The Worst Natural Disasters in Recent History

Mother Nature's unleashed a devastating series of disasters -- here are some of the worst, and how to help (12 Photos)

Heather M. Graham on Mar 23, 2011 at 7:27PM

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The Worst Natural Disasters in Recent History

AP Photo/Mark Bake

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Earthquake in New Zealand

On February 22, 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, the country’s second-largest city. Also called the Canterbury Earthquake, the devastation spread through the city and the surrounding areas, killing at least 182 people and toppling churches and large buildings. The Salvation Army in New Zealand and Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council continue to help with relief efforts. By mid-March, the city was still cleaning up and working to repair the damage to its infrastructure as some of the estimated 60,000 residents who’d fled during the earthquake began returning. The national controller of civil defense, John Hamilton, said the city was now focusing efforts on providing access to safe housing and water, proper sewage disposal, electricity and telecommunications.

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