Natural disasters have always threatened society. History is full of places that have disappeared and cities that have been wiped off the map. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods, fires, and even sandstorms have been responsible for the destruction of cities since human settlement began 10,000 years ago. The ruins of many of the earliest natural disaster sites have not survived to the present. But occasional disasters, like the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE, have actually preserved some settlements in nearly intact shape. This has allowed modern archaeologists to study them and gain insight into their cultures.
As human society and technology have advanced, it has become less common for a natural disaster to render a city uninhabitable for centuries. But more recently, human-made disasters like wars and nuclear accidents have had similar effects.
Here are some places that were wiped out in an instant.