Top 10 Most Destructive Earthquakes in History

An earthquake is a natural phenomenon that is triggered by the sudden release of energy within the earth’s crust which in turn produces seismic waves. This waves are characterized by massive destruction with is usually unbearable. Most of these natural occurrences have claimed several lives, dismantled property and displaced thousands of people. The most recent earthquake occurred in Nepal where over 7,500 people lost their lives. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake is considered one of the worst in world’s history. Apart from Nepal, there are also other devastating natural events that have occurred in the past as indicated in the top 10 most destructive earthquakes in history.

10. Kanto, Japan

The earthquake occurred on 1st September 1923 on the major island of Honshu in Japan. The great Kanto Disaster had a magnitude of 7.9 and was dubbed of the worst earthquakes in Japan’s history. It was accompanied by the great Tokyo fire which lasted which lasted for about 5 to 10 minutes casing massive destruction. The fire claimed many lives with a massive destruction of valuable property.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History9. Tohoku Japan

Japan underwent one of the worst nightmares in their history on 11th March 2011when a 9.03 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Tohoku. This devastating event is considered as one of the top five of its kind globally. It claimed more than 15,878 innocent lives with 6,126 undergoing through sundry injuries. The twenty prefectures engulfed a total of 2,173 citizens who have never been traced to date. It also plummeted more than 129,225 buildings with a wild tsunami and fires which dismantled roads and railway lines.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History8. Damghan, Iran

The latter is considered one of the earliest natural disasters in world history. The 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit Damghan city on 22nd December 856. The ferocious occurrence claimed 200,000 lives under wild tremors that were experienced within the city and its precincts. It destroyed many structures in neighboring towns and villages. Bustam, one of the nearest towns was turned to ashes.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History7. Xining, China

Xining is the capital of Qinghai province which strategically located along river Hongshui River in Western China. On 22nd May 1927, the city and its surrounding experienced a 7.9 magnitude earthquake. Thus inhuman seismic activity took away more than 40,900 lives; other sources stipulated that the number may have reached 200,000. It not only claimed lives but also destroyed offices, schools, roads and other valuable infrastructure.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History6. Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

The 12th January 2010s Earthquake in Haiti caught everyone flatfooted and was one of the worst natural disasters in the modern era. It recorded a magnitude of 7.0 on Richter scale with its epicenter occurring 25 km away from the capital Port-au-Prince near Leogane. The 52 aftershocks lasted for 12 days with a magnitude of 4.5. It claimed more than 316,000 lives with up to 300,000 people sustaining serious injuries. A total of 1million people were displaced with destruction of a quarter million house and 30,000 office buildings.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History5. Haiyuan County, China

The earthquake occurred in 1920 in Haiyuan County in Ningxia China. It had a magnitude of 7.8 to 8.5. About 200,000 lives were lost with its effects being felt in various areas within 125 mile off its epicenter. The aftershocks were devastating and resilient lasting for more than 3 years. Both Chinese government and the United States Geological Survey presented different results on the actual magnitude and number of deaths.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History4. Aleppo, Syria

The devastating natural phenomenon occurred on 11th October 1138 next to the town of Aleppo in Syria. The 8.5 magnitude earthquake which can be equated to 2.8-Gigaton is the forth worst disaster in world history. 600 guards and civilians were killed on the spot by a falling nearby church after losing its stability. The total number of individuals who lost their lives is estimated to be 230,000.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History3. Tangshan, China

The lurid event transpired on 28th July 1976 in Tangshan where 255,000 citizens perished. The initial death toll was presented at 655,000 by the Chinese government. This region was known to be free of earthquakes hence the buildings were built in the normal way. It was estimated to be 4 miles long and 5 miles wide which destroyed $1.3 billion worth of property. Moreover, the 8.2 magnitude earthquake happened within 10 seconds with massive destruction.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History2. Sumatra, Indonesia

Its magnitude was recorded at 9.3 which can be equated to 32-Gigatons. The disaster happened on 26th December 2004 after it hit the Indian Ocean floor. It was accompanied by a gigantic tsunami which swept many homes and villages along the Indian Ocean. It marked the second seismic occurrence to be jotted since time memorial with unrelenting tremors. Its effects were felt in sundry parts including Thailand and Maldives with up to 5 tsunamis wrecking coastlines. A total of 225,000 people lost their lives with damages worth $7billion incurred.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History1. Shaanxi, China

The latter is dubbed the most destructive and devastative in history. The 8.0 magnitude earthquake occurred on 23rd January 1556 causing damages in an area of 520 miles. It was accompanied by 20 meters deep crevices and landslides which engulfed various homes. It claimed a total of 830,000 lives; about 60% of the area’s population and was felt in 97 countries.

Most Destructive Earthquakes in History

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