Earthquakes are one of nature’s most destructive forces able to cause incomprehensible amount of damage in a very short period of time. From the Nepal Earthquake which caused the lives of over 5,000 people to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, we’re going to share with you 25 of the worst earthquakes in the world, both in the number of deaths and magnitude.
The October 8, 2005 Kashmir, Pakistan was visited by an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.6.The disaster had a death toll of 85,000 and more than 69,000 were injured. Considered to be smaller in size than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, it affected countries in surrounding regions with 14,000 deaths in Jammu and tremors felt in Taijikistan and western China. It also cost a staggering $5.4 billion in aids from all around the world.
This was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake that occurred in November 1667 with its epicenter close to the city of Samaxi, Azerbaijan. It had a maximum felt intensity of ten and caused the death of 80,000 people. It had a focal depth of 12 kilometers with an estimated damage of over $25 million.
This took place near the city of Tabriz, Iran on April 26, 1721, and destroyed prominent mosques and schools resulting in death casualties of 8,000 to 250,000, though it was approximated at 80,000 only. Interpreted as an omen of misfortune or a demonstration of divine wrath, it contributed to the success of the Ottoman take-over of Tabriz in 1722 and on its economic difficulties, as well as the destruction of the city’s significant historical monuments.
Known as the ‘Great Lisbon Earthquake,’ this event occurred on November 1, 1755 in the Kingdom of Portugal. Seismologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake in the range of 8.5 to 9.0 on the moment magnitude scale that has a deadly combination of subsequent fires and a tsunami. It totally destroyed Lisbon and its surrounding areas with an estimated death toll of between 10,000 and 100,000 people. Because of its devastating effects over large areas, this event resulted in the scientific studies of modern seismology and earthquake engineering.
This Great Peruvian Earthquake was an undersea earthquake that affected the regions of Ancash and La Libertad. It occurred in May 31, 1970 ad was recorded as the worst catastrophic natural disaster that hit Peru, which affected over 3 million people. It has a magnitude of 7.9 to 8.0 on the Richter scale with an intensity of VIII on the Mercalli scale, which lasted for 45 seconds. This caused the rock, ice, and snow avalanche on the northern wall of Mount Huascaran burying the towns of Yungay and Ranrahirca, which led to the death of 20,000 people in Yungay alone. The damages incurred tallied to 74,194 deaths, 25,600 missing, 143,331 injured, and more than a million homeless. The estimated economic loss was more than half a billion USD with the entire communication system and basic facilities destroyed.