Seven Natural Disasters Caused by Man

There are many disasters that occur because of nature itself, from tsunamis and earthquakes to long droughts and floods. However, in many cases over the past centuries, it has been the human being who was guilty of causing serious disasters in nature and many of them caused irreparable damage to the planet. From fires and explosions to pollutant spills have been caused by the hand of man.

We must review these 7 natural disasters caused by man, because we consider it important to remember them, learn from them and try never to repeat them.

Pertolone poured into the oceans: Prestige and Exxon Valdez

Unfortunately, there have been many oil spills to the seas and oceans because of the oil tankers who transported it, some even pouring their entire contents into the water, that is, tons of this highly polluting product. Of course, they have been accidents but at a cost to the irreparable planet.

Some of the best known were the Prestige disaster in Galicia, Spain, on November 13, 2002. 77,000 tons of fuel oil were dumped when the ship was pierced and eventually sinking. Undoubtedly, this was one of the greatest natural disasters caused by man in Spain, but also the entire world. Another well-known was Exxon Valdez, which ran aground in Alaska on March 24, 1989, and poured 37,000 tons.

Apart, there have been many other cases of oil slicks, such as Amoco Cadiz, which is the one in the image below.

Oil Spill

The big plastic islands

One of the biggest environmental catastrophes is still present and continues to increase every day. These are the so-called plastic islands, of which there are thousands in the oceans and seas. However, the most worrying is the so-called soup or giant plastic island that is in the Pacific Ocean. It is estimated that until recently it is more than 1.4 square kilometres of garbage and more than 100 million tons of it, but each day is larger.

The big plastic islands

Nuclear disasters: Castle Bravo and Chernobyl

Without a doubt, one of the worst environmental disasters was Castle Bravo. This is the code name they gave to the largest nuclear explosion there has been, the one that happened during Operation Castle. It is another clear example of how the hand of man has accelerated the destruction of the planet because this disaster ended the lives of many and with much of the territory.

The cause was the thermonuclear bombed as a test in the Marshall Islands, in Micronesia, in 1954. The known mushroom cloud, due to the shape of the “smoke” after the explosion, had a power of 15 megatons, much more than that they thought it would reach. The result was the immediate destruction of the area and the radiological contamination spread only in this part, but also affected the islands and even the boats in the area. Thus, the entire territory is devastated and contaminated with radiation, dying people, plants and animals, although there were survivors who had serious sequels throughout his life.

Something similar happened in Chernobyl, the nuclear disaster produced by a more serious power plant that has been there until now. The explosion of the reactor of Chernobyl in 1986, although it ended at once with the lives of more than 30 people, continued to harm the environment and those who inhabited the area, affecting countries such as Ukraine, Belarus and part of Russia. Many died in the following years due to this problem, others were born with serious health problems and malformations because of it and, in addition, still today there is radiation there.

Nuclear disasters Castle Bravo and Chérnobil

Oil fires in Kuwait

Another disaster caused by man in nature, and that therefore affect all life including us, were the oil fires in Kuwait that occurred during the first Gulf War. It was the Iraqi military forces who started the fire since they seized 700 oil wells. Not only did they produce the fires, they also made sure that it was even more difficult to control the fire by putting mines around, which made it impossible for firefighters and other aid agencies to do anything about it.

The result was that the fires were active for the next 10 months, which produced a level of air pollution, soil and nearby unimaginable groundwater.

Oil fires in Kuwait

Explosions of the Jilin petrochemical factory

In 2005, another one of the worst environmental catastrophes caused by mankind occurred and happened in Jilin, China. In a petrochemical factory, there was a chain of explosions that, in addition to ending the lives of several people, left behind serious damage to the planet, as enormous amounts of nitrobenzene and benzene were poured into the Songhua River. They are not only harmful to the environment directly, but in addition to being toxic to breathe also cause cancer in the long term, either by inhaling continuously as by ingesting them even in small doses, through contaminated water or the food grown in contaminated soils. A few days after the accident, a benzene stain about 80 kilometres long was clearly visible in the water. The inhabitants closest to the area, mainly Harbin, were without water supply to remove sometimes.In the image below you can see the explosions of this petrochemical plant in Jilin.

Explosions of the Jilin petrochemical factory

The Bhopal disaster

Bhopal, in India, suffered a disaster at the hands of the human being who charged a high price. The Bhopal disaster, which occurred in 1984, occurred when the Union Carbide pesticide plant leaked methyl isocyanate, a very toxic element in the form of gas. The mistake was human, they were wrong and there was an investment in maintenance equipment that resulted in this leak.Between 6,000 and 8,000 people died during the first week after this disaster, but more than 12,000 more people died after a short time. It is considered that in total it affected more than half a million people. All kinds of animals and plants died and the whole environment was contaminated by this toxic substance and heavy metals. Even today, the consequences are suffered and it is not a safe area in which to live.

The Bhopal disaster

The well of Darvaza is the door to hell

Finally, although there have been and still are many more natural disasters caused by man, we explain why it is called “The door of hell” to the well of Darvaza.The well or crater of Darvaza is in Turkmenistan and is in what was a gas prospecting that ended up becoming a huge and ardent crater. Specifically, it measures 30 meters deep and 69 meters in diameter. Its temperature reaches 400ºC.The gas exploration was carried out by Soviet geologists in 1971. Working in the area and encamped there, their work area and camp sank into an underground cave that contained a large amount of natural gas. The simplest solution that could be found at the time, to avoid that the problem was more and there was a great escape of dangerous gases, was to set fire to the gas. They did it believing that in a few days it would be consumed and extinguished, because they did not believe that the quantity was as great as in fact it is because the fire has been burning for almost half a century. Of course, the damage to the environment is tremendous in many ways.

The well of Darvaza is the door to hell

We must review these 7 natural disasters caused by man, because we consider it important to remember them, learn from them and try never to repeat them.

 

Source: Green Ecology