Return to home3600BC The Supe people, a
maritime farming community along the coast of Peru, disappeared
about this time. In 2009 researchers found their disappearance
coincided with earthquakes and landslides followed by massive
(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A13)
373BC The Greek city of Helike was destroyed by an
earthquake. Historians recorded that rats, snakes and weasels had
abandoned Helice just days before the quake struck.
(NH, 10/02, p.78)(WSJ, 5/16/08, p.A6)
360BC Greek philosopher Plato, in his "dialogues"
from about this time, said an island he called Atlantis "in a single
day and night... disappeared into the depths of the sea." He
described Atlantis as "an island situated in front of the straits
which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules." In 2011 a US-led
research team, using a satellite photo of a suspected submerged
city, suggested a site just north of Cadiz, Spain, as the site of
27BC An earthquake hit Egypt
and devastated the temple of Amenhotep III in Luxor, which dated to
132 Zhang Heng introduced an
earthquake weathercock, a device that could inform the Chinese court
of a distant earthquake.
(NG, Feb, 04, p.28)
363 A devastating
earthquake leveled half the city of Petra, the principal city of
365 Jul 21, An earthquake,
whose epicenter was in Crete, leveled the Egyptian Port of
Alexandria as well as the Roman outpost of Leptis Magna in Libya.
Some 50,000 people died. The ancient Egyptian city, known as
Leukaspis or Antiphrae, was hidden for centuries after it was nearly
wiped out by the tsunami. When Chinese engineers began cutting into
the sandy coast to build the roads for a new resort in 1986, they
struck the ancient tombs and houses of the town founded in the
second century B.C.
(www.earthscape.org/r2/jos/vol1-1june1997/pg55.html)(AM, Mar/Apr 97
526 May 29, Antioch, Turkey,
was struck by an earthquake and about 250,000 died. [see May 20]
(AM, 11/00, p.69)(SC, 5/29/02)
1201 Jul 5, An earthquake in
Syria and upper Egypt killed some 1.1 million people.
1349 L'Aquila in central Italy
was devastated by an earthquake.
(Econ, 10/27/12, p.80)
1365 Basel, Switzerland, was
wrecked by an earthquake.
1382 John Wycliffe~ez_rsquo~s heresy
hearing was interrupted by an earthquake that toppled the tower of
(WSJ, 12/31/04, p.W6)
1456 Dec 5, Earthquake struck
Naples and 35,000 died.
1461 L'Aquila in central Italy
was again devastated by an earthquake.
(Econ, 10/27/12, p.80)
1531 Jan 26, Lisbon was hit by
an earthquake and some about 30,000 died.
1600 Feb 18, Arequipa, Peru,
was destroyed by an earthquake. Huaynaputina was the site of a
monogenetic silicic eruption that ranks greater than 1883 Krakatau
and 1991 Mt. Pinatubo in magnitude. A 26 hour-long plinian eruption
devastated the socioeconomic fabric of southern Peru and neighboring
Chile and Bolivia.
1626 Jul 30, An earthquake hit
Naples and some 10,000 died.
1663 Jan 6, There was a great
earthquake in New England.
1687 Oct 20, In Peru a massive
earthquake leveld most of Lima. It triggered a tsunami and overall
about 5,000 people died.
1700 Jan 26, A magnitude 9.0
earthquake shook Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British
Colombia. It triggered tsunami that damages villages in Japan.
1700 Jan 27, A tsunami hit
Honshu Island, Japan. It was later estimated that wave was triggered
by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in California.
(CW, Spring ~ez_lsquo~99, p.32)
1703 Dec 30, Tokyo was hit by
Earthquake and some 37,000 people died.
1703 L'Aquila in central Italy
was again devastated by an earthquake.
(Econ, 10/27/12, p.80)
1727 An earthquake on
Martinique devastated the local cocoa plantations. Landowners
replanted fields with coffee from French Captain Gabriel Mathieu de
(ON, 10/2010, p.12)
1730 Jul 8, A magnitude 8.7
earthquake in Valparasio, Chile, killed at least 3,000 people.
