Biggest Man-Made Environmental Disasters

biggest man made environmental disasters

Our Mother Nature has been afflicted by all sorts of attacks-natural or man made. Even for the worst natural environmental disasters no one but man is responsible. It is the action of man (directly or indirectly) which leads to all kinds of environmental disasters may it be tsunami or cloud burst, Bhopal or Chernobyl tragedy.

All these tragedies are because of the human imposed disturbances and so it is man who is a threat to the nature. However for certain disasters man are directly responsible which are tagged as man made environmental disasters like explosions, chemical spills, etc. Below given is a list of few such incidents which has changed the “present age” of mankind. 

biggest man made environmental disasters


War, the name itself brings terror in mind. War is one of the most tragic man-made disasters and war by its nature is destructive. May it be the devastation carried out by nuclear weapons at Hiroshima-Nagasaki or strewing salt in the earth to make the defeated enemies suffer more.  Everyone from military personnel to civilian is exposed to the cruelty of war as it leaves a legacy of contamination of every element of the nature. This result in illness, unbalanced ecosystems and birth defects even after the war has ended. War is responsible for rising temperature, ecological imbalance and many more issues.

Chernobyl Nuclear Explosion

Chernobyl, which was a nuclear power plant in Ukraine met with an explosion in 1986 because of poor management. Due to the explosion there was leakage from the nuclear reactors and the radioactive particles were spread into the environment. Not only they were affected but the entire USSR and Europe had to suffer the effect.

It is considered that the explosion released almost 400 fold more radiation than the Hiroshima bomb. Till date a 30 kilometre zone around the area of the incident remains unoccupied as  large amount of nuclear elements are decaying and still it is a matter of concern.

Bhopal Tragedy

A pesticide plant located in Bhopal, India was responsible for the release of 30 metric tons of methyl isocyanine in the environment. The Union Carbide India Limited Chemical Plant was poorly maintained by the management and was solely responsible for such disaster in the year 1984.

To save the plant and stop the great explosion, the safety release system was activated and a storage tank was emptied in the air. The release spread over the Bhopal and other nearby areas within a jiffy and resulted in more than 8,000(unofficial) deaths. Even today, the effect is still visible among the generations.

Smog of 1952

For 5 days in the year 1952, London was shrouded with the layer of smog. Cold weather, along with windless condition was responsible for collecting airborne pollutants from the extensive use of coal. It created a thick blanket of smog responsible for the death of almost 12,000 people.

The Tennessee Coal Ash Spill

This is again an en example of poor management where the Kingston Fossil Fuel Power Plant stored the by product of the coal combustion in a dangerously huge amounts along the slope of mountains. Due to heavy rainfall in 2008, there was a massive landslide and the stored slurry stormed down the hill and buried around 300 acres of land destroying human lives and properties. It destroyed almost 675 million dollars of properties.

These tragedies are lessons to the human world. It is indeed high time that mankind should realise the importance of nature and its resources and stop mutilating the environment further.


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