November 1, 1755In Portugal, Lisbon is destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami, killing between sixty thousand and ninety thousand people.
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that took place on Saturday 1 November 1755, at around 9:40 in the morning. The earthquake was followed by fires and a tsunami, which caused near-total destruction of Lisbon in the Kingdom of Portugal, and adjoining areas. Seismologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake had a magnitude in the range 8.5–9.0 on the moment magnitude scale, with an epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent. Estimates place the death toll in Lisbon alone between 10,000 and 100,000 people, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.
December 16, 1575The 1575 Valdivia earthquake takes place.
The 1575 Valdivia earthquake was an earthquake in Chile that caused the subsequent flood of Valdivia much like the 1960 Valdivia earthquake caused the ensuing Riñihuazo flooding. It occurred at 14:30 local time on December 16, 1575. It had an estimated magnitude of 8.5 on the surface wave magnitude scale. Pedro Mariño de Lobera, who was corregidor of Valdivia by that time, wrote that the waters of the river opened like the Red Sea, one part flowing upstream and one downstream. Mariño de Lobera also evacuated the city until the dam at Laguna de Anigua (nowadays Riñihue Lake) burst. At that moment he wrote that, while many Indians died, no Spaniards did, as the settlement of Valdivia was moved temporarily away from the riverside.
December 25, 1932A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Gansu.
The 1932 Changma earthquake occurred at 10:04:27 local time (02:04:07 UTC) on 25 December. With an estimated magnitude of 7.6 on the surface wave magnitude scale, and a maximum felt intensity of X (Intense) on the Mercalli intensity scale, the quake destroyed 1,167 houses, and 275 people were killed with a further 320 injured.
December 26, 2004A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka.
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, 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, South 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 (98 ft) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest hit, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.
, Sri Lanka
, Indian Ocean
December 28, 1908A magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocks Messina, Sicily killing over 75,000.
On December 28, 1908 from about 05:20 to 05:21 an earthquake of 7.2 on the moment magnitude scale occurred centered on the of city Messina, in Sicily. Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland also suffered heavy damage. The ground shook for some 30 to 40 seconds, and the destruction was felt within a 300 km radius. Moments after the earthquake, a 12 m tsunami struck nearby coasts causing even more devastation. 91% of structures in Messina were destroyed and some 70000 residents were killed. Rescuers searched through the rubble for weeks, and whole families were still being pulled out alive days later, but thousands remained buried there. Buildings in the area had not been constructed for earthquake resistance, having heavy roofs and vulnerable foundations.
January 12, 2010The 2010 Haiti earthquake occurs killing an estimated 316,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince.
The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicentre near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 km (16 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time (21:53 UTC) on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.
January 13, 1915
An earthquake in Avezzano, Italy.
Ruins of Castle Orsini
The 1915 Avezzano earthquake or 1915 L'Aquila earthquake occurred on January 13 in southern Italy, near the city of L'Aquila. The epicenter was located in the town of Avezzano in southern Italy. 30,000 direct fatalities resulted from the earthquake, destroying the epicentral area. The earthquake took place at around 8:00 local time affecting thousands of people throughout central and southern Italy; the shaking was even felt in Rome also.
January 14, 1907An earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica kills more than 1,000.
The 1907 Kingston earthquake which shook the capital of the island of Jamaica with a magnitude of 6.5 on the moment magnitude scale on Monday January 14th, at about 3:30 pm local time (21:36 UTC), was considered by many writers of that time one of the world's deadliest earthquakes recorded in history. Every building in Kingston was damaged by the earthquake and subsequent fires, which lasted for three hours before any efforts were made to check them, culminated in the death of 800 to 1,000 people, and left approximately 10,000 homeless and $25,000,000 in material damage. Shortly after, a tsunami was reported on the north coast of Jamaica, with a maximum wave height of about 2 m (6-8 ft)
January 23, 1556The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hits Shaanxi province, China.
The 1556 Shaanxi earthquake or Jiajing earthquake was a catastrophic earthquake and is also the deadliest earthquake on record, killing approximately 830,000 people. 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.
January 24, 1939The deadliest earthquake in Chilean history strikes Chillán.
The 1939 Chillán earthquake was a major earthquake in south-central Chile. It is currently the single earthquake that has caused the most deaths in Chile. The earthquake occurred on 24 January 1939 and had an intensity of 8.3 MS. The death toll was around 30,000, compared to the 2,000 of the Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960.
February 4, 1797
The Riobamba earthquake strikes Ecuador.
1797 Riobamba earthquake
The 1797 Riobamba earthquake occurred at 12:30 UTC on 4 February. It devastated the city of Riobamba and many other cities in the Interandean valley, causing up to 40,000 casualties. It is estimated that seismic intensities in the epicentral area reached at least XI on the Mercalli scale, and that the earthquake had a magnitude of 8.3, the most powerful historical event known in Ecuador. The earthquake was studied by Alexander von Humboldt, when he visited the area in 1801/2.
February 5, 1783In Calabria a sequence of strong earthquakes begins.
