The Worst Earthquakes In History
The Earthquake in Kolkata, India, 1737
In accordance with messages of the National Information Center of the earthquakes, working on behalf of the U.S. Geological Service, every year there is at least one very destructive earthquake on Earth, the intensity of which exceeds 8 MSK, about 18 earthquakes from 7 to 7.9 MSK, which belong to the category of very strong; 120 strong earthquakes, the magnitude of which reaches 6-6.9 MSK; Approximately, 800 moderate shocks from 5 to 5.9 MSK; a little more than 6,200 minor earthquakes, the magnitude of 4-4.9; and approximately 50 thousand weak earthquakes, which have the scale from 3 to 3.9.
Today we will talk about the deadliest earthquakes ever, which have been left in history forever because of the consequences they caused.
The Earthquake in Aleppo, Syria, 1138
One of the most destructive earthquakes, known to mankind, and the fourth by the number of victims (by rough estimate over 230 000 dead). This earthquake had 8 points on the Richter scale. The earthquake has happened in several stages, covering the territories of modern northern Syria and south-western Turkey, later Iran and Azerbaijan. The peak of destruction occurred on October 11, 1138, when Aleppo Governorate was affected.
After this earthquake, the population of Aleppo has recovered only by the beginning of the XIX century.
Earthquake in Ganja (Now Territory of Azerbaijan), 1139
The strength of this most devastating earthquake was 11 points. As a result of this disaster, about 230 thousand people were killed. During this earthquake, the Kapaz mountain collapsed and blocked the bed of the Akhsu river that passed through it, as a result of which eight lakes were formed, one of which is Göygöl lake. This lake is currently located on the territory of the Göygöl reserve.
The Earthquake in Egypt, 1201
This earthquake is included in Guinness Book as the most destructive earthquake in history. According to chroniclers, the number of victims was 1 million 100 thousand people. There is an opinion that the figures indicated by historians are far from the truth, and there is a considerable probability that the facts were exaggerated. However, the catastrophe in its scale was huge, which had an enormous impact on the historical development of the region.
The Earthquake in Gansu and Shaanxi, China, 1556
The deadliest earthquake in history took the lives of approximately 830 000 people. At the epicenter of this earthquake, 20-meter long sinkholes and cracks were discovered. The destructions have affected the territories, which are 500 km away from the epicenter. The great number of victims was caused because most of the population of the province lived in loess caves, which collapsed after the first tremors or were flooded by mudflows.
Within half a year after the earthquake, there were repeated seismic shocks with less intensity several times per month.
The Earthquake in Kolkata, India, 1737
This is the deadliest earthquake in the history of the country in terms of its consequences. It took the lives of about 300 thousand people.
Great Kanto Earthquake, Japan, 1923
A strong earthquake with magnitude 8.3 was on September 1, 1923, in Japan. This earthquake has caused the death of several hundred thousand people and caused significant material damage to the whole country. It is the most destructive earthquake in the scale of destructions and the number of victims in the history of Japan. The official number of the dead is 174 thousand, 542 thousand more are missing, and more than one million of them are left without shelter. The total number of victims was about 4 million.
The material damage suffered by Japan from the Kanto earthquake is estimated at 4.5 billion dollars, which was two annual budgets of the country at that time.
One of the strongest earthquakes in the history of mankind was on May 22, 1960, in Chile, its intensity in the epicenter has reached 9.5 MSK, and the fault is 1000 km. Because of the natural catastrophe, 1655 people were killed, 3000 people were wounded, about 2 million people were left homeless, and losses were caused by half a billion dollars. The tsunami caused by this earthquake has reached the shores of Japan, the Philippines, and Hawaii and caused significant damage to coastal settlements.
Read more about worst earthquakes in article California Earthquake History