December 2004 Disasters
- Dec. 2–3, eastern coast and Luzon, Philippines: Typhoon Nanmadol, a major storm, hit an area already devastated by 2 previous torrential storms that struck the northeastern region of the Philippines in the last 2 weeks. More than 1800 people died in storm related deaths from the three storms since November. It was the worst storm season for the Philippines in 13 years. Much of the devastation is due to massive landslides resulting from the deforestation by both legal and illegal logging. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has canceled all logging permits and security forces are cracking down on illegal logging.
- Dec. 6, Jeddah , Saudi Arabia: Five Al-Qaeda militants attacked the U.S. consulate leaving a total of nine dead (five consulate employees and four attackers), none were American. The militants drove up to the consulate gates, then jumped out and opened fire with machine guns and hand grenades, and entered the compound. Saudi security forces stopped the raid and secured the compound within 30 minutes. The attackers claimed to be members of the Falluja Brigades. Attacks in Saudi Arabia have killed more then 75 since May 20, 2003.
- Dec. 12, Manila, Philippines: A bomb exploded in a crowded market of Christmas stalls, killing 15 people and wounding 65.
- Dec. 19, Mercer County, Penn.: Heavy snows and a whiteout caused a pileup of 70 cars on Interstate 80 in western Pennsylvania. No one was killed.
- Dec. 26, Sumatra, Indonesia: A 9.0 magnitude earthquake—the largest earthquake since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake, —caused a powerful tsunami in the Indian Ocean that hit 12 countries; Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Somalia, Myanmar, Maldives, Malaysia, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Kenya, and the Seychelles. The earthquake's epicenter was off the west coast of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. By Feb. 2005, the death toll was more than 225,000 with thousands still missing. Millions have lost their homes. Hardest hit were Indonesia (particularly the province of Aceh) with more than 166,000 deaths, Sri Lanka with more than 30,000 deaths, India, and Thailand.
- Dec. 30, Buenos Aires, Argentina: A flare started a fire at an overcrowded nightclub, the Republica de la Cromagnon disco, killing 175 people and injuring more than 700. Four of the escape routes were locked.
See also Recent Volcanic Activity