25 Scariest Earthquakes In History

In this article, we are going to take a deeper look into the history of the most deadly horrifying earthquakes.

An earthquake is most commonly known as the shaking of the Earth’s surface. It is normally caused when two blocks of Earth suddenly slip past one another. This then causes a sudden release of energy that could either feel like a small tremor or violent shaking.

Earthquakes are one of nature’s most destructive forces. They have the power to demolish cities in a matter of seconds. Scientists measure earthquakes according to the Richter Magnitude Scale.

The scale ranges from one to nine. The one magnitude is the weakest measurement and normally can’t be felt. The nine magnitude is the highest rating which is believed to cause the most damage.

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Aleppo, Syria 1138

Aleppo, Syriahttps://www.britannica.com/event/Aleppo-earthquake-of-1138

The city of Aleppo is located in northern Syria. It lays between the Arabian geologic plate and the African plate.

The city is believed to have had a total population of 10,000. The earthquake which took place on October 11, 1138, reduced that number by 230,000. 

The city experienced a small quake the day before which caused many residents to flee. However, it was the mainshock on October, 11th that really did some damage.

Not only was Aleppo destroyed but many other smaller sounding villages as well. 


Shaanxi, China 1556

Fire https://www.britannica.com/event/Shaanxi-province-earthquake-of-1556

Nearly 463 years ago a deadly earthquake shook the city of Shaanxi, China. To this day it is still believed to be one of the deadliest earthquakes ever recorded. It had an estimated magnitude of eight on the Ritcher scale which ultimately killed around 830,000 people. 

he earthquake only lasted a few seconds. However, the powerful shaking severely altered the paths of rivers which caused deadly flooding. In other areas, it caused fires and even leveled vast mountains.

Researchers believe that the devastation caused the two provinces to lose 60 percent of its total population.


San Francisco, California 1906


The terror began the early morning in San Francisco, California on April 18, 1906. A powerful earthquake struck the city rupturing the San Andreas fault.

The horrifying tremors could be felt as far as southern Oregon.

The quake generated deadly fires that burned for several days. Over 3,000 people lost their lives and around 250,000 were left homeless.


Messina, Italy 1908


The city of Messina, Italy experienced a shock on December 28, 1908, that almost completely destroyed southern Italy.

The earthquake hit around 5:20 a.m. at a magnitude of 7.5 and lasting around 20 seconds.

However, it was the quakes generation of a tsunami that really stirred a concoction of devastation and chaos. Forty ft tall waves came crashing down the coast of northern Sicily. An estimated 80,000 lives were lost in the disaster.


Tokyo, Japan 1923


In a matter of minutes, a burst of tectonic energy wreaked massive havoc in Japan.

The first shock struck around noon 30 miles south of Tokyo. A few minutes later, roaring waves started to crash through the cities of Yokohama and Tokyo leaving only destruction and chaos behind. 

This natural disaster would go down in history as the Great Kanto Earthquake. It killed an estimated 140,000 people.

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