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Deadliest Earthquakes on Record

(50,000 deaths or more)

The following table lists the deadliest earthquakes on record according to date, location, number of deaths, and magnitude. On Jan. 23, 1556, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Shansi, China killing 830,000 people.

Jan. 23, 1556Shansi, China 830,000~8
July 27, 1976Tangshan, China 255,00017.5
Aug. 9, 1138Aleppo, Syria230,000n.a.
Dec. 26, 2004off west coast of northern Sumatra225,000+9.0
Jan. 12, 2010Haiti222,5707.0
Dec. 22, 8562Damghan, Iran200,000n.a.
May 22, 1927near Xining, Tsinghai, China 200,0007.9
Dec. 16, 1920Gansu, China200,0007.8
March 23, 8932Ardabil, Iran150,000n.a.
Sept. 1, 1923Kwanto, Japan143,0007.9
Oct. 5, 1948Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, USSR110,0007.3
Dec. 28, 1908Messina, Italy70,000–
Sept. 1290Chihli, China100,000n.a.
May 12, 2008Eastern Sichuan, China87,5877.9
Oct. 8, 2005Pakistan 80,3617.6
Nov. 1667Shemakha, Caucasia 80,000n.a.
Nov. 18, 1727Tabriz, Iran 77,000n.a.
Dec. 25, 1932Gansu, China 70,0007.6
Nov. 1, 1755Lisbon, Portugal 70,0008.7
May 31, 1970Peru 66,0007.9
May 30, 1935Quetta, Pakistan 30,000–
Jan. 11, 1693Sicily, Italy 60,000n.a.
12684Silicia, Asia Minor 60,000n.a.
June 20, 1990Iran 50,0007.7
Feb. 4, 1783Calabria, Italy  50,000n.a.
1. Official. Estimated death toll as high as 655,000.
2. Note that these dates are prior to A.D. 1000. No digit is missing.
3. Estimated.
4. No date available.
Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey. Data compiled from several sources.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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