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Top 10 Worst Earthquakes in History

Visit the world worst ever Earthquakes dating back to over 1,200 years ago.

An earthquake is a sudden release of energy inside the Earths Crust. These sudden movements cause seismic waves. The highest scale of an earthquake is 10, one tetra-ton, or one trillion tons of force. Although this has not been recorded, seismic activity near this force can still cause massive damage. An earthquake over the magnitude of 5 is more powerful than a full-sized atomic bomb.

Number 10.) The Great Kanto Earthquake.

This earthquake happened on the main island of Japan called Honshu on September 1, 1923. This earthquake measured up to a 8.3 on the Richter Scale, about 3.6 Gigatons of force. The earthquake also managed to move a 93-ton statue of Great Buddha in Kamakura two feet. About 100,000-142,000 deaths occurred. Researchers later found out that the death toll was near 105,000. When the earthquake occurred, people were having lunch with fires to cook food. Some of the deaths were caused by the fires that broke out during the tremor. The fires also spread rapidly, due to a typhoon near the area. In one case, 38,000 people were instantly incinerated in Downtown Tokyo. The fires also caught the Emperors Palace, but the Prince was not harmed. It took two full days to put out the fires.

Number 9.) The Ashgabat Earthquake.

On October 5, 1948, a 7.3, 100 Mega-ton earthquake hit near Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, which was the Soviet Union back then. The earthquake caused extreme damage to Ashgabat and surrounding areas like Darrah Gaz, Iran. Multiple sources say that the death toll was around 10,000, but later releases in 1988 estimate the the death toll was above 110,000. Even later, in 2007, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan release a startling fact. The report estimated that over 176,000 people die during the earthquake. The earthquake killed future dictator Saparmurat Niyazov’s mother and the rest of his family, leaving him an orphan.

Number 8.) The Hokkaido Earthquake.

Some time in June, a 7.3, 100 Mega-ton Earthquake struck Hokkaido, Japan. Hokkaido is just on of the many island off the coast of Japan, although Hokkaido is almost half the size of Japan. This earthquake caused over 137,000 deaths and leaving multiple areas damaged or destroyed.

Number 7.) The Ardabil Earthquake.

This earthquake was the second earliest, seventh deadliest earthquake in world history. Ardabil, Iran was hit by this earthquake on March 23, 893. Approximate deaths tally up to 150,000 and the damage caused was over $25 Million.

Number 6.) The Damghan Earthquake.

The earliest record breaking earthquake (December 22, 856) with a magnitude of 8.0,1 Gigaton of power. The earthquake hit the capitol of Iran at that time, Damghan. The tremors could also be felt throughout other areas surrounding Damghan. 200,000 people were killed and surrounding areas were completely destroyed. Even though Damghan got the worst of the earthquake, Bustam, a surrounding town, was completely leveled.

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User Comments
  1. holdensuc

    On August 27, 2009 at 5:46 am


    hi there, I’m just sayin this cause i like typin

  2. Jan

    On January 16, 2010 at 9:39 am


    Why no date on the no #1 earthquake??

  3. Brenden

    On January 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm


    the number one quake occured in 1556.

  4. Rouge

    On January 27, 2010 at 10:10 pm


    wow thats BAD!!!!

  5. Rachel

    On January 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm


    Any info on the earthquake in India in 2001?

  6. Siobhan L.R. Ward

    On February 2, 2010 at 8:25 pm


    Why no mention of the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes? They ranged from a 7.0 to a 8.8 on the Richter scale and were powerful enough to make the Mississippi river run backwards. It caused damage to 600,000 square kilometers of area and was perceivable up to 5 million square kilometers away from the epicenter. Log cabins fell as far away as Cincinnati, Ohio. It is even said to cause the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to ring. The only reason there wasn’t a higher loss of life was due to the sparse settlement of the area. However, most of 3.5 million acres of land in the area became useless for farming directly due to the land changes during the earthquake.

    The 1811-1812 New Madrid quakes are currently believed to be directly responsible for earthquakes still occurring today in the region, making even these modern quakes to be aftershocks of the original series. Including a 5.4 quake that occurred in 2008.

    Though, I suppose if your only categorization of “worst” falls under the heading “loss of human life”, that wouldn’t seem bad at all.

  7. Bebe

    On March 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm


    Wow! That’s pretty amazing! I wonder what number the Haiti quake and the Chile quake would be..?

  8. seth

    On April 27, 2010 at 12:45 am


    were learning about earth qwuakes and they can get verey big

  9. Kohnner Warre

    On May 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm


    U guys Are ST*upid!!!!

  10. Caleb Knight From Pasco, Washington...I GO to Chiawana High School!!!

    On May 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm


    I Like GUYS!!!!!!

  11. April

    On October 15, 2010 at 8:26 pm


    Why is there no no.5,4,3,2,1 top earthquakes someone write my speech for me its to boring!!!!!

  12. fox

    On October 20, 2010 at 11:28 am


    U guys are hilarious!!!

  13. ciara

    On November 15, 2010 at 10:47 am


    were is 5,4,3,2,1 like wtf i can\’t get all the info

  14. Ava

    On December 30, 2010 at 11:25 am


    they are on the next page at the end of page one you have to click “next page”.

  15. justine

    On January 12, 2011 at 7:54 am


    oh c’mon…

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