The Worst Earthquakes in History Historical Events

The Worst Earthquakes in History

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When the earth starts shakin' and the ground starts quakin', it can only be one thing: an earthquake. We've put together a list of some of the deadliest earthquakes throughout history, from some of the more current quakes of recent times, to earthquakes that happened long ago. With death tolls reaching tragic proportions, these are not only the worst earthquakes environmentally; they are also the most dangerous.

The deadliest earthquake on record hit the Chinese province of Shaanxi back in 1556. The 8.0-magnitude tremor killed an estimated 830,000 people - almost 60% of the population - and wiped out a 520-mile wide area. Just like the worst earthquakes of the 20th century, this quake occurred with no warning, and was followed by a series of aftershocks that wiped out the town.

Unfortunately, this quake was not the first - or the last - to strike and claim thousands of lives. Over three million people have been killed by earthquakes throughout the years, and many more have lost their lives during the resulting tsunamis that followed.  

What are the most tragic earthquakes in history? Check out our list of incredibly deadly earthquakes below, and be sure to let u know what you think in the comment section. 


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  1. 1

    1556 Shaanxi Earthquake

    820,000-830,000 dead on January 23, 1556
  2. 2

    1976 Tangshan earthquake

    242,419–779,000 dead on July 28, 1976
  3. 3

    526 Antioch earthquake

    250,000 dead on May 21, 525
  4. 4

    1920 Haiyuan earthquake

    235,502 dead on December 16, 1920
  5. 5

    2004 Indonesian earthquake

    230,210+ dead on December 26, 2004
  6. 6

    1138 Aleppo earthquake

    230,000 dead on October 11, 1138
  7. 7

    2010 Haiti earthquake

    222,570 dead on January 12, 2010
  8. 8

    856 Damghan earthquake

    200,000 dead on December 22, 856
  9. 9

    893 Ardabil earthquake

    150,000 dead on March 22, 893
  10. 10

    1923 Great Kanto earthquake

    142,000 dead on September 1, 1923
  11. 11

    1730 Hokkaido earthquake

    137,000 dead on December 30, 1730
  12. 12

    1908 Messina earthquake

    123,000 dead on December 28, 1908
  13. 13

    1948 Ashgabat earthquake

    110,000 dead on October 5, 1948
  14. 14

    1290 Chihli earthquake

    100,000 dead on September 27, 1290
  15. 15

    1755 Lisbon earthquake

    100,000 dead on November 1, 1755
  16. 16

    1667 Shamakhi earthquake

    100,000 dead in November 1667
  17. 17

    2005 Kashmir earthquake

    79,000 dead on October 8, 2005
  18. 18

    1727 Tabriz earthquake

    77,000 dead on November 18, 1727
  19. 19

    1970 Ancash earthquake

    75,000 dead on May 31, 1970
  20. 20

    1932 Changma earthquake

    70,000 dead on December 25, 1932

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