The disasters featured here include an earthquake that killed nearly one million people and a volcano that lowered temperatures around the globe and caused "the year without a summer".
No matter what their scale, all natural disasters are tragic. We recognise that comparing the severity of different events across long periods of time is somewhat subjective.
We do not currently have videos for some disasters such as the 1970 Bhola cyclone that killed an estimated 300,000-500,000 people in what was then East Pakistan and is now Bangladesh.
Image: The crater on Mount Tambora in 2005. In 1815, this composite volcano erupted a huge volume of ash and triggered crop failures around the world.
In 1815 an Indonesian volcano killed an estimated 200,000 people worldwide.
Dr Iain Stewart visits Mount Tambora, site of the largest known volcanic eruption of the last millennium, on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. In 1815 Tambora blasted 50 cubic km of rock high into the atmosphere, leaving an 8km-wide caldera. Falling as ash, the ejected rock stopped crops from photosynthesising. Volcanic debris in the upper atmosphere reflected sunlight back into space and caused global cooling. An estimated 200,000 people worldwide were killed by the eruption itself and famines caused by widespread crop failures.
Iain Stewart explains how an earthquake triggered the deadly 26 December 2004 tsunami.
Dr Iain Stewart explains how a megathrust earthquake at the bottom of the Indian Ocean triggered the deadly 26 December 2004 tsunami, which killed more than 225,000 people in 11 different countries.
The 1556 Shaanxi earthquake in China killed nearly one million people.
Professor Iain Stewart tells the story of the 23 January 1556 Shaanxi earthquake in central China, which is estimated to have killed nearly one million people. Modern estimates put the magnitude of this quake at 8.0.
In 1986 mysterious deaths in Cameroon were evenutally linked to a volcanic crater lake.
Professor Iain Stewart recounts the story of hundreds of mysterious deaths that occurred on 21 August 1986 in villages near Lake Nyos, Cameroon. Lake Nyos sits in the crater of an inactive volcano. It was later found that a landslide disturbed volcanic gas - carbon dioxide - that had dissolved in water at the bottom of the lake and sent it down the slopes of the volcano. Approximately 1,700 people in nearby villages were asphyxiated in and around their homes. The event at Lake Nyos is a rare type of natural disaster called a limnic eruption or lake overturn.
In 1970 a terrible disaster strikes the town of Yungay, Peru.
Professor Iain Stewart explains how a 1970 avalanche on Mount Huascaran overwhelmed the Peruvian town of Yungay and killed an estimated 18,000 people. This is the most deadly glacial avalanche in recorded history.
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