What In the World?


I’ll admit that until one of 2023’s natural disasters affected me personally with my daughter and her losing everything in the Maui fires, I didn’t pay close enough attention to what was happening everywhere around the world in such a short time. It feels like it’s just boom, boom, boom. One disaster after another. It feels like nature is on a furious rampage, trying to get our attention.


In 2023 alone, earthquakes, floods, fires, storms, and droughts have descended upon our planet in a unprecedented year of destruction, leaving a trail of despair and heartbreak and orchestrating a humanitarian crisis of monumental proportions.


Just in the United States, the wrath of Mother Nature knows no bounds. Tornadoes tore through the South and Midwest, reducing homes and businesses to rubble. Destructive hailstorms in Minnesota and Colorado left a mark of despair on the faces of countless families. Rivers unleashed torrents of rain upon California, caused severe flooding in Vermont, and the haunting wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii, turned paradise into a scene of the depths of hell.


Widespread heatwaves  this summer have made life unbearable for so many.


There is anguish unfolding in every corner of the globe. Beyond our own borders, humanity is grappling with a symphony of suffering, where livelihoods crumble, infrastructures are washed away, and lives are shattered.


Here’s just a few of this year’s disasters that I found out about while gathering facts:


(May) In Myanmar, Cyclone Mocha unleashed its fury on Rakhine State, becoming one of the most potent cyclones the region has ever witnessed. It wreaked havoc, leaving an estimated 145 people dead and obliterating infrastructure, homes, schools, and businesses. The UN reports that the cyclone has impacted a staggering 800,000 people.


In India, during the monsoon season of July, landslides and flash floods claimed at least 91 lives across six north Indian states, leaving millions more displaced and distressed.


Across the seas, Typhoon Talim battered the southern shores of China, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes.


Canada is now battling the worst wildfire season in its history. The inferno, ignited by extreme dryness followed by a relentless heatwave, has left thousands homeless. As of July 17, a staggering 907 active wildfires raged, with 599 of them spiraling out of control. The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre categorized the majority as “out of control.”


Greece, known for its ancient beauty, is now marred by an ongoing battle against over 200 wildfires just since the last week of August! Emergency services are stretched to the limit, as brave souls attempt to contain the unyielding blaze.


Morocco’s quaking earth on 9/8/23 brought a grim reality, with a death toll nearing 3,000 and more than 5,600 injured. The suffering knows no bounds.


A catastrophe in Libya on September 15, where heavy rains caused two dams to fail, inundating the coastal city of Derna. The death toll stands at a staggering 11,300, with an additional 10,100 souls missing, entire families lost in the deluge.


South Sudan, already known for their ongoing hardship, is in the grips of an unprecedented phenomenon. 2023 marks the fourth consecutive year of historic flooding, impacting nearly a million people. Half a decade without a dry season has left 47,700 square kilometers underwater, an area almost thirty times the size of London. The situation as dire, making basic necessities inaccessible.


Chile is locked in a relentless “mega drought.” Record-breaking summer temperatures coupled with fierce winds, ignited one of the deadliest wildfires in the country’s history in February. The flames devoured an estimated 270,000 hectares of land, claimed 24 lives, destroyed hundreds of homes, and prompted a state of emergency across three regions.


The anguish that stretches across our globe in 2023 is a wake-up call to humanity. I had saved some photos but the tears of those affected, the agony etched on their faces, and the resilience they display in the face of these calamities are heartbreaking. I think that 2023 will be remembered as the year our planet wept.


Why write this article? Because I never want to be so selfish in my own woes that I forget there are much worse things happening to others. That people are suffering more than I could ever imagine. Women, children, and entire families wiped out in minutes. Life is fleeting and today, I feel thankful for where I am, what I have, and who I love.


-Kay Bratt


*Citing facts/statistics from from Global Citizen, Washington Post, CNN, Al Jazeera


  1. liz deshayes on September 15, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    We need to turn to the Lord. These are very upsetting times. There is so much suffering going on. People living from pay check to pay check. Our world needs a miricale. There is a whole lot of hurt. We need to count our blessings.

  2. Sheryl on September 15, 2023 at 12:26 pm

    It’s like the world is imploding! So much suffering and despair.

    • Kay Bratt on September 15, 2023 at 2:41 pm

      perfectly said. Imploding. That’s how I feel, too.

      • Anita Lee on September 15, 2023 at 8:55 pm

        It is an important time to know you are right with the Lird. Although none of us know when the glorious day of his return, it is important to be prepared. My prayer is that more can find salvation before things get worse. Prayers for all of mankind are my daily routine. The Bible says we will know by the signs.

      • Vickie Bennett on October 17, 2023 at 12:31 pm

        And now the wat between Israel and Hamas. It feels like we are all on the brink of the next world war…

  3. Susan Bonica on September 15, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you for acknowledging these facts…..it’s even more heartbreaking to read about these tragedies all at one time 😥😥😥…the reality of all these tragedies has reinforced my awareness of how fortunate I am and a reminder never to take for granted the wonderful life I am living….prayers for all those who are suffering such catastrophic events and loss😢😢♥️

    • Pat on September 15, 2023 at 1:36 pm

      And yet, the world goes on.
      We can’t forget the Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom. And yet the world goes on.
      We can’t forget the homeless, living in the streets when it is 115+ degrees out. And yet the world goes on.
      There will always be hopeful people, neighbors helping neighbors, countries helping other countries, and that’s why the world goes on.

  4. Traci Golden on September 15, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    You are a true humanitarian, Kay! We should all be thankful for who and what we have in our lives! I certainly appreciate my family and friends, my home and mostly, my freedom!!

    • Kay Bratt on September 15, 2023 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you but I wish I was one of these fancy billionaires so that I could really make an impact on helping those in need. It’s sad. People spend thousands and millions on parties, cars, and STUFF. Money that could save lives. Heart-breaking.

      • Diana Fahrenbruck on September 15, 2023 at 4:48 pm

        Reading this, I remember a Jesuit Priest telling a large group of people that sin is destroying our world. He made me understand that their are three types of sin, the sin of being broken with God, the sin of broken relationships with our fellow man, our families, our neighbors, other countries and the third—-our sin with our world. How we don’t care for earth like we were instructed to do. Praying always for others to turn to God, to be kind and care for others and to protect our world 🌎.

      • Anita Lee on September 15, 2023 at 8:55 pm

        It is an important time to know you are right with the Lird. Although none of us know when the glorious day of his return, it is important to be prepared. My prayer is that more can find salvation before things get worse. Prayers for all of mankind are my daily routine. The Bible says we will know by the signs.

  5. Shirley Hoskins Sanders on September 15, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    You said what has been going on in my head for some time. I pray every night for a miracle that only God can give. All the suffering that’s going on in the world makes me realize how blessed I am. Blessed to have my beautiful family, who are well and safe from harm. I am blessed to have my freedom. I pray that people will once again learn love of family and friends and the importance of respect.

  6. Maria babich on September 15, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    2019 saw more catastrophic fires than ever before in the Amazon rainforest. Severe deforestation each year is taking away the “lungs of the earth” which is necessary to absorb carbon and produce oxygen for the planet. In 2021 in Australia there were those fires that consumed much of the continent. Just in my state we saw a “once in a thousand year event” of flooding happen twice in 5 years. There are 8 plus billion people on the planet. These events are so devastating to each of those people affected so horribly, but if we were being annihilated like wildlife has been, on that scale, this would be ALL we would think of every single day. Sadly, it will take more disasters like your daughter suffered for many to see the urgency this issue deserves. It’s been my number 1 issue for 30 years now.

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