2011 brought many natural disasters across the world. Australia was hit with record flooding, followed by one of its worst tropical cyclones ever. Floodwaters also ravaged parts of Thailand and China, while the Horn of Africa suffered its worst drought in decades.
But the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan on March 11 was the worst natural disaster of 2011. It only lasted five minutes, but the aftermath and impact of the event will affect Japan for years to come. It was one of the five strongest quakes ever recorded on earth, and also created a large tsunami that became responsible for most of the extreme damage. Over 15,000 people died from the combination of the earthquake and tsunami.
The United States also endured several extreme weather events in 2011. Here are just 5 of them:
1. In late January, paralyzing blizzards dumped heavy snow on 22 states. Chicago was buried under nearly two feet of snow, and the Windy City ground to a near standstill. The Chicago Snowstorm of 2011 with 20.5 inches made it the 3rd largest snowfall in the recorded history of Chicago weather.
Top Photo Credit: airwaves1
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