November 2002 Disasters

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
  • Nov. 3, east-central Alaska: Magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck, damaging roads and bridges and triggering mudslides but causing no major injuries. Some of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline's supports were also damaged, but no leaks were reported. The quake was centered about 45 mi east-northeast of Cantwell, near Mt. McKinley, in the state's less populated interior.
  • Nov. 9–11, central and southeast U.S.: A series of more than 70 tornadoes flattened homes and other buildings across 14 states from Mississippi to Pennsylvania, killing some 36 people. Most of the deaths occurred in Tenn. (17); 12 died in Ala., 5 in Ohio, 1 in Pa., and 1 in Miss.
  • Nov. 19, Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of northern Spain: After leaking oil for six days from a cracked hull, the oil tanker Prestige broke in 2 and sank, spilling some 4 million gallons of oil. Most of the rest of the tanker's 20-million-gallon load remained aboard the sunken ship, where it was expected to solidify in cold underwater temperatures. However, drifting slicks caused major environmental damage along Spain's Galician coast and France's Atlantic coast. Fishing grounds have been closed and cleanup costs are more than $1.6 billion. As a result of this disaster, the EU (European Union) allows only double-hulled ships to carry heavy fuel oil in EU waters.
  • Nov. 30–Dec. 1, Caracas, Venezuela: A fire at a packed downtown nightclub left 47 people dead.

See also Major Earthquakes Around the World 2002

See also Recent Volcanic Activity

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