August 2003 Disasters

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
  • Aug. 1, Mozdok, Russia: Chechen separatists are blamed for an explosion at a military hospital in Mozdok which killed 35 and injured dozens.
  • Aug. 5, Jakarta, Indonesia: A car bomb blasted the JW Marriott Hotel, killing 12 and injuring nearly 150. Officials suspect the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terror group was involved with this bombing and the Bali bombing in October. Several suspects were arrested.
  • July-Aug., Europe: A three-week heat wave dominated Europe where temperatures, the highest in decades, ranged from the upper 90s to 104 degrees (F.), breaking records in Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, and Spain. Amarelejo, Portugal recorded the highest temperature since 1856. Fires raged in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and the French Riviera. Fires in Portugal caused more that one billion in damages. Glacial ice melted in the Alps, violent storms hit England, and nuclear power stations cut back due to overheated water. Thousands died with the toll highest among the elderly. The death toll in France was estimated at more than 14,000.
  • Aug. 14–15, northeast, U.S. and Canada: The largest power blackout in U.S. and North American history swept across Ohio, Michigan, and Canada and then spread to Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, leaving 50 million without electricity for 24 hours and longer. Billions of dollars in revenue were lost.
  • Aug. 25, Mumbai, India: 2 deadly bombs exploded in Mumbai, the financial capital of India, killing 52 and wounding 153 people.
  • Aug. 27, Nasik, India: A stampede at the Kumbh Mela Hindu festival killed 40 people and injured 30 when a barricade fell. Ten of thousands of pilgrims were attending the Hindu festival and bathing in the Godavari river.
  • Aug., British Columbia, Canada: A summer of heat waves and very low precipitation caused hundreds of fires in the British Columbia province, making it the worst Canadian fire season in decades. The Okanagan Mountain fire that lasted more than 23 days destroyed 230 homes and forced tens of thousands to evacuate from the town of Kelowna.

See also Major Earthquakes Around the World 2003

See also Recent Volcanic Activity

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