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Earthquakes are one of the most dangerous natural catastrophes. There are more than 100 earthquakes each year of the magnitude that can cause severe damage.
They strike without warning, and many earthquake zones on Earth coincide with densely populated areas. When major earthquakes occur in these areas, the consequences can be dire, with enormous loss of life and incalculable economic costs.
Earthquakes are caused by sudden slips on faults. Structural plates always move slowly, but get stuck at their edges due to friction. When the stress at the borderlines overcomes the friction, an earthquake occurs, discharging the energy of the surges traveling through the Earth’s crust, causing the quakes we endure.
The most deadly earthquakes around the world
1. Shaanxi, China
According to Snow Brains, the deathly earthquake ever reported passed on January 23, 1556, with an estimated death of 830,000 people. It had a magnitude of 8, and the center was located closest to Huaxian in Shaanxi. The earthquake lasted only for a few seconds, but it did leveled mountains, changed the path of rivers, caused massive flooding, and cause great fires that burned for several days. The infrastructures that time wasn’t sturdy enough to hold off the damages caused by this earthquake. Nearly 100 nations were affected, and several of them reporting a 60% loss of their population.
2. Port-au-Prince, Haiti
The 2010 Haiti earthquake is quite known and is one of the worst natural disasters in history of mankind. Last January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the capital of Haiti, killing roughly 316,000 people, injuring further than 300,000. The earthquake occurred for six miles from the surface of what is called a shallow earthquake. In 2010, more than 70% of Haiti’s population lived in poverty, and Porto Prince’s skyscrapers were built without safety regulations.
3. Antakya, Turkey 115 A.D
According to Our World in Data, the 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck down 260,000 people and damaged severely Antioch and the surrounding areas around Turkey. Apamea was also destroyed and Beirut was also badly damaged. It caused a local tsunami that damaged the Lebanese coast.
4. Antakya, Turkey 526 A.D
In the late 525 AD, a magnitude 7 earthquake completely destroyed the city of Antioch. The shock lasted up to 18 months, reportedly killing 250,000 people. It caused enormous damage to the territory of the Byzantine Empire. The earthquake caused severe damage to many infrastructures especially with the subsequent fire and strong winds.
5. Tokyo, Japan
The Tokyo-Yokohama Earthquake, also known as the Great Kanto Earthquake, struck the Tokyo metropolitan area around noon on September 1, 1923. The mortality from the massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake was estimated to more than 140,000 people. More than half of the brick buildings in the area and one-tenth of the reinforced concrete buildings have collapsed. Thousands of homes were shattered or burned down in following fires caused by the earthquake. The impact caused a tsunami near Atami in Sagami Bay, reaching a height of 12 meters, destroying 155 homes and killing 60 people, per Britannica.
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