1755 Nov 1, An 8.7 earthquake
hit Lisbon, Portugal, and killed some 70,000 people. Heavy damage
resulted from ensuing fires and tsunami flooding in Morocco and
nearly a quarter of a million people were killed. In 2008 Nicholas
Shrady authored ~ez_ldquo~The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin and Reason in the Great
1797 Feb 4, Earthquake in
Quito, Ecuador, some killed 40,000 people. Riobamba was destroyed.
1805 Jul 26, Naples and
Calabria were struck by an earthquake and some 26,000 died.
1811 Dec 15-16, A 7.3
earthquake struck the central US on the Mississippi River. It was
centered at New Madrid, Missouri. Aftershocks continued into 1812.
In 1976 James Penick Jr. authored "The New Madrid Earthquakes of
1811-1812." [see Jan 23, Feb 7, 1812]
(HC, 6/7/98)(ON, 10/99, p.5,6)(SFC, 2/24/01,
p.A10)(NH, 3/1/04, p.66)
1812 Jan 23, A 2nd major
earthquake shook New Madrid, Missouri.
(NH, 3/1/04, p.67)
1812 Feb 7, A 3rd major
earthquake shook New Madrid, Missouri, and for a few hours reversed
the course of the Mississippi River. [see Dec 15-16, 1811, Jan 23,
(NH, 3/1/04, p.67)
1812 Mar 26, Earthquake
destroyed 90% of Caracas; about 20,000 died.
1835 Feb 20, Concepcion, Chile,
was destroyed by earthquake and some 5,000 died.
1837 Jan 22, An earthquake in
southern Syria killed thousands.
1838 In California an
earthquake, estimated at magnitude 7.7 -7.9, hit two miles off the
coast of San Francisco.
(SFC, 1/27/14, p.)
1850 Sep 22, An earthquake in
Sichuan, China, killed some 300,000 people.
1854 Dec 23, The 8.4 Ansei
Tokai Quake struck Japan. The epicenter ranged from Suruga Bay to
the deep ocean, but destroyed houses as far away as in Edo. The
accompanying tsunami caused damage along the entire coast from the
Boso Peninsula in modern-day Chiba prefecture to Tosa province
(modern-day Kochi prefecture).
1854 Dec 24, The 8.4 Ansei
Nankai Quake struck Japan. Over 10,000 people from the Tokai region
down to Kyushu were killed.
1855 Nov 11, The 6.9 Ansei Edo
earthquake hit near Tokyo, Japan. Some 8,000 casualties resulted
with about 14,000 structures destroyed.
1857 Jan 9, The Fort Tejon,
Ca., earthquake, estimated at magnitude 8, ruptured ground for 225
miles from Parkfield to Tejon Pass. It killed 2 people and destroyed
the Teyon Army post.
5/21/01, p.A4)(SFC, 12/10/04, p.A4)
1862 An earthquake in Russia~ez_rsquo~s
Lake Baikal region put 200 square km of lakeshore under water.
(Econ, 7/19/03, p.41)
1865 Oct 8-1865 Oct 9, An
earthquake hit San Francisco.
(SFC, 4/14/96, p.Z1, p.3)(GenIV, HS)
1865 Oct 21, Another earthquake
hit San Francisco. It lasted for 42 seconds and caused major damage
throughout the city.
(SFC, 4/14/96, p.Z1, p.3)(GenIV, Winter 04/05)
1868 Apr 3, An earthquake
estimated at magnitude 7.9 hit the Big Island of Hawaii. 46 people
were killed in the resulting tsunami at Keauhou and 31 died in a
landslide at Kapapala.
1868 Aug 13, A magnitude 9.0
quake in Arica, Peru (later Chile), generated catastrophic tsunamis;
more than 25,000 people were killed in South America.
