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Looking Back At New Zealand’s Most Known Disasters

Picture: NPR

Trials are inevitable for humans. Catastrophes, tragedies, and disasters from nature are hard to be handled. There are many cases worldwide relating to nature. When it comes to nature, nature is bound to win over humans. However, not all tragedies happen because of nature. Some of them are because of humans mistakes.

Recently, New Zealand was hit by Cyclone Gabriella, and the government declared a state of emergency for the country. It is the third declaration of emergency, which tells us how horrendous the disaster is.

Let’s look back at other tragedies in New Zealand that used to shock the world:

1) Floods


Picture: ABC

  • Kopuawhara floods (1938)
  • Southland floods (1984)

2) Cyclones


Picture: NZHistory

  • Cyclone Giselle (1968)
  • The Cyclone Bola (1988)
  • Cyclone Gabriella (2023)

3) Earthquakes


Picture: NZHistory

  • Wellington earthquake (1855)
  • Murchison earthquake (1929)
  • Hawke’s Bay earthquake (1931)
  • Inangahua earthquake (1968)
  • Edgecumbe earthquake (1987)
  • ‘Greendale’ earthquake (2010)
  • Christchurch earthquake (2011)

4) Volcano eruption

  • Mount Tarawera eruption (1886)
  • White Island volcano eruption (2019)

5) Landslides


Picture: TRT World

  • Abbotsford landslide (1979)

6) Aircraft accidents


Picture: Medium

  • Lockheed Electra ZK-AGK Kaka (1948)
  • Lockheed Lodestar ZK-AFX Kereru (1949)
  • Russley Golf Course (1957)
  • DC-3 Skyliner ZK-AYZ Hastings (1963)
  • Mt Erebus (1979)
  • New Brighton hot air balloon (1995)

7) Bus accident

  • The Brynderwyns bus accident (1963)

8) Railway accidents


Picture: NZHistory

  • Ongarue Railway Accident (1923)
  • Hyde Railway Accident (1943)
  • Tangiwai Railway Accident (1953)
  • The Brynderwyns Bus accident (1963)

9) Epidemic and Pandemic

  • H1N1 Influenza epidemic
  • COVID-19 pandemic

10) Buildings


Picture: NZHistory

  • Seacliff Mental Hospital (1942)
  • Ballantyne’s Fire – Christchurch (1947)
  • Cave Creek – West Coast South Island (1995)

Out of all disasters worldwide, which one that you remember the most?

Source: Christchurch City Council Libraries

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