The 1783 Calabrian earthquakes were a sequence of five strong earthquakes that hit the region of Calabria in southern Italy (then part of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies), the first two of which produced significant tsunamis. The epicenters form a clear alignment extending nearly 100 km from the Straits of Messina to about 18 km SSW of Catanzaro. The earthquakes occurred over a period of nearly two months, all with estimated magnitudes of 5.9 or greater. Estimates of the total number of deaths lie in the range 32,000 to 50,000.
Good Friday Earthquake
March 27, 1964The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2 strikes South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage.
The 1964 Alaska earthquake, also known as the Great Alaskan Earthquake, the Portage Earthquake and the Good Friday Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that began at 5:36 P.M. AST on Good Friday, March 27, 1964. Across south-central Alaska, ground fissures, collapsing buildings, and tsunamis resulting from the earthquake caused about 143 deaths. Lasting nearly four minutes, it was the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. and North American history, and the second most powerful ever measured by seismograph. It had a magnitude of 9.2, at the time making it the second largest earthquake in recorded history.
March 28, 2005The 2005 Sumatra earthquake rocks Indonesia, and at magnitude 8.7 is the fourth strongest earthquake since 1965.
The 2005 Sumatra earthquake, referred to as the Nias Earthquake by the scientific community, was a major earthquake on 28 March 2005, located off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Approximately 1300 people were killed by the earthquake, mostly on the island of Nias. The event caused panic in the region, which had previously been devastated by the massive tsunami triggered by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, but this earthquake generated a relatively small tsunami that caused limited damage. It was the third most powerful earthquake since 1965 in Indonesia.
April 6, 2009A 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near L'Aquila, Italy, killing 307.
The 2009 L'Aquila earthquake occurred in the region of Abruzzo, in central Italy. The main shock occurred at 3:32 local time (1:32 UTC) on 6 April 2009, and was rated 5.8 on the Richter scale and 6.3 on the moment magnitude scale; its epicentre was near L'Aquila, the capital of Abruzzo, which together with surrounding villages suffered most damage. There have been several thousand foreshocks and aftershocks since December 2008, more than thirty of which had a Richter magnitude greater than 3.5. The earthquake was felt throughout central Italy; 308 people are known to have died, making this the deadliest earthquake to hit Italy since the 1980 Irpinia earthquake.
May 3, 1481The largest of three earthquakes strikes the island of Rhodes and causes an estimated 30,000 casualties.
The 1481 Rhodes earthquake occurred at 3:00 in the morning on 3 May. It triggered a small tsunami, which caused local flooding. There were an estimated 30,000 casualties. It was the largest of a series of earthquakes that affected Rhodes, starting on 15 March 1481, continuing until January 1482.
May 9, 1877A magnitude 8.8 earthquake off the coast of Peru kills 2,541, including some as far away as Hawaii and Japan.
The 1877 Iquique earthquake occurred at 21:16 local time on 9 May (0:59 on 10 May UTC). It had a magnitude of 8.5 on the surface wave magnitude scale. It has also been estimated to be a 9 magnitude earthquake. It had a maximum felt intensity of XI (Extreme) on the Mercalli intensity scale and triggered a devastating tsunami. A total of 2,541 people died, mainly in Peru and what is now northernmost Chile, with some deaths also reported from Hawaii and Japan.
Great Chilean Earthquake
May 22, 1960An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean Earthquake, hits southern Chile.
The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean Earthquake of Sunday, 22 May 1960 is to date the most powerful earthquake ever recorded on Earth, rating 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon (19:11 GMT, 15:11 local time) and its resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
June 5, 1888The Rio de la Plata Earthquake takes place.
The 1888 Río de la Plata earthquake occurred on June 5, 1888, measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale, and shook the upper Río de la Plata at 3:20 UTC-3. The epicentre was located 15 kilometres (9 mi) southwest of Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay) and 42 kilometres (26 mi) east of Buenos Aires (Argentina), with a hypocentre at a depth of 30 kilometres (19 mi).
, Rio de la Plata
July 9, 869Earthquake and subsequent tsunami strikes the area around Sendai in the northern part of Honshu, Japan.
The 869 Jogan Sanriku earthquake and associated tsunami struck the area around Sendai in the northern part of Honshu on 9 July 869 (26th day of 5th month, 11th year of Jōgan). The earthquake had an estimated magnitude of 8.6 on the surface wave magnitude scale. The tsunami caused widespread flooding of the Sendai plain, with sand deposits being found up to 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the coast.
July 16, 1990The Luzon Earthquake strikes in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Aurora, Bataan, Zambales and Tarlac, Philippines, with an intensity of 7.7.
The Luzon earthquake occurred on Monday, July 16, 1990, at 4:26 PM local time in the Philippines. The densely populated island of Luzon was struck by an earthquake with a 7.8 Ms (surface-wave magnitude). The earthquake produced a 125 km-long ground rupture that stretched from Dingalan, Aurora to Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija as a result of strike-slip movements along the Philippine Fault and the Digdig Fault within the Philippine Fault System. The earthquake epicenter was placed at 15° 42' N and 121° 7' E near the town of Rizal, Nueva Ecija, northeast of Cabanatuan City. An estimated 1,621 people were killed in the earthquake, most of the fatalities located in Central Luzon and the Cordillera region.