10. The Ashgabat Earthquake: 1948
The 1948 Ashgabat earthquake, at a magnitude 7.3 Mw, occurred on 6 October 1948 near Ashgabat, Turkmenistan (then Soviet Union). The earthquake is considered to be the 6th deadliest earthquake in the history of humankind. Due to censorship by the national government, the Ashgabat Earthquake was not much reported in USSR media.
The scholars tend to agree that ban on publicity of extend of earthquake casualties and damages did not allow Soviet government to allocate enough financial resources to adequitely respond to disaster. Admiral Ellis M. Zacharias, former Deputy Chief of The Office Of Naval Intelligence, on his radio show Secret Missions (twice, on December 12, 1948, and on September 26, 1949), purported that the cause of the earthquake was the first Soviet atomic bomb test. -Wikipedia.org
9. The Hokkaido Earthquake: 1730
8. The Great Kanto Earthquake: 1923
The 1923 Great Kantō earthquake struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58:44 am JST on September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes. The quake had a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale, with its focus deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay.
Because the earthquake struck at lunchtime when many people were using fire to cook food, the damage and the number of fatalities were augmented due to fires which broke out in numerous locations. The fires spread rapidly due to high winds from a nearby typhoon off the coast of Noto Peninsula in Northern Japan and some developed into firestorms which swept across cities. This caused many to die when their feet got stuck in melting tarmac; however, the single greatest loss of life occurred when approximately 38,000 people packed into an open space at the Rikugun Honjo Hifukusho (Former Army Clothing Depot) in downtown Tokyo were incinerated by a firestorm-induced fire whirl.
As the earthquake had caused water mains to break, putting out the fires took nearly two full days until late in the morning of September 3. The fires were the biggest causes of death. The Imperial Palace caught fire, but the Prince Regent was unharmed. The Emperor and Empress were at Nikko when the earthquake struck the city, and were never in any danger. -Wikipedia.org
7. The Ardabil Earthquake: 893
The Ardabil earthquake of 893 was a destructive earthquake that struck the city of Ardabil. The magnitude is unknown but the death toll was very large. The USGS estimate that 150,000 were killed, making it the ninth most deadly earthquake in history. The Ardabil area is prone to numerous earthquakes and in 1997 was struck again. -Wikipedia.org
6. The Haiyuan Earthquake: 1920
1920 Haiyuan earthquake was an earthquake that occurred on December 16, 1920. In Haiyuan County, Ningxia Province, Republic of China. It was also called the 1920 Gansu earthquake because Ningxia was a part of Gansu Province when the earthquake occurred. The earthquake hit at local time 20:06:53 (GMT 12:06:53), reportedly 7.8 on the Richter magnitude scale, followed by a series of aftershocks for three years.
Today’s Chinese media claim the earthquake as of magnitude 8.5, although the scale is not specified. It caused total destruction (XII – the maximum intensity on the Mercalli scale) in the Lijunbu-Haiyuan-Ganyanchi area. Over 73,000 people were killed in Haiyuan County. A landslide buried the village of Sujiahe in Xiji County. More than 30,000 people were killed in Guyuan County.
Nearly all the houses collapsed in the cities of Longde and Huining. Damage (VI-X) occurred in 7 provinces and regions, including the major cities of Lanzhou, Taiyuan, Xi’an, Xining and Yinchuan. It was felt from the Yellow Sea to Qinghai (Tsinghai) Province and from Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia) south to central Sichuan Province. -Wikipedia.org
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5. The Damghan Earthquake: 856
The Damghan Earthquake was an earthquake of magnitude 8.0, that struck a 200-mile (320 km) stretch of Iran on 22 December, 856 A.D. The earthquake’s epicenter was said to be directly below the city of Damghan, which was then the capital of Iran. It caused approximately 200,000 deaths, making it the fifth deadliest earthquake in recorded history. The earthquake was caused by the Alpide earthquake belt, a name for the geologic force that created a mountain range named the Alpide belt, which is among the most seismically active areas on earth. -Wikipedia.org
4. The Aleppo Earthquake: 1138
The 1138 Aleppo earthquake was an earthquake that was located near the town of Aleppo in northern Syria on 11 October 1138. The United States Geological Survey lists it as the fourth deadliest earthquake in history. However, the figure of 230,000 dead is based on a historical conflation of this earthquake with earthquakes in November 1137 on the Jazira plain and the large seismic event of 30 September 1139 in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja.
The first mention of a 230,000 death toll was by Ibn Taghribirdi in the fifteenth century. A contemporary chronicler in Damascus, Ibn al-Qalanisi, recorded the main quake on Wednesday, 11 October 1138. He wrote that it was preceded by an initial quake on 10 October and there were aftershocks on the evening of 20 October, on 25 October, on the night of 30 October-1 November, and finishing with another in the early morning of 3 November. However, Kemal al-Din, an author writing later recorded only one earthquake on 19–20 October, which disagrees with al Qalanisi’s account. Given that al Qalanisi was writing as the earthquakes occurred and that accounts from other historians support a 10 or 11 October date, his date of 11 October is considered authoritative.
The worst hit area was Harem, where Crusaders had built a large citadel. Sources indicate that the castle was destroyed and the church fell in on itself. The fort of Atharib, then occupied by Muslims, was destroyed. The citadel also collapsed, killing 600 of the castle guard, though the governor and some servants survived, and fled to Mosul. The town of Zaradna, already sacked by the warring forces, was utterly obliterated, as was the small fort at Shih. -Wikipedia.org
3. The Tangshan Earthquake: 1976
The Tangshan Earthquake also known as the Great Tangshan Earthquake, was a natural disaster that occurred on July 28, 1976. It is believed to be the largest earthquake of the 20th century by death toll. The epicenter of the earthquake was near Tangshan in Hebei, People’s Republic of China, an industrial city with approximately one million inhabitants. The number of deaths initially reported by the Chinese government was 655,000, but this number has since been stated to be around 240,000 to 255,000. A further 164,000 people were recorded as being severely injured.
The earthquake came in between a series of political events involving the Communist Party of China. It shook China both literally and figuratively in 1976, which was later labeled a “cursed year”. The earthquake hit in the early morning, at 03:42:53.8 local time (1976 July 27 19:42:53.8 UTC), and lasted 23 seconds. Chinese government official sources state a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter magnitude scale, though some sources listed it as high as 8.2. It was followed by a major 7.8 magnitude aftershock some 16 hours later, increasing the death toll. -Wikipedia.org
2. The Indian Ocean Earthquake: 2004
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake.
The resulting tsunami is given various names, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Asian Tsunami, Indonesian Tsunami, and Boxing Day Tsunami. The earthquake was caused by subduction and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing over 230,000 people in fourteen countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (100 feet) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.
With a magnitude of between 9.1 and 9.3, it is the second largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. This earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 cm (0.4 inches) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska. -Wikipedia.org
1. The Shaanxi Earthquake: 1556
The 1556 Shaanxi earthquake or Jiajing earthquake was a catastrophic earthquake and is also the deadliest earthquake on record, killing approximately 830,000 people in China. It occurred on the morning of 23 January 1556 in Shaanxi, during the Ming Dynasty. More than 97 counties in the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Gansu, Hebei, Shandong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu and Anhui were affected. An 840-kilometre (520 mi)-wide area was destroyed, and in some counties 60% of the population was killed. Most of the population in the area at the time lived in yaodongs, artificial caves in loess cliffs, many of which collapsed during the catastrophe with great loss of life. -Wikipedia.org
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