A number of good events occurred in 2018. But at the same time, it was one of those years in which we have seen a record number of casualties due to the natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and the war in Yemen and other countries. Let’s pray for the New Year to be better than 2018 and may it bring us peace, happiness, and blessings of God.
From the earthquake in Indonesia to the attack in Iran and the wildfire in California, here are five of the deadliest events of 2018 that caught media’s attention:
In September, an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude in Indonesia rocked the central island of Sulawesi setting off a tsunami in nearby areas. An initial report by the Red Cross suggested that about 1.6 million people were affected. It was one of the deadliest earthquakes to hit the country. More than 2000 people were killed while hundreds of individuals went missing. People were seen running out of the buildings when the tsunami waves destroyed their homes. Many hospitals were also damaged and doctors treated the patients in the open areas. To make sure not to hurt any of the survivors, the rescue workers used metal cutters and acoustic detectors to locate the victims. The roads were blocked, flights were canceled, and communication networks were badly affected as a result of this earthquake. Aside from this, the volunteers dug hundreds of graves to bury the dead bodies.
At least 80 people were killed as a result of a wildfire in California. The state has not been able to fully control the fire due to bad weather. According to the authorities, around 220 people are still missing. Thousands of people have been moved to safe places. About 8,000 firefighters are busy in rescue operations. The chemicals are being sprayed with planes and helicopters. The officials say it is the biggest wildfire in the history of California. Six thousand houses are destroyed by the fire, including 260 commercial buildings. The fire covered an area of 404 square kilometers.
Typhoon in Japan
In September, Typhoon Jebi claimed the lives of 17 people in Japan. The powerful tropical cyclone slammed into the west coast of the country, bringing winds, and heavy rain. It was the strongest cyclone to hit the country in more than 20 years. Thousands of people stranded at the airport when the road to the airport was cut. The vehicles overturned and bridges collapsed. The affected areas included the prefectures of Osaka and Kyoto. The typhoon struck at a time when Japan was suffering from a heat wave and heavy rainfall, which killed more than 200 people. Aside from this, flooding and landslides destroyed numerous villages in the country.
Thailand Cave Operation
In Thailand, a group of the young football team of 12 boys, aged between eleven and seventeen was discovered alive after more than a week. They were caught inside a 10-kilometer deep cave for eighteen days when they entered to explore it with their trainer. One of the rescue divers died while saving the children. Luckily, the international team of brave rescuers successfully recovered all the children and their coach. During monsoon season, some areas of the cave get flooded due to the heavy rainfall. A warning was also posted at the entrance but the children ignored it and entered the cave anyway. It became very difficult for them to get out when suddenly the rain started falling. To reduce the anxiety of children, the coach taught them to practice meditation. The brave children even wrote letters to their parents, telling them not to worry and that they were happy in the cave.
In Iran, around 25 people died and more than 50 injured when an attack occurred at an army parade, which was celebrating the anniversary of the outbreak of its 1980-1988 war with Iraq. The terrorists in Ahvaz targeted the people attending the march, the soldiers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and civilian bystanders. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Iran since 2010. ISIS claimed the responsibility for the attack, and so did Ahvaz National Resistance, an Iranian ethnic Arab opposition. Iran said the U.S. and its allies were behind the attack while the U.S. dismissed the accusation.