Top 10 Deadliest Earthquakes in the World

Throughout Earth is history there have been devastating earthquakes which with the accompanying Tsunamis have cost many lives. This is a list of the most deadly that there have been and so although some may be more famous, such as Vesuvius which destroyed Pompeii or the more recent one in Japan in 2011 which killed 15,000 people, the ones on this list, whilst they may not have been the largest or strongest, certainly cost the most lives, that we know of. This is a list of the deadliest of the earthquakes with their locations, date, number of deaths caused and, where known, the magnitude of the quake.


Turkmenistan, October 5th 1948, 110,000 dead, 7.3

Although originally reported by the Soviet Union as there being only 10,000 deaths, when the country attained independence in 1998, it reported that the true number of deaths from this earthquake, that also affected Iran, was 110,000.


Kanto Earthquake
Kanto Earthquake

Japan, September 1st 1923, 142,800 dead, 7.0
This earthquake has also become known as the great Tokyo fire as the quake caused fires that destroyed 381,000 houses in Tokyo but the worst damage of all, was to Yokohama.


Turkey, March 23rd 893, 150,000 dead, U/K

What possibly made this quake so bad was that it happened only 37 years after the Damghan quake, also in Iran.


Iran, December 22nd 856, Approx. 200,000 dead, U/K
This quake hit the northeast of the country, directly under Damghan which, at that time, was the capital of the region.



China, December 16th 1920, 200,000 dead, 7.8
This quake badly affected an area 125 miles long and, among other things, caused rivers to either be dammed or to change their course, causing even more damage.


Haiti Earthquake
Haiti Earthquake

January 12th 2010, 222,570 dead, 7.0
As well as the large number of dead, it is estimated that this quake was also responsible for 300,000 injuries and 1.3 million people to be displaced.

Indian more here Ocean

Sumatra region Earthquake in Indian Ocean
Sumatra region Earthquake in Indian Ocean

December 26th 2004, 227,898 dead, 9.1
Actually occurring in the Sumatra region, this strong earthquake caused a tsunami that affected 14 countries around the Indian Ocean and was responsible for displacing, what is thought to be, 1.7 million people.

Aleppo, Syria

Aleppo, Syria Earthquake
Aleppo, Syria Earthquake

August 9th 1138, 230,000 dead, U/K
This particular quake was the first of several that occurred in the region between 1138 and 1139 and was also the strongest, being felt as far away as 220 miles to the south, in Damascus the countries capital.



China, July 27th 1976, 255,000 dead, 7.5
Although the official number of deaths is 255,000, it is believed by many that the real figure was closer to 655,000. This, the most deadly quake in centuries and the second most deadly ever, was felt as far away as Beijing.

Shensi [Shaanxi]

Shaanxi Earthquake
Shaanxi Earthquake

China, January 23rd 1556, 830,000 dead, 8.0
Damage from this quake extended out 270 miles with the effects also being felt as far as 500 miles away. Many towns reported walls and houses falling down and fissures in the ground that gushed water.