Weather Talk: Floods are world's worst natural disasters
From the Biblical flood of Noah to the sinking of Atlantis, epic floods are the stuff of legend. Many cultures around the world have mythical stories of a great flood. This is no wonder, as the great floods of contemporary times remain the costliest and deadliest of all natural disasters.
Consider Hurricane Harvey last summer, which stalled and produced rainfall up to 48 inches in and around Houston, Texas.
In terms of human life, the average annual estimate of deaths around the world due to flooding is in the tens of thousands. Furthermore, it is well-established that all lives are not accounted for, especially in poorer areas of the world. Likewise, floods are the greatest natural cause of financial loss around the world.
It is generally accepted that the worst natural disaster in the last several hundred years was the central China flooding of 1931 which killed an estimated 1 million to 4 million people. An estimated 88,000 square miles of land was under water.