December 2003 Disasters

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
  • Dec. 2–3, southeastern France: Floods, resulting from three days of rain and winds, killed 7 and left thousands homeless in the Rhone River and its tributaries in southeast France.
  • Dec. 5, Yessentuki, Russia A bomb ripped through a morning commuter train near the Chechyna region of Russia, killing 45 and injuring more than 170. The bombing occurred 2 days before parliamentary elections. Russian officials blame Chechen militants for the incident.
  • Dec. 9, Moscow, Russia: A bomb exploded outside the National Hotel, killing five people and wounding nine.
  • Dec. 5–7, northeastern U.S.: Record snowstorms dumped up to three feet of snow on towns in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. President Bush approved Federal emergency funds for affected counties in each of these states.
  • Dec. 17–23, central and southern Philippines: Heavy rains resulted in landslides and flooding across central and southern Philippines killing more than 200 people and causing a ferry to sink.
  • Dec. 25, Cotonou, Benin: A Union des Transports Africains (UTA) Boeing 727 jet bound for Beruit, Lebanon, crashed after hitting a building on take-off, killing 151 people.
  • Dec. 25, San Bernardino Mountains, Ca: Heavy rains triggered flash floods and mudslides, killing 14 people in campsites around the area. October forest fires had left the hillsides barren of vegetation.
  • Dec. 26, Bam, Iran: a 6.6 magnitude earthquake devastated the ancient historic city of Bam in southeastern Iran, killing more than 30,000 people, injuring tens of thousands, and leaving many more homeless as buildings collapsed. Many of the buildings in this ancient city are made of mud brick and cannot withstand earthquakes. The Arg-e-Bam, a 2000 year-old citadel and a major tourist attraction which was built of sun-baked bricks and straw, was heavily damaged

See also Major Earthquakes Around the World 2003

See also Recent Volcanic Activity

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