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.
On January 11, 1693, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 and maximum intensity of XI or ‘extreme’ had struck the parts of Sicily, Calabria, and Matta in southern Italy. Considered the most powerful in Italian history, it destroyed at least 70 towns and cities causing the death of 60,000 people. It was also followed by a tsunami that hit the Ionian Sea and the Straits of Messina, wiping out two-thirds of the entire population of Catania.
This disastrous event happened on June 21, 1990 and caused widespread damage within 100 kilometers of the epicenter’s radius near the city of Rashi, and about 200 kilometer northwest of Tehran. It destroyed 700 villages across the cities of Rudbar, Manjiil, and Lushan and cost $200,000,000 in damages, including 40,000 fatalities, 60,000 injured and 500,000 people homeless.
This was a 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck northern Turkey on August 17, 1990, which lasted for only 3.7 seconds. The city of Izmit was very badly damaged and had a death toll of 17,127 and 43, 959 injured though other sources suggested that the actual figure for fatalities may be closer to 45,000 with a similar number of injured. Another report from September 1999 showed that the earthquake had destroyed 120,000 poorly-engineered houses, heavily damaged 50,000 houses; caused 2,000 buildings to collapse while 4,000 other buildings left severely damaged, and made more than 300,000 people homeless.
This 8.6 magnitude earthquake that occurred on September 20, 1498, off the coast of Nankia, Japan triggered a large tsunami, which cost the lives of between 26,000 and 31,000 people. It caused severe shaking that reached the Boso Peninsula and also caused a tsunami in the Suruga Bay, which destroyed the building that housed the statue of the Great Buddha at Kotuku-in.
Nepal Earthquake (between Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara)
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal in an area between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara on Saturday April 25, 2015 with what has been described as a force equaling that of 20 thermonuclear weapons. The devastation claimed the lives of at least 5,000 people while injuring 10,000 more with authorities warning that casualty numbers could rise. The devastating quake also destroyed major monuments such as the Dharahara tower, temples and world heritage sites near Kathmandu.