Yet nature's wrath has not cooled. Since that fateful day, there have been earthquakes in Sichuan , Haiti and Chile; floods in eastern Europe and Pakistan; tropical storms in Myanmar and Guatemala, and many more natural disasters around the world.
Thousands died in these catastrophes, and they were mostly poor people.
There are clear reasons why the underprivileged tend to be worst hit by the forces of nature.
Often they have little warning before a disaster and their slums are the first to be destroyed by floods or storms.
Despite their pleas for help, many people in developed countries are not willing to chip in, believing that it will not make a difference.
But they are wrong. A small donation may not be enough to rebuild an entire school, but it could provide food and clothes for people in disaster zones.
Besides, the way relief work is carried out could eventually have an impact on our everyday lives.
Counter-terrorism experts have pointed out that the government's delay in helping flood victims in Pakistan has meant that insurgent groups like the Taliban have reached them first, possibly turning them into rebel supporters. This spells danger for the future security of the world.
As young people, we have limited power to make a huge difference. But being a global citizen means more than shedding a few tears of sympathy for the struggling victims in developing nations. We need to make a firm commitment to help those in need, and back it up with strong action.
As Mother Teresa once said: 'What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.'