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Top Ten Deadliest Earthquakes

Updated on August 16, 2009

List of Deadliest Earthquakes

Here is a list of top 10 deadliest earthquakes in history.

10 - Lisbon, Portugal: 1755

Also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake. It caused a total casualties of 100,000.

9 - Messina, Italy: 1908

This earthquake caused 100,000 casualties.

8 - Great Kanto, Japan: 1923

This earthquake is said to have slid forward a 93 ton statue of Buddha by two feet. Total death toll of this earthquake is said to be more than 100,000.

7 - Ashgabat, Turkmenistan: 1948

This earthquake caused a death toll of 110,000.

6 - Hokkaido, Japan: 1730

It caused around 137,000 casualties in Hokkaido.

5 - Damghan and Ardabil, Iran: 856 and 893

This deadly earthquake caused 150,000 casualties.

4 - Aleppo, Syria: 1138

This earthquake caused 230,000 casualties.

3 - Tansghan and Haiyuan, China: 1976

This deadly earthquake caused 240,000 casualties. The number of casualties is controversial. It is also thought that 770,000 people lost their lives in this earthquake.

2 - Indian Ocean: 2004

This is the second deadliest earthquake in history till now. It was recorded 9.1 on the Tichter scale. Around 280,000 people lost their life due to this earthquake.

1 - Shaanxi, China: 1556

This is the deadliest earthquake on record in the history of mankind. More than 820,000 people lost their lives in this earthquake which jolted the Shaanxi province of China.

You can find some more lists here.


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    • profile image

      Ashit chhetri 

      7 years ago

      Really this earthquake is unpredictable,n on sunday 18th when earthquake hit in east india(sikkim/darjeeling) i thought i will go up to god's place but by the grace of god i m still was 6.9 richter scale.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I hope now earthquekes hit las vagas I just won't to lay back and worry about tornados are nothing

    • Ultimate Hubber profile imageAUTHOR

      Ultimate Hubber 

      8 years ago

      Death toll of today's earthquake in China has risen over 400 and another 8000 people injured.

      The importance of buildings that will withstand earthquake should be brought to light as now the world is having more frequent fatal earthquakes.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile imageAUTHOR

      Ultimate Hubber 

      8 years ago

      Lisa, thanks for commenting. You are right, SOME devastation can certainly be protected by building in that way.


      Today, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake jolted northwest China killing at least 67 people.

      Here is more:

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      I found this recent big Earthquake in California somewhat reassuring, since there was no major devastation as a result of buildings being built to withstand Earthquakes. Earthquakes are never good, of course, but I found it kind of good to know that it is at least somewhat possible to prevent some devastation by building with Earthquakes in mind. (That doesn't help in places where such building can't be done, of course.)

    • Ultimate Hubber profile imageAUTHOR

      Ultimate Hubber 

      8 years ago

      Yea Philippines do get a lot of earthquakes. I hope things will get alright in the future.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      My country, Philippines, is an earthquake-prone area. I've had too many to count my whole life and they scare me even by mere mention. Hope Mother Earth will be healed and its earthquakes be lessened, too.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile imageAUTHOR

      Ultimate Hubber 

      8 years ago

      And the Haiti earthquake that took place a month and a half back was also a really deadly one.

      Yesterday an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude rocked Chili.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      These figures horify me. Wish we can find a method to either avoid them or stay safe in case of an earthquake.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      bati og nawng nimo oyyy +_+ ^_^

    • Ultimate Hubber profile imageAUTHOR

      Ultimate Hubber 

      9 years ago

      Seems like our dear friend Dohn lives in northeast of USA... lol

      Hope its not due. :)

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Holy cow. Awful. Thank you for pointing this out/doing all of the research. I hope the northeast of the USA isn't due for one any time soon.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile imageAUTHOR

      Ultimate Hubber 

      9 years ago

      Yes Tommy, I think my next hub should be about saving your lives in an earthquake.

      Oh, alright rb11. Thanx for stopping by.

    • rb11 profile image


      9 years ago from Las Vegas

      We live in Las Vegas, were always waiting for calif. to have the "big one", this way we have a chance at beach front property. Will see...


    • tommywong profile image


      9 years ago from Malaysia

      Really scary, must learn how to run for live when earthquake happen.



    • Ultimate Hubber profile imageAUTHOR

      Ultimate Hubber 

      9 years ago

      The list frightens me too.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I experienced the smallest earthquake ever I think in the Uk last year. Did not like it one bit. Frightening list

    • Ultimate Hubber profile imageAUTHOR

      Ultimate Hubber 

      9 years ago

      Yea euro-pen, earthquakes always are scary no matter how mild they are.

    • euro-pen profile image


      9 years ago from Europe

      Very scary list. I experienced 2 earthquakes by myself. Both were really low key but it was scary enough.


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