While we might imagine that civilization is impervious to the elements, it’s a sobering fact that nature can wipe cities from the face of the Earth in minutes. Natural disasters usually strike without warning and have devastating consequences. Loss of life and property can be enormous, and the psychological effects can be immeasurable. Nothing can be as terrifying as being in the grip of nature, and we can ultimately do nothing to inhibit its effects. Here are 7 of the most devastating natural disasters in history.