Warning from the world's worst natural disasters in 2020

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - December 23, 2020 - 12:00am

I do not wish to spoil your Christmas with these very disturbing things. But I need to forewarn you, guys, about the many fearful things to come. The global warming has started to make itself felt and feared worldwide. Nature is getting back at man's insatiable greed and recklessness. The whole world should discern the indubitable signs that many disasters are coming to hit us.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, and bushfires, locusts and pests, pestilence and pandemics are the series of revenge from an overly abused, devastated and ravaged natural environment. Humanity is being forewarned.

Let us review the ten worst natural disasters in 2020 and reflect on our own mindless ravaging of Mother Earth. First, the global COVID-19 pandemic; second, Australia bushfires; third, the flash floods in Indonesia; fourth, the Philippines' volcano eruption; fifth, the earthquakes in China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, the Caribbean and the Philippines; sixth, the swarms of locusts in Asia, East Africa, India and the Middle East; seventh, the cyclone Amphan in Bangladesh and India; eighth, the forest fires in west California and in Uttarakhand, India; ninth, the Assam floods in India; and tenth, the Green Snow in Antarctica.

The Covid crisis is deemed a natural disaster because it is driven by a living virus brought about by something wrong in our natural habitat. As of this writing, 72.2 million people worldwide have been infected, with 1.7 million deaths and 47.1 million having recovered. The USA leads with 16.4 million infected and more than 300 thousand deaths. India follows with 9.9 million infections and 144 thousand deaths. Brazil has 7 million infected and 182 thousand dead. France has 2.4 million infections and 47 thousand deceased. The UK and Italy both have 1.9 infected and 65 thousand dead, followed by Turkey with 1.9 million infected also but with just 17 thousand deaths. The Philippines is number 28, and has only 450 thousand infections and less than 9,000 deaths.

The Australian bushfires, called the black Summer was deemed one of the biggest conflagrations in all history with more than 47 million acres of forestlands destroyed, with millions of flora and fauna dead, over 9,000 buildings and homes destroyed, and more than 400 dead caused directly and indirectly by it. It started in October 2019 and was still burning towards the end of January 2020. In the Indonesia floods on the first of January, 4 million people were displaced and about 100 died and many more missing and unaccounted. Rivers and canals overflowed destroying entire towns and communities and inundating urban and rural centers alike. The Taal Volcano eruption in January caused more than 2,000 volcano induced tectonic earthquakes, out of which 176 were felt. It dislocated more than 8,000 people and destroyed homes, crops and killed farm animals.

While the global pandemic continued to bring sufferings to the people worldwide, no less than 45 major earthquakes hit at varying times respectively in China, India, Iran, Turkey, the Carribean and the Philippines. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed, thousands of people died, billions worth of crops and properties were destroyed. People suffered a lot and epidemic follows after natural disasters with the destruction of water supply and electical connections. Then, many swarms of locusts descended in the farms and forests and plantations in East Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East eating in matter of few minutes foods enough to feed 35,000 people. Cyclone Amphan hit India and Bangladesh, killing more than 30 people and destroying homes, causing landfalls and dams to burst, inundating rice fields and devastating communities and settlements. It was a category 5 hurricane that terrified millions in the poverty-stricken localities. There was also a forest fire in Uttarackhand, India which caused hundreds of kilometers of forests and caused multiple deaths and destructions.

Finally, snow algae grew in Antarctica changing the color of the entire mountains causing freezing temperature. This rare phenomenon is still being studied, whether good or bad. But since it started, the temperature has attained unprecedented of below zero freezing points that caused destruction of faunas, including penguins, seals and other marine animals. It also killed some floras and seaweeds, and disturbed the balance of the marine life. I hope that as this year ends, a new ray of hope shall usher into humanity and that we shall have a much better 2021. I'll drink to that and keep praying with fingers crossed.

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