Learning from past disasters

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Learn from past disasters on the PreventionWeb knowledge base. These collections explore the lessons learned from past disasters, what were the risk drivers, impacts and efforts towards building back better.

Learning from past disasters
9 December 2021
The morning of December 26, 2004 saw the worst disaster in Indonesia’s history. A magnitude (M) 9.1 submarine earthquake occurred along the Indian Ocean subduction zone triggering a massive tsunami that destroyed 800 km of the coastal areas of Aceh Province with inundation observed as far as 6 km inland. Post disaster damage and loss assessment revealed staggering numbers on the calamity that include over 220,000 human fatalities and the destruction of 139,000 houses, 73,869 hectares of agricultural lands, 2,618 kilometers of roads, 3,415 schools, 104,500 small-medium enterprises, 13,828 fishing boats, 119 bridges, 669 government buildings, 517 health facilities, 1,089 worship places, 22 seaports, and 8 airports and airstrips (BRR-Agency for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Aceh and Nias, 2009). Added to these statistics, more than half a million tsunami survivors were internally displaced and hundreds of thousands more lost their livelihoods.
8 December 2021
In May 2016, a wildfire swept through Fort McMurray, Alberta, ruining thousands of homes and buildings, and causing tens of thousands of people to evacuate.
8 December 2021
For several months in 2017, many Atlantic hurricanes had devastating economic and social consequences across the United States and the Caribbean.
8 December 2021
On Saturday, February 7, 2009, a series of bushfires blazed across the state of Victoria, killing several dozen people and amounting to billions of dollars in damages. Black Saturday is remembered as one of Australia's worst bushfires.
8 December 2021
The 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season proved to be unprecedented in many ways. Beginning before the official arrival of spring, in June, and worsening significantly from Sept. 2019 on to mid-January 2020.
8 December 2021
In 2010 and 2011, a series of floods hit Queensland, Australia, and affected approximately 90 towns, leading to major economic losses.
8 December 2021
Massive wildfires spread throughout California in 2017 and 2018, burning down homes and even destroying the town of Paradise.
8 December 2021
The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident of the 20th century.