamities like volcanic eruptions, droughts, famines, diseases, earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, landslides, avalanches, floods, storms, hurricanes, and other events in history which have wrecked havoc.
And many of them have happened on the 26th. There is no scientific explanation to why they occurred on this specific date, which is why this can be considered as a mere coincidence. Or is it something else? That’s for you to decide after reading about the following natural disasters that occurred on the 26th.
Indian Ocean Tsunami on December 26, 2004
The tsunami and earthquake that occurred in the Indian Ocean on 26th December 2004 off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia caused extensive destruction to parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. It was the world’s deadliest tsunami and over 230,000 people were killed and half a million were injured by the tidal waves that knocked down the coast. The earthquake measured 9.1 to 9.3 on moment magnitude scale.
Eruption of Krakatoa on August 26, 1883
An incredibly powerful volcanic eruption took place on August 26, 1883 in Krakatau, an island in the Sunda Strait which lies between the two larger islands, Sumatra and Java. The volcano sent an ash cloud about 30 miles into the air and seismic vibrations triggered several tsunamis. Giant waves reached heights of about 50 m above sea level and destroyed everything in their path. It killed at least 36,400 people. It is one of the most deadly volcanic eruptions in history. Earlier to this eruption, seismic activities were occurring around the volcano and earthquakes were felt as far away as Australia.
Earthquake in Gujarat, India on January 26, 2001
At a time when India was celebrating its 52nd Republic Day on 26th January 2001, a powerful earthquake struck the Kutch area in Gujarat. It faced one of the worst geologic disasters in history. The massive earthquake that measured 7.9 on the Richter scale, killed about 20,000 people and injured over 166,000 people. There was widespread damage. More than 300,000 houses were damaged.
North Izu Earthquake on November 26, 1930
The North Izu earthquake occurred on November 26, 1930 in the Izu Peninsula. The Izu Peninsula is located at the northern tip of Philippines. The earthquake had a magnitude of Ms 7.3. Around 300 people died in this quake and over 2000 houses were ravaged. Buildings collapsed and many landslides occurred.
Sea of Japan Earthquake on May 26, 1983
A devastating earthquake occurred on 26th May, 1983 in the Central Sea of Japan (Japan Sea) about 100 km off the coast of Akita Prefecture in Honshu, Japan. The earthquake generated a major tsunami which caused destruction and deaths on the coasts of Hokkaido, Aomori, and Akita prefecture. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the earthquake measured 7.7 on the Richter scale. Four people died and property was damaged. The tsunami took the lives of around 100 people and caused widespread damage to coastal defenses.
Erzincan Earthquake, Turkey on December 26, 1939
The Erzincan earthquake which occurred on December 26, 1939 in Turkey had a magnitude of 7.8. It caused 32,700 deaths and great damages in the Erzincan Plain and the Kelkit River Valley.
Bam Earthquake on December 26, 2003
On December 26, 2003, an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 as estimated by the United States Geological Survey, occurred in the city of Bam in Iran. The disaster caused deaths of more than 26,000 people and injured 30,000. The mud and the brick and clay houses were destroyed by the tremors.
Cascadia Earthquake on January 26, 1700
On January 26, 1700 at 9:00 pm, a great earthquake (magnitude 9) struck the Cascadia Subduction Zone near the North American plate. It caused trees to fall down and a tsunami that wiped away the whole village. The tsunami also occurred in Japan and caused floods in the farm fields, destroyed fishermen’s shacks, and washed away houses along the entire coastline.
Skopje Earthquake, Yugoslavia on July 26, 1963
Over 1000 people were killed by a massive earthquake measuring 6.1 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred on July 26, 1963 in Skopje, Yugoslavia. Around 4000 residents were injured and more than 180,000 became homeless. About 85 percent of the city was destroyed.
Molise Earthquake, Italy on July 26, 1805
The Molise earthquake took place on July 26, 1805. It measured 6.6 on the equivalent magnitude scale (Me). It caused destruction in the towns of Isernia and Campobasso. About 5,573 people lost their lives in this earthquake.
Owens Valley Earthquake California, USA on March 26, 1872
An earthquake measuring about 8 on the moment magnitude scale occurred in the Owens Valley in California on March 26, 1872. It was one the most devastating earthquakes that struck the city. The worst affected place was Lone Pine where many houses were destroyed and 27 people were killed. Deaths also occurred in other parts of the Owens Valley. Damage was widespread and almost all the buildings in Inyo collapsed.
