The World’s Deadliest Earthquakes

The World’s Worst Earthquakes

As measured by the death toll.

The worst earthquakes in history, in terms of the death toll have  occurred in China. In addition to lying along the earthquake prone “ring of fire”, China also has historically had a high population density. This virtually ensure that the highest earthquake casualties will be in China. It also is helpful that the Chinese have long had efficient bureaucracies, which were able to document the casualties as long ago as the 1500s.

1.

Shaanxi Province, China
January 23, 1556
Magnitude: approximately 8
Death Toll: 830,000

2.
Tangshan, China
July 28, 1976
Magnitude: 7.5
Death Toll: 242,000
The casualties in this may have been higher. The Chinese government is thought to have deliberately understated the numbers for political reasons.

3.
Aleppo, Syria
August 9, 1138
Magnitude: ?
Death Toll: 230,000

4.
Haiti
January 12, 2010
Magnitude: 7.0
Death Toll: 222,517

5.
Xining, China
May 22, 1927
Magnitude: 7.9
Death Toll: 200,000

6.
Damghan, Iran
December 22, 1856
Magnitude: unknown
Death Toll: 200,000

7.
Gansu, China
December 16, 1920
Magnitude: 8.6
Death Toll: 200,000

8.
Ardabil, Iran
March 23, 893
Magnitude: ?
Death Toll: 150,000

9.
Kwanto, Japan
September 1, 1923
Magnitude: 8.3
Death Toll 143,000

10.
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, USSR
October 5, 1948
Magnitude: 7.3
Death Toll: 110,000

11.
Messina, Italy
December 28, 1908
Magnitude: 7.2
Death Toll: 100,000

Originally posted 2015-01-05 02:10:17.