History of deadly earthquakes

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Men carrying a stretcher with rubble in the backgroundImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
First responders carry a victim out of the disaster zone following the earthquake in Nepal in April 2015

Earthquakes have claimed millions of lives in the last 100 years, and improvements in technology have only slightly reduced the death toll.

22 June 2022

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake in eastern Afghanistan has kills at least 1,000 people and injures more than 1,500.

19 August 2021

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti kills more than 2,000 people and leaves more than 12,000 people injured. Haitian officials estimates that 600,000 people are in need of emergency assistance.

15 January 2021

Indonesia is hit by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake and at least 105 people die as a result. The country's Sulawesi island is at the epicentre.

26 November 2019

Albania witnesses one of its most powerful earthquakes. At least 41 people are killed as a result of the 6.4-magnitude quake, which injures more than 3,000 people.

5 August 2018

More than 460 people are killed after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Lombok. It levelled homes, mosques and businesses, displacing some 350,000 people. An earlier 6.4 magnitude tremor on 29 July killed at least 16, and the region has suffered hundreds of aftershocks.

12 November 2017

A magnitude-7.3 earthquake, the fourth largest in 2017 up to that point, strikes the Iran-Iraq border. About 440 people are killed and another 10,000 injured as the quake is felt in Israel and across the Gulf.

19 September 2017

At least 369 people die - most in and around Mexico City - during a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. It follows a more powerful but less deadly earthquake 12 days before; the 7 September quake was a magnitude 8.1, the most powerful to hit the country in a century, but its epicentre was offshore.

24 August 2016

At least 298 people are killed when a magnitude 6 earthquake strikes central Italy. Worst hit is Amatrice, where many of the town's historic buildings collapse.

16 April 2016

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake strikes Ecuador's coast, killing more than 650 people. More than 16,000 people are hurt and some 7,000 buildings destroyed.

26 October 2015

Almost 400 people are killed when a magnitude 7.5 earthquake strikes north-eastern Afghanistan. Most of those killed are in Pakistan, but the quake is also felt in northern India and Tajikistan.

25 April 2015

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake kills more than 8,000 people and leaves hundreds of thousands homeless, in the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since 1934. In some parts of the country, the quake flattens 98% of all homes in hillside villages.

3 August 2014

Approximately 600 people are killed in a 6.1-magnitude earthquake that strikes Yunnan province in China. Thousands of houses are destroyed and landslides are triggered. More than 2,400 people are injured.

15 October 2013

More than 200 people are reported to have died after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake strikes centrally-located Bohol and Cebu in the Philippines.

25 September 2013

More than 300 people are killed as a 7.7-magnitude quake flattens entire villages in Pakistan's remote south-western province of Balochistan, mainly in the district of Awaran.

20 April 2013

A powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake kills at least 160 people and injured at least 5,700 in China's rural south-western Sichuan province.

11 August 2012

At least 250 people are killed and more than 2,000 injured in north-west Iran by two powerful quakes which strikes within minutes of each other near the towns of Tabriz and Ahar.

23 October 2011

More than 200 people are killed and 1,000 are injured in a powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake which hits south-eastern Turkey; many of the victims are in the town of Ercis, where dozens of buildings collapse.

11 March 2011

A devastating magnitude-8.9 quake strikes Japan, leaving more than 20,000 people dead or missing. The tremor generates a massive tsunami along the Japanese coast and triggers the world's biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

22 February 2011

A magnitude-6.3 earthquake shatters the New Zealand city of Christchurch, killing more than 160 people and damaging some 100,000 homes.

14 April 2010

At least 400 people die after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake strikes western China's Qinghai province.

27 February 2010

A magnitude-8.8 earthquake hits central Chile north-east of the second city, Concepcion, killing more than 700 people.

12 January 2010

About 230,000 people die in and around the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince as a 7.0-magnitude earthquake strikes the city.

30 September 2009

More than 1,000 people die after an earthquake strikes the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

6 April 2009

An earthquake hits the historic Italian city of L'Aquila, killing 309 people.

29 October 2008

Up to 300 people are killed in the Pakistani province of Balochistan after an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude strikes 45 miles (70km) north of Quetta.

12 May 2008

Up to 87,000 people are killed or missing and as many as 370,000 injured by an earthquake in just one county in China's south-western Sichuan province.

The tremor, measuring 7.8, struck 57 miles (92km) from the provincial capital Chengdu during the early afternoon.

15 August 2007

At least 519 people are killed in Peru's coastal province of Ica, as a 7.9-magnitude undersea earthquake strikes about 90 miles (145km) south-east of the capital, Lima.

