Deadliest Earthquakes on Record
Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
(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, 1556||Shansi, China||830,000||~8|
|July 27, 1976||Tangshan, China||255,0001||7.5|
|Aug. 9, 1138||Aleppo, Syria||230,000||n.a.|
|Dec. 26, 2004||off west coast of northern Sumatra||225,000+||9.0|
|Jan. 12, 2010||Haiti||222,570||7.0|
|Dec. 22, 8562||Damghan, Iran||200,000||n.a.|
|May 22, 1927||near Xining, Tsinghai, China||200,000||7.9|
|Dec. 16, 1920||Gansu, China||200,000||7.8|
|March 23, 8932||Ardabil, Iran||150,000||n.a.|
|Sept. 1, 1923||Kwanto, Japan||143,000||7.9|
|Oct. 5, 1948||Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, USSR||110,000||7.3|
|Dec. 28, 1908||Messina, Italy||70,000?|
|Sept. 1290||Chihli, China||100,000||n.a.|
|May 12, 2008||Eastern Sichuan, China||87,587||7.9|
|Oct. 8, 2005||Pakistan||80,361||7.6|
|Nov. 1667||Shemakha, Caucasia||80,000||n.a.|
|Nov. 18, 1727||Tabriz, Iran||77,000||n.a.|
|Dec. 25, 1932||Gansu, China||70,000||7.6|
|Nov. 1, 1755||Lisbon, Portugal||70,000||8.7|
|May 31, 1970||Peru||66,000||7.9|
|May 30, 1935||Quetta, Pakistan||30,000?|
|Jan. 11, 1693||Sicily, Italy||60,000||n.a.|
|12684||Silicia, Asia Minor||60,000||n.a.|
|June 20, 1990||Iran||50,000||7.7|
|Feb. 4, 1783||Calabria, Italy||50,000||n.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.
4. No date available.
Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey. Data compiled from several sources.