The worst natural disasters

The Mount Tambora crater

This collection of video clips describes the worst earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, avalanche and lake overturn in recorded history as measured by estimated death tolls.

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.

TV clips (5)

Subjects in this collection