Earthquake in Ierissos, Greece on September 26, 1932
The Greek town of Ierissos was hit by an earthquake on 26th September, 1932. It had a magnitude of 7 and caused severe damage in Ierissos and many villages around it. Many people lost their lives or family members while most others were injured. More than 10,000 people lost their homes.
The Rhodes Earthquake on June 26, 1926
An earthquake measuring 7.4 occurred in the city of Rhodes in the northeast of Crete and southeast of Athens. It also occurred in the eastern Mediterranean region. It caused recurring destruction in Rhodes, southwestern Anatolia, eastern Crete, and in the Nile Delta.
Taiwan Earthquake on April 26, 2010
On April 26, 2010 an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 occurred on the southeast coast of Taiwan. The buildings shook for some time. There were no damages to property, and there were no injuries or deaths.
Earthquake in Bahia Solano, Colombia on September 26, 1970
Three main earthquakes struck the Pacific Coast of Colombia on September 26, 1970. They measured 6.6 on the Richter scale. Puerto Mutis and neighboring towns on the Pacific Coast, Colombia were faced by disturbances. No one was killed, but many houses, public buildings, communication systems, and crops were destroyed. Only two people were injured.
Earthquake in the Solomon Island on July 26, 1971
In the Solomon Island, large earthquakes tend to occur in close intervals of time. The largest sequence of earthquakes was on July 14, 1971 in the Solomon Islands Trench and on July 26, 1971 in the New Britain Trench. The former had a magnitude of Mw 8.0 and the latter measured Mw 8.1. Both the earthquakes triggered tsunamis.
Earthquake in the North Atlantic on May 26, 1975
An earthquake of magnitude Mw 7.9 struck the North Atlantic region close to the Azores Archipelago on May 26, 1975 and caused a tsunami. The earthquake was felt in Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and the Azores. There were no severe damages except for minor ones in Madeira.
Earthquake in Westmorland, USA on April 26, 1981
An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 occurred near Westmorland in the Imperial Valley, California on April 26, 1981. It produced significant seismic vibrations at the Brawley, Salton Sea, and Superstition Mountain stations. Several buildings in Westmorland were severely ravaged and the rural areas also suffered.
Mendoza Earthquake on January 26, 1985
A medium-intensity, but destructive earthquake occurred in Argentina on 26th January, 1981. It measured 6.2 on the Richter scale. Several settlements in Mendoza were destroyed and considerable damages occurred in small areas. A few people were killed or injured. The quake was felt in central Argentina, Santiago, and Chile areas.
Earthquake in Cape Mendocino on April 26, 1992
The Cape Mendocino region faced a trio of violent earthquakes on April 25 and 26, 1992. The initial earthquake on April 25 had a magnitude of 7.1. The following morning, two more earthquakes, of magnitudes 6.6 and 6.7 occurred in the area. The first earthquake was centered six miles north of Petrolia, California in the southwestern Humboldt County. The second and third earthquakes occurred about 16 miles west of the first earthquake region. Homes and offices were damaged and destroyed in the Humboldt County and around 350 people were injured. The violent seismic tremors during the earthquakes triggered many landslides in the steep mountainous areas. This blocked roads and railroad tracks for about a week until they were cleared.
Merapi Volcanic Eruption on October 26, 2010
On 26th October 2010, Mt. Merapi, one of the most volatile and dangerous volcanoes in Indonesia, located in Yogyakarta in the Central Java province, had a major eruption. The ash emissions reached great heights. Many people were evacuated from a 20 km radius danger zone. The volcano killed over 100 people due to the pyroclastic flows and ashfall. Hundreds more went missing. After this incident, there were many eruptions that occurred and the volcano continues to erupt.
Lisbon Earthquake on January 26, 1531
A massive earthquake occurred in Portugal, Spain, North Africa, and was felt in Flanders and Switzerland on January 26, 1531. This is believed to be one of the biggest events in Lisbon’s history. More than 1000 houses and all the churches were destroyed. Approximately, 1000 casualties took place. The tidal waves brought by the tsunami engulfed ships anchored in the estuary and damaged the riverbeds.
Scientists and geologists are working hard to predict natural calamities that might happen in the future so that damages can be averted. Technology is making it easier to predict storms, cyclones, and other such natural disasters. But there is no way to explain why they happen on a certain date of the month.