1868 Oct 21, An major
earthquake, later estimated at magnitude 7, took place on the
Hayward Fault in northern California. It destroyed the top of the
San Mateo County Courthouse. At this time only 265,000 people lived
in the Bay Area.
(SMMB)(SFC, 6/13/96, p.C3)(SFC, 10/18/07, p.A15)
1872 Mar 26, A 7.8 earthquake
shook the Owens Valley, California.
1883 Aug 29, Seismic sea waves,
created by Krakatoa eruption, created a rise in the English Channel
32 hrs after explosion.
1885 Managua, Nicaragua, was
leveled by an earthquake.
(SSFC, 4/10/05, p.F4)
1886 Aug 31, South Carolina
bore the brunt of the largest-ever earthquake on the East Coast, a
7.3 magnitude earth-shaker that killed at least 60 people in
post-Civil War Charleston.
1887 A severe earthquake hit
the Ligurian village of Perinaldo, Italy.
(SFCM, 3/17/02, p.29)
1897 Jun 12, Possibly the most
severe quake in history struck Assam, India. Shock waves were felt
over an area size of Europe.
1900 Apr 26, Charles Richter
(1985), seismologist, was born in Hamilton, Ohio. He developed the
Richter Scale for measuring the amplitude of earthquakes.
1906 Jan 31, A magnitude 8.8
quake off the coast of Ecuador and Colombia. It generated a tsunami
that killed at least 500 people.
1906 Apr 18, 5:12 a.m. the San
Francisco 8.2 earthquake occurred. Seismologists in 1977
reduced the magnitude to 7.9. 28,000 buildings were destroyed and
498 blocks leveled. One quarter of the city burned. About 700 people
died. The massive earthquake was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles and
as far inland as Nevada. It caused severe damage and loss of life in
the San Francisco Bay area, and a three-day fire spawned by the
shaking reduced 4.7 square miles of the city to blackened ruins.
Military officials estimated $400 million of damage and a total of
700-800 killed. Modern research estimates that closer to 3,000 of
San Francisco's 400,000 inhabitants lost their lives. Sweeney
Observatory in Goldengate Park was destroyed. Some 30,000 people
were left homeless and lived in GG Park for up to a year and a half.
The quake was centered in Olema. Old City Hall at Fulton and Larkin
was destroyed. In 2001 Dan Kurzman authored ~ez_ldquo~Disaster: The Great San
Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906.~ez_rdquo~
(SFC, 4/4/96, p.A-106)(SFC, 4/8/96, p.A-1)(SFC,
4/14/96, p.Z1, p.3)(AP, 4/18/97)(SFC, 7/29/97, p.A5,7)(SFEC, 3/8/98,
p.W31)(SFC, 1/1/99, p.A13) (HNPD, 4/18/99)(SFC, 4/22/01, BR
p.3)(SFC, 2/15/02, p.G8)
1906 Apr 18, San Francisco
firefighters, with the assistance of the US Navy, managed to drag a
single fire hose from a pumper in the bay, over the shoulder of
Telegraph Hill, over a mile to the Jackson Street warehouses. Navy
Lt. Frederick Freeman led efforts that saved Anson Hotaling~ez_rsquo~s
Whiskey warehouses at 451 and 455 Jackson street. Nearby Jones Alley
was later renamed Hotaling Way.
9/13/09, p.N4)(SFC, 8/30/14, p.D1)
1906 Aug 16, An magnitude 8.6
earthquake in Valparaiso, Chile, left an estimated 20,000 people
(SFEC, 6/13/99, Z1 p.5)(AP, 6/22/02)
1908 Dec 28, Some
70,000-100,000 people died in the Messina earthquake in Sicily. The
government hired a number of steamships, including the Florida, to
ship survivors to America.
(WUD, 1994, p.899)(WSJ, 2/8/99,
1909 Jan 21-22, An earthquake
in Morocco's northern region, near Tetouan, killed up to 100.
1915 Jan 13, An earthquake in
Avezzano, Italy, killed 29,800.
