Do you want to know about the Aleppo earthquake facts? Well, this article is made especially for you! Read the text below to know all about it!
883 years ago, almost a century ago, the Aleppo region suffered from one of the most dreadful natural disasters ever known. The overall Aleppo earthquake death toll was estimated at 230 thousand people – statistics were given by scientists of that time.
First of all, we need to understand where did the Aleppo earthquake happen. The natural disaster occurred in the Middle East, to be more precise in the city of Aleppo, which, in ancient times, used to be big and populated. The next question is what caused the Aleppo earthquake? The answer is geography. The Aleppo region is located within the northern part of the geological fault system (the Dead Sea area), which shares the African and Arabian tectonic plates.
This topic is quite discussed, there are plenty of facts about the Aleppo earthquake, a lot of articles written, however, the interesting thing is that this earthquake was just the beginning of the series of natural disasters in the region. These seismic activities have taken place in several stages, touching the territory of current Turkey, the southwestern part to be precise, and northern Syria, and later on the Azerbaijanian territory and several regions of Iran. It has lasted from 1138 till 1139.
Nowadays, we can tell the exact date of the earthquake thanks to the works of the chronicler called Hamza Ibn al-Qalanisi. He was the first scientist to describe the disaster and to give the statistical data to the rest. It all started on October 10, 1138, with a small earthquake that hit the region, and after that, some Aleppo citizens left for the surrounding villages and towns. Qalanasi in his work has mentioned that there was a “warning” earthquake. The main shock occurred the next day. Wednesday, October 11, 1138- was the date of that dreadful earthquake. Aleppo earthquake 1138 magnitude is estimated at the point of 8.0. The fortifications of the city were almost completely ruined with thousands of people`s deaths.
The Arab chronicler was the first to count the number of victims: over 230,000. A huge number of casualties may be explained by the high population of Aleppo. In all epochs, lively trade routes were held through the city, and Aleppo itself was a major center of trade and military art. Thanks to numerous monuments of antiquity, Aleppo even got the second name – Asian Athens. It is noteworthy that the Aleppo earthquake data was doubted by the contemporaries of the chronicler – Crusaders. For them, such several victims seemed completely impossible, because no one city in the 12 century Europe could boast of over 10 thousand people, while the population of the cities located on the lands of the former Byzantine Empire and various Arab emirates, such as Aleppo, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, retained of 200,000 and more.
The information we have about 1138 Aleppo earthquake statistics cannot be considered completely reliable. Many facts and data were often recorded by medieval scientists in other words and sometime after the event happened. There are assumptions that the information about 230 thousand casualties appeared in later chronics as a result of the unification of several earthquakes. Most likely that the Aleppo earthquake death toll is based on historical casualties of not one, but three earthquakes: the earthquake in Aleppo in 1138, the Al Jazeera valley earthquake in 1137, and the Ganja earthquake in 1139. The most accurate data will most likely remain unknown forever.
Even though Aleppo was the largest city to be hit by this disaster, it probably did not suffer the biggest damage. Harem was the most affected area, there were a large fortress and a crusader church. It is noted that under the rubble, the entire garrison of the Crusaders was buried. The opponents of the Crusaders suffered comparable losses. The Muslim s Citadel al-Atarib became a mass grave for 600 warriors. There were several lucky men to survive: a commandant with servants. They fled to Mosul, as they considered the need to inform the chronicles. Some other small forts and towns were turned into ruins as well. After the earthquake, Aleppo became a ghost town. Only marauders and predators were the new inhabitants of the city. Rare survivors were looking for new homes far away from these places. It was possible to restore the population of the city only by the beginning of the XIX century. And on August 24, 1822, another major earthquake occurred in Aleppo with the victims of less than 22 thousand.
For a long time, the Aleppo earthquake was believed to be the severest in history, but lately, with the earthquakes in China- it appeared to be the fifth in the world in the number of victims, however, sometimes it is still called the top three deadliest earthquakes.
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