On this day in 1556, an earthquake in Shaanxi, China, kills an estimated 830,000 people. Counting casualties is often imprecise after large-scale disasters, especially prior to the 20th century, but this disaster is still considered the deadliest of all time.
The 1138 Aleppo earthquake was among the deadliest earthquakes in history. Its name was taken from the city of Aleppo, in northern Syria, where the most casualties were sustained. The quake occurred on 11 October 1138 and was preceded by a smaller quake on the 10th.
Haiti earthquake of 2010, large-scale earthquake that occurred January 12, 2010, on the West Indian island of Hispaniola, comprising the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most severely affected was Haiti, occupying the western third of the island. An exact death toll proved elusive in the ensuing chaos.
Damghan, Iran – 856 The Damghan, Iran quake on Dec. 22, 856 had an estimated magnitude of 7.9. During a time when building codes and safety regulations weren’t in place, an earthquake of that size instantly destroyed the city and everything within a 220-mile radius.
The earthquake that hit China’s remote Gansu Province in late 1920 was the world’s second deadliest of the twentieth century. It struck in the evening of the 16 th of December in the rural district of Haiyuan near Inner Mongolia, leading to the deaths of more than 200,000 people and to severe destruction over an area of 20,000 square kilometers.