September 2003 Disasters

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
  • Sept. 2, Guangdong province, China: The storm system, Dujuan, swept through Taiwan and then southern China with gale force winds, killing 40, injuring more than 100, and destroying houses, trees, crops, and the electric and telecommunications infrastructure. Dujuan, downgraded to a tropical depression, had been a Category 3 typhoon hitting Taiwan with 200 mph. winds.
  • Sept. 5, Bermuda: Hurricane Fabian slammed Bermuda for four hours with 120 mph winds, killing four, and bringing down trees and power lines. A category 3 storm, Fabian was the worst hurricane to hit Bermuda since 1926. Very strict building codes in Bermuda, that required buildings to withstand wind gusts of 150 mph, limited the amount of damage.
  • Sept. 12, South Korea: With winds up to 130 mph, Typhoon Maemi, one of the most powerful typhoons to hit South Korea in a century, killed at least 110 people, disrupted electrical power and communications systems, knocked over ships in the port, and forced the evacuation of thousands from their homes.
  • Sept. 18, North Carolina and Virginia: Hurricane Isabel, which reached the status of a Category 5 storm while in the Atlantic, hit the North Carolina coast as a Category 2 storm causing extensive storm surge flooding all up the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac and James rivers. Isabel continued north through Ohio and Pennsylvania dumping heavy amounts of rain in its tracks. At least 50 deaths resulted from Isabel and damages were estimated at $3.7 billion dollars.
  • Sept. 25, Hokkaido, Japan: A 8.3 magnitude earthquake, the strongest in the world this year, struck Japan on Sept. 25, 19.50 UTC (Sept. 26 local time) on the northern island of Hokkaido. More that 500 people were injured and tens of thousands forced to flee their homes. Damages were estimated at 90 billion U.S. dollars.
  • Sept. 28, Italy: A power blackout throughout Italy left more than 55 million (about 95 percent of the population) in the dark, some for up to 18 hours. Five people died as a result of the outage. Italy, with little electric capacity of its own, relies on Switzerland and France for much of its power.
  • Sept. 28, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: Hurricane Juan made landfall near Halifax and stormed across Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island heavily damaging farms, causing power outages that lasted more than 2 weeks in some areas, and killing eight people. Damages were estimated at $100 million

See also Major Earthquakes Around the World 2003

See also Recent Volcanic Activity

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