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Most Deadly Earthquakes in the Past Century

January 7, 2005

PARIS (AFP) — The undersea earthquake and the tsunamis it triggered killed more than 165,000 people as the massive waves slammed across the Indian Ocean, according to the latest figures.

The December 26 quake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra measured 9.0 on the Richter scale.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of earthquakes causing the largest numbers of casualties worldwide in the last century, with estimates of surface magnitude. The Richter scale of magnitude did not come into being until 1935:

December 26, 2003

BAM, Iran: At least 31,884 people die and 18,000 are injured. Magnitude 6.7

May 21, 2003

Northern Algeria: Nearly 2,300 dead and 10,000 injured near Algiers. Magnitude 6.8

March 25, 2002

Northern Afghanistan (news – web sites): Up to 4,800 dead. Magnitude 6.0

January 26, 2001

Gujarat, western India: More than 20,000 dead and 160,000 injured. Magnitude 7.9

August 17, 1999

Northwestern Turkey: 15,613 dead and nearly 25,000 injured. Magnitude 7.4

May 30, 1998

Northeastern Afghanistan: Almost 5,000 dead. Magnitude 7.1

February 4, 1998

Northeastern Afghanistan: Between 2,300 and 4,000 dead. Magnitude 6.4

  

May 10, 1997

Eastern Iran: 1,613 dead and 3,712 injured. Magnitude 7.1

January 17, 1995

Kobe-Osaka region of central Japan: 6,400 dead. Magnitude 7.2

September 30, 1993

Maharashtra, western India: 7,601 dead. Magnitude 6.4

June 20, 1990

Northwestern Iran: More than 40,000 killed and 100,000 injured. Magnitude 7.7

December 7, 1988

Spitak, Soviet Armenia: 25,000 dead. Magnitude 7.0

March 6, 1987

Ecuador/Colombia border: Some 5,000 deaths reported. Magnitude 6.9

September 19, 1985

Mexico City, Mexico: At least 10,000 killed. Magnitude 8.1

September 16, 1978

Tabass, Iran: 25,000 killed. Magnitude 7.2

July 28, 1976

Tangshan city in Hebei province, China: 242,000 dead and 164,000 injured. Magnitude 7.8

February 4, 1976

Guatemala: 26,000 dead, 74,000 injured. Magnitude 7.5

May 11, 1974

Sichuan, China: Estimates of between 10,000 and 20,000 dead. Magnitude 7.1

December 23, 1972

Managua, Nicaragua: About 10,000 killed. Magnitude 6.3

May 31, 1970

Mount Huascaran, Peru: Earthquake and subsequent avalanche killed 66,800. Magnitude 7.5

January 1, 1970

Yunnan, China: Officially, more than 15,600 dead. Magnitude 7.3

August 31, 1968

Northeast Iran: Between 10,000 and 15,000 dead. Magnitude 7.3

September 1, 1962

Qazvin, Iran: 12,000 dead. Magnitude 6.9

May 22, 1960

Chile: Offshore earthquake provoked tidal wave that killed between 2,000 and 5,700 people. Magnitude 8.5

February 29, 1960

Agadir, Morocco: Between 12,000 and 13,000 people killed, and 25,000 reported injured. Magnitude 6.7

January 15, 1944

San Juan, Argentina: Up to 8,000 killed. Magnitude 7.2

January 1, 1939

Illapel, Chile: At least 28,000 killed. Magnitude 7.8

December 26, 1939

Erzincan, Turkey: 35-40,000 killed. Magnitude 8.0

May 30, 1935

Quetta, India (now Pakistan). More than 50,000 killed. Magnitude 7.6

January 15, 1934

Bihar, India: At least 10,700 killed. Other reports put the toll far higher. Magnitude 8.3

May 23, 1927

Gansu province, China: Up to 80,000 may have died. Magnitude 8.0

May 22, 1927

Nanshan province, China: Up to 200,000 people may have been killed. Magnitude 8.0

September 1, 1923

Yokohama, Japan: More than 140,000 people died in earthquake and subsequent fire. Magnitude 8.2

December 16, 1920

Ningxia, China: About 235,000 reported killed. Magnitude 8.5

January 13, 1915

Avezzano, Italy: Nearly 30,000 reported killed. Magnitude 7.0

December 28, 1908

Messina, Italy: Earthquake and tidal wave killed at least 83,000. Some reports put the figure much higher. Magnitude 7.5

August 17, 1906

Valparaiso, Chile: Up to 20,000 killed. Other reports put the total considerably lower. Magnitude 8.1

April 4, 1905

Kangra, India: An estimated 20,000 dead. Magnitude 7.5




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