17 July 2006

A 7.7-magnitude undersea earthquake triggers a tsunami that strikes a 125-mile (200km) stretch of the southern coast of Java, killing more than 650 people on the Indonesian island.

27 May 2006

More than 5,700 people die when a magnitude 6.2 quake hits the Indonesian island of Java, devastating the city of Yogyakarta and surrounding areas.

8 October 2005

An earthquake measuring 7.6 strikes northern Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir region, killing more than 73,000 people and leaving millions homeless.

28 March 2005

About 1,300 people are killed in an 8.7-magnitude quake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Nias, west of Sumatra.

22 February 2005

Hundreds die in a 6.4 magnitude quake centred in a remote area near Zarand in Iran's Kerman province.

26 December 2004

Hundreds of thousands are killed across Asia when an earthquake measuring 9.2 triggers sea surges that spread across the region.

24 February 2004

At least 500 people die in an earthquake which strikes towns on Morocco's Mediterranean coast.

26 December 2003

More than 26,000 people are killed when an earthquake destroys the historic city of Bam in southern Iran.

21 May 2003

Algeria suffers its worst earthquake in more than two decades. More than 2,000 people die and more than 8,000 are injured in a quake felt across the sea in Spain.

1 May 2003

More than 160 people are killed, including 83 children in a collapsed dormitory, in south-eastern Turkey.

24 February 2003

More than 260 people die and almost 10,000 homes are destroyed in Xinjiang region, in western China.

31 October 2002

Italy is traumatised by the loss of an entire class of children, killed in the southern village of San Giuliano di Puglia when their school building collapses on them.

26 January 2001

An earthquake measuring magnitude 7.9 devastates much of Gujarat state in north-western India, killing nearly 20,000 people and making more than a million homeless. Bhuj and Ahmedabad are among the towns worst hit.

12 November 1999

About 400 people die when an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale strikes Ducze, in north-west Turkey.

21 September 1999

Taiwan is hit by a quake measuring 7.6 that kills nearly 2,500 people and causes damage to every town on the island.

17 August 1999

A magnitude-7.4 earthquake rocks the Turkish cities of Izmit and Istanbul, leaving more than 17,000 dead and many more injured.

30 May 1998

Northern Afghanistan is hit by a major earthquake, killing 4,000 people.

May 1997

More than 1,600 are killed in Birjand, eastern Iran, in an earthquake of magnitude 7.1.

27 May 1995

The far eastern island of Sakhalin is hit by a massive earthquake measuring 7.5, which claims the lives of 1,989 Russians.

17 January 1995

The Hyogo quake hits the city of Kobe in Japan, killing 6,430 people.

30 September 1993

About 10,000 villagers are killed in western and southern India.

21 June 1990

About 40,000 people die in a tremor in the northern Iranian province of Gilan.

7 December 1988

An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale devastates north-west Armenia, killing 25,000 people.

19 September 1985

Mexico City is shaken by a huge earthquake which razes buildings and kills 10,000 people.

4 March 1977

Some 1,500 people are killed in an earthquake that hit close to the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

28 July 1976

The Chinese city of Tangshan is reduced to rubble in a quake that claims at least 250,000 lives.

4 February 1976

An earthquake devastates a wide area around the town of Los Amates in eastern Guatemala, killing about 23,000 people.

23 December 1972

Up to 10,000 people are killed in the Nicaraguan capital Managua by an earthquake that measures 6.5 on the Richter scale. The devastation caused by the earthquake is blamed on badly built high-rise buildings that easily collapsed.

31 May 1970

An earthquake high in the Peruvian Andes triggers a landslide, burying the town of Yungay and killing 66,000 people.

26 July 1963

An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale strikes the Macedonian capital of Skopje, killing 1,000 people and leaving 100,000 homeless.

22 May 1960

The world's strongest recorded earthquake devastates Chile, with a reading of 9.5 on the Richter scale. A tsunami 30ft (10m) high eliminates entire villages. Death toll reports vary widely, but many settle on the 2,000 mark.

1 September 1923

The Great Kanto earthquake, with its epicentre just outside Tokyo, claims the lives of 142,800 people in the Japanese capital.

28 December 1908

Earthquake about 7.1 magnitude and subsequent tsunami in Italy's Messina Strait, badly affecting the cities of Messina and Reggio Calabria. Deaths estimated at 70,000-80,000.

18 April 1906

San Francisco is hit by a series of violent shocks which last up to a minute. Between 700 and 3,000 people die either from collapsing buildings or in the subsequent fire.

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