Top 10 Deadliest Earthquakes In History

Earthquakes are the most horrifying natural calamities to hit earth. Most damages happen due to the non-predictability of earthquakes. In history, there have been some earthquakes which were more deadly than others and here are the top 10.


1. Shaanxi, China: 1556

This is the most deadly earthquake ever recorded in the history of earth and it happened in Shaanxi province in China. This earthquake measured 8.0 and more than 820,000 feared dead. The factor that contributed to this quake is yaodongs, the artificial dugouts. It is also said that this deadly quake razed the mountains, ignited fires all over for days together and changed the course of various rivers.


2. Indian Ocean: 2004

In our lifetime, this is the horrible earthquake ever happened. This quake had its epicenter ‘off the west coast of Indonesia’ and this quake created tsunami and hit the regions alongside the Indian Ocean and this quake even triggered earthquake as far as Alaska as well. This quake took 280,000 lives and caused environmental and humanitarian concerns. The quake recorded 9.1 on Richter scale.


3. Haiyuan and Tansghan China: 1976 and 1920

A severe earthquake struck Tansghan region of China in 1976. It is a deadly quake and took around 240,000 lives and in 1920, the quake took around 770,000 lives. It is important to note that both the communist leader Tse-tung and prime minister Zhou Enlai died the same year and most of the people think that it is a omen that has come to end an era.


4. Aleppo, Syria: 1138

The total number of casualties in this quake is about 230,000. It was the first quake between 1138 and 1339 to hit that area. In the 12th Century, the region was witnessing many crusades and this earthquake brought down the citadels of both Muslim and Christian armies.


5. Ardabil and Damghan, Iran: 893 and 856

In 856, Damghan, Iran was hit by a massive earthquake tolling the casualties around 150,000 and 40 years later quake hit another city o Iran called Ardabil and death toll was more than 137,000. Again, Iran was struck by an earthquake in 1996 cost lives 960 people.


6. Hokkaido, Japan: 1730

Seismically, Hokkaido is an active place just like many other parts of Japan. When the earthquake hit Hokkaido in 1730, 137,000 lives were lost and again in 1993 due to tsunami 200 lives were lost.


7. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: 1948

When the city of Ashgabat in Turkey was hit by the earthquake, the communist leaders of USSR denied much higher casualties and that time the entire city lost its contact with rest of the world. Today, it is very much believed that this earthquake took 110,000 lives and to keep this earthquake alive, a monument is built.


8. Great Kanto, Japan: 1923

The city of Great Kanto, Japan was struck by an earthquake in 1923 and the total death toll was about 100,000. It is said that the 93-ton statue of great Buddha slid forward by tow feet. The cause for the casualties was fire, which occurred due to typhoons.


9. Messina, Italy: 1908

When the earthquake hit the town of Messina, Italy, the neighboring coastal cities was hit by tsunami waves, which were about forty feet in height and the total death toll was about 100,000.


10. Lisbon, Portugal: 1755

This quake is called as great Lisbon earthquake. The earthquake hit Lisbon and most of the people died due to tsunami, fires and thus the total death toll was about 100,000.

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