Geology And Geophysics

The Deadliest Earthquakes on Record



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The earth is made up of huge flat rocks called tectonic plates. These move slowly and meet at what is called a fault, when the plates rub together a force is causing waves of energy to come to the surface of the earth. The severe energetic movements cause the earth to shake, and this is known as an earthquake. Millions of people are killed and severe damage is enforced on structures due to earthquakes. There are some earthquakes that are on record for being the most deadliest of all, the human death toll resulting from an earthquake is what normally constitutes the magnitude of the earthquake itself. The deadliness is summed up in the amount of overall damage done when this natural disaster occurs. The following is a list of the most deadliest earthquakes on record.

* Shaanxi, China (1556) *

The deadliest of them all happened in China, and killed more than 820,000 people. The artificial dugouts known as, yaodongs is said to have caused the massive earthquake. The disaster had an effect on mountains, fires burned for days, and it even changed the course of rivers.

* Indian Ocean (2004) *

In more recent times this earthquake was also a huge one, it took more than 280.000 lives in it's relentless path of mass destruction. The earthquake recorded a staggering 9.1 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was off the west coast of Indonesia, it created a tsunami that pounded regions of the Indian ocean coastline, and made earthquakes as far as Alaska.

* Alleppo, Syria (1138) *

Going back further in time there is the shocking earthquake of Syria, which took about 230,000 people in its destructible path. This was the time of crusades, and the earthquake was one of the first to hit Syria at this point in time.

* Great Kanto, Japan (1923) *

Entire regions were destroyed in this earthquake, along with the over 100,000 people who lost their lives. The typhoons that occurred due tot the earthquake caused fires, which accounted for the majority of the injured and dead. The Great Buddha Statue was moved 2 feet, this was surprising considering it was said to have weighed 93 ton.

* Lisbon, Portugal (1755) *

This is a more well known, and much publicized earthquake that happened in Lisbon, in 1755. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami and many fires throughout the region. 100,000 casualties were reported as a result of the Lisbon earthquake. Europe was going through Enlightenment at this point in time, the earthquake lead to many philosophical conversations.

* Northern Pakistan (2005) *

There was severe damaged caused to this area in 2005, the earthquake killed at least 86,000 people. The Muzzaffarabad, Kashmir area is where the worst of the damage occurred, with whole villages being destroyed, and 80 percent of the town of Uri was completely devastated by the earthquake.

Every year there are millions of earthquakes happening all over the world. Some of these earthquakes are of the magnitude that cause severe harm and a lot of deaths, and some you wouldn't even know occurred as they have been so small it was impossible to feel them happening. Earthquakes are certainly one of the more devastating natural disasters of all time.

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