1920 Dec 16, In China an 8.6
earthquake in the northwestern provinces of Gansu and Shanxi caused
massive landslides and the deaths of 100,000- 200,000 people.
1923 Sep 1, The Japanese cities
of Tokyo and Yokohama were devastated by the Great Kanto earthquake
that claimed 99,000-143,000 lives. The 7.9-8.3 quake off Tokyo's
shoreline killed some 99,300 people.
1923 Thomas Jaggar, founder of
the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, warned of a tidal wave
(tsunami) approaching Hilo. At least one fisherman was killed.
(SFC, 3/12/11, p.A5)
1927 Mar 7, Earthquake
measuring 8 on Richter scale struck Tango, Japan.
1927 May 27, An earthquake in
China~ez_rsquo~s Qinghai (Xining) Province left some 200,000 dead.
1929 Jan 24, An earthquake in
northern Morocco did material damage in Fez.
1930 Jul 23, Earthquake struck
Ariano, Italy, and some 1,500 were killed.
1930 Nov 25, An earthquake in
Shizouka, Japan, killed 187.
1932 Dec 26, Some 70,000 were
killed in a massive earthquake in Kansu, China.
1933 Mar 2, Most powerful
earthquake in 180 years hit Japan.
1933 Mar 10, In Long Beach a
6.3-6.4 earthquake killed 115 people.
(SFEC, 10/17/99, p.A3)(WSJ, 6/21/00, p.A1)
1934 Jan 15, An 8.4 earthquake
in India and Nepal killed 10,700. It damaged the Mahabuddha Temple
in Patan, Nepal, one of but 3 in the world.
(WSJ, 1/22/98, p.A17)(MC, 1/15/02)
1935 May 31, In Quetta, India
(later Pakistan), a magnitude 7.5 earthquake killed some 50,000
people. The earthquake flattened Quetta, killing an estimated 26,000
people in the city alone, more than half its population.
(AP, 12/27/03)(AP, 10/15/05)
1939 Jan 24, Some 28-30,000
were killed by magnitude 8.3 earthquake in Chillan, Chile.
(MC, 1/24/02)(AP, 6/22/02)
1939 Dec 26-27, In Turkey a
series of vicious earthquakes in Erzincan province, magnitude 7.9,
took some 33,000 lives in Turkey.
(HN, 12/27/98)(MC, 12/27/01)(SFEC, 8/22/99,
1946 Apr 1, Two large
earthquakes shook the Scotch Cap Lighthouse on Unimak Island,
Alaska. A resulting tsunami washed away the lighthouse. The Aleutian
Islands earthquake also triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami that killed
165 people and caused over $26 million in damages. Tidal waves
struck the Hawaiian islands, resulting in more than 170 deaths. 91
people were killed in Hilo.
(AP, 4/1/98)(Ind, 6/8/02, 5A)(SSFC, 8/25/02,
p.C14)(SFC, 4/1/09, p.D8)
1948 Oct 6, A 7.3 earthquake
hit Ashgebat, Turkmenistan, and killed an estimated 110,000 people.
Stalinist media at the time claimed only 35,000 deaths.
1949 The US started a
rudimentary tsunami warning program at Ewa Beach, Honolulu.
(SFC, 3/12/11, p.A5)
1950 Aug 15, A magnitude 8.6
earthquake in Assam, Tibet, killed at least 780 people.
1952 Jul 21, A 7.7 earthquake
destroyed the Kern County town of Tehachapi near Bakersfield, Ca.
and killed 14 people.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.B10)(SFC,12/9/97, p.A9)
1952 Nov 4, A magnitude 9.0
quake in Kamchatka caused damage but no reported deaths, despite
setting off 30-foot (9.1-meter) waves in Hawaii.
1954 Sep 10, A 12 second
earthquake killed 1,460 in Orleansville, Algeria.
1956 Apr 19, In Spain 12 people
died and about 70 were injured following earthquakes in the southern
1956 Jun 9, Heavy earthquake
struck Afghanistan and 400 were killed.
