Geology And Geophysics

Deadliest Recorded Earthquakes



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Throughout time, some of the most terrifying earthquakes have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths by one unexpected earthquake at a time. Killing, injuring others, and destroying everything in its path by the most dangerous natural disaster that destroys lives unexpectedly. in a matter of seconds with deadly results.

What causes earthquakes to happen? Natural disaster or man made events will trigger earthquakes.

How does it happen?
Friction from the base of the tectonic plates cause waves of energy to be released to the earth's surface while the plates rub together until breakage occurs, producing the earthquake. In addition, geologist estimate that melting glaciers, and rising sea levels will cause an increase in: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions landslides, and tsunamis. Furthermore, the U.S. Geological Survey states that an average 10,000 annual deaths occur worldwide from earthquakes.

Can scientist predict when an earthquake will happen? According to the United States Geological Service (USGS) Scientist will know of a fault line that is under stress but they are not able to predict when the breakage will occur.

Can animals predict earthquakes? Animals predicting earthquakes goes back to Greece in 373 B.C.. Furthermore, some animals can predict quakes because they are picking up low level electromagnetic waves. That explains why strange things happen with some animals behaviors before a quake happens.

In addition, the USGS states, "Rats, weasels, snakes, and centipedes reportedly left their homes and headed for safety several days before a destructive earthquake. Anecdotal evidence abounds of animals, fish, birds, reptiles, and insects exhibiting strange behavior anywhere from weeks to seconds before an earthquake."

What are the deadliest reported earthquakes? There are many, we have listed 10 of the worst quakes by death toll. The first written reports of earthquakes are listed in China as early as 1177 B.C.

1.)Egypt and Syria the worst recorded earthquake hit on July 5,1201 killing approximately 1,100,000 people.

2.) Shaanxi, China on January 23, 1556 earthquake hits and kills an estimated 830,000 people; with a magnitude of approximately 8.0 - 8.3

3.)Tangshan, NE China July 27, 1976 magnitude of 8.0 death toll varies; but the University of Wisconsin report that 655,237 people died in the earthquake.

4.) Indian Ocean Earthquake December 26, 2004 magnitude of 9.3 killed: 230,210 people from an underwater quake.

5.) Haiyuan, China December 16, 1920 7.8 8.5 killed: 220,000 240,000

6.) Aleppo, Syria October 11, 1138 magnitude of 8.5 death toll 230,000

7.) Damghan, Iran December 22 856 B.C. magnitude: 8.0 killed: 200,000

8.) Gansu and Shanxi, China Dec. 16, 1920 magnitude of 8.5 killed: 200,000

9.) Qinghai, China May 22, 1927 magnitude: 8.3 death toll: 200,000

10.) Armenia, Iran December 14, 893 no magnitude report; deaths were at 180,000

References Natural and Applied Science / Earthquakes
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PLATETEC/TOPTEN.HTM

Disaster Cycles
http://yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2007/4/07.04.02.x.html

Earthquake Index
http://earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/info-gen/faq-eng.php#cause

Historic Earthquakes
http://www.earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/faq.php?categoryID=11&faqID=14

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