Top 10 Worst Natural Calamities & Disasters in the World

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6. Antioch earthquake

Antioch earthquake

The Antioch earthquake which struck the city of Antioch, in the present Antakya, Turkey also had a major impact in Syria. This earthquake is recorded to have struck Antioch between May 20 and May 29 in the mid-spring of 526 A.D. The city of Antioch was extremely important from the commercial point of view as it was situated in the trading route between Europe and the entire East. This natural disaster was also recorded in great detail in the tradition of that period. Historical evidence suggests that this earthquake took life of more than 250, 000 people. Further aggravating the problem, this earthquake was followed by fire which caused huge destruction to most of the buildings.


7. Tangshan Earthquake

Tangshan Earthquake

The 8.2-magnitude Tangshan earthquake hit the industrial city of Tangshan in China on July 28, 1976. This city inhabited more than a million people who were at the receiving end of nature’s fury when this earthquake struck near the industrial area. It was a matter of just 15 seconds for this disastrous earthquake to turn a flourishing industrial city into ashes killing more than 242, 000 people. The refusal by the Chinese government to accept international aid further aggravated the problem after their incompetence was exposed. Initially, the Chinese government underestimated the death toll. It took them more than a year to arrive at a accurate estimation of the loss of lives and property.


8. Haiyuan earthquake

Haiyuan earthquake

On December 16, 1920, the Haiyuan County of the Ningxia Province in the republic of China was struck by a devastating earthquake. This is also known as Gansu earthquake because in 1920, the Ningxia province was part of the erstwhile Gansu province. The catalog of Damaging Earthquakes in the world prepared by the International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake in Japan estimates the death toll in this disaster to be 235, 502. This earthquake was one of the highest intensity earthquakes in the Chinese history causing havoc at a very large scale.


9. Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami

Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami

This earthquake with its epicenter somewhere in the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia caused a devastating tsunami with a magnitude of 9.3 on the Richter scale on December 26, 2004. If the US Geological Survey is to be believed then the amount of energy that this earthquake produced was equivalent to the amount of energy produced by 23, 000 Hiroshima like atomic bombs. The devastating tsunamis triggered by this earthquake killed more than 2,30, 000 people in over 14 countries. Third largest earthquake to have ever recorded in the Seismograph, this earthquake had the longest duration of about 10 minutes causing the entire planet to vibrate.


10. Earthquake in Aleppo, Syria

Earthquake in Aleppo, Syria

Aleppo, situated in the north direction of the Dead Sea, was the largest city of Syria when it was struck by the perhaps one of the most brutally powerful earthquakes in the history. This earthquake came in a sequence of two- the first one in the year 1138 and the subsequent one in 1139. Geologists have estimated this earthquake to be of a magnitude of 8.5 on the Richter magnitude scale. Historical evidences suggest that the destruction and havoc of this earthquake took approximately 2, 30,000 lives. Aleppo was located on the boundary between the Arabian and African geological plate making it a part of Dead Sea Fault System.

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