1957 Mar 9, An 8.1 earthquake
shook the Andreanof Islands, Alaska.
1959 Mar 3, A SF Bay Area
earthquake measured 5.5 on the Richter scale in Berkeley.
(SSFC, 3/1/09, DB p.50)
1959 Aug 17, A 7.1 quake struck
at Yellowstone National Park.
1959 Aug 18, A magnitude 7.3
quake near Hebgen Lake, Montana, just west of Yellowstone National
Park triggered a landslide that killed 28 people.
1960 Feb 29, An 5.7 earthquake
in Morocco's southwest Atlantic coast killed as many as 12,000. The
town of Agadir destroyed.
1960 May 22, Chile experienced
a 9.5 earthquake. A slow earthquake was detected just before the big
one. It caused tsunamis in every coastal town between the 36th and
44th parallels with a death toll of some 1000 people.
(PCh, 1992, p.977)(SFC, 9/6.96, p.A11)
1960 May 23, A tidal wave, due
to a 9.5 earthquake off Chile, hit Hilo, Hawaii. It killed 61
people, wiped out the beaches and destroyed 537 buildings. It went
on to hit Japan.
(PCh, 1992, p.977)(SFEC, 4/2/00, p.T4)(SSFC,
1962 Sep 1, Some 10,000 died in
an earthquake in western Iran.
1963 Jul 26, Skopje,
Yugoslavia, was destroyed by earthquake and over 1,000 were killed.
1964 Mar 27-1964 Mar 28, Good
Friday, Valdez, Alaska, in Prince William Sound was rocked by an 8.6
earthquake, the largest ever recorded in North America. In 1977
seismologists pegged the quake at 9.2. It lasted 4 minutes and was
followed by tsunamis and fires and 131 people were killed. Survivors
moved 4 miles west to solid bedrock and rebuilt the town. Much of
Crescent City, Ca., was demolished by a resulting tsunami and 11
people were killed.
(AP, 3/27/97)(SFEC, 2/8/98, p.T5)(SFEC, 4/5/98,
Z1 p.8)(SFEC, 10/17/99, p.A3)(SFC, 11/26/99, p.C21)(WSJ, 9/13/01,
p.B11)(SFC, 2/15/02, p.G8)(AP, 3/11/11)
1965 Apr 29, Seattle
experienced an earthquake. 7 people were killed and damage was
estimated at $12.5 million.
1965 An earthquake on
Alonissos, Greece, leveled Alonissos Town.
(SSFC, 3/14/04, p.D6)
1966 Aug 19, An earthquake
struck Varko, Turkey, and some 2,400 were killed.
1968 Aug 31, In northeast Iran
some 7-12 thousand people died in the 7.8 Dasht-e Bayaz earthquake,
which also destroyed 60,000 buildings.
1969 Feb 28, An earthquake in
Morocco's Atlantic coast killed about a dozen people and injured
1970 Jan 5, In China a 7.7
earthquake in Yunnan province killed over 15,000 people and was
covered up by authorities amid the chaos of the cultural revolution.
(SFC, 1/800, p.A8)
1970 Mar 28, 1,086 died when
7.4 quake destroyed 254 villages in Gediz, Turkey.
1970 May 31, A 7.7 slab
earthquake and debris flow in Peru killed 67,000, injured 50,000 and
destroyed 186,000 buildings.
1971 Feb 9, In San Fernando,
Ca., a 6.5 earthquake killed 65 people.
(SFEC, 10/17/99, p.A3)
1971 May 12, A 6.3 earthquakes
in western Turkey killed about 100 people.
1971 May 22, A 6.9 earthquake
in eastern Turkey killed about a thousand people.
1972 Apr 10, A 6.9 earthquake
in the Iranian province of Fars killed over 5,000 people.
1972 Dec 23, A 6.25 earthquake
struck Managua, Nicaragua, and over 12,000 were killed. Pres.
Somoza was later believed to have pocketed millions of dollars in