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5 Unusual Aquatic Deaths


3
Unpredictable Waters
Many deaths from 2011's Hurricane Irene occurred after the storm hit when people returned to survey the damage and were carried away by unexpected torrents of water.
Many deaths from 2011's Hurricane Irene occurred after the storm hit when people returned to survey the damage and were carried away by unexpected torrents of water.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Imagine sitting in downtown traffic in a major city on your way home from work and within minutes finding your car, with you and your family inside, submerged in water. This happened in Pittsburgh, Pa., when the city's storm water system could no longer hold the amount of water coming in and four people were carried away and died in the overwhelming rush of water [source: Maher]. Surprisingly, flash floods and floods in general are more deadly each year than lightening, hurricanes, tornadoes and wind storms, and around 60 percent of people who die in flooding are in their vehicles when the water overtakes them [source: Cappella].

Many individuals survive storms and flooding and other natural disasters only to die in the aftermath. Hurricane Irene blasted much of the East Coast of the U.S. in 2011 and caused less damage than predicted in places like New York City, but some deaths occurred when people took canoes to view the aftermath only to be carried away or crushed by unexpected torrents or water levels crashing boaters against bridges. Each "calm after a storm" draws out stories of survivors of the disaster who die unusual deaths surveying the damage [source: Kleinfield].

And internationally, the 2011 flooding in the Philippines and Thailand, though a less "unusual" destructive force of water, came unexpectedly and caused the deaths of about 1,249 and 780 people, respectively [source: Associated Press]. Unusually fatal, certainly.


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