The following table lists the deadliest earthquakes on record according to date, location, number of deaths, and magnitude. On Jan. 23, 1556, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Shansi, China killing 830,000 people.

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Date Location Deaths Magnitude
Jan. 23, 1556 Shansi, China 830,000 ~8
July 27, 1976 Tangshan, China 255,0001 7.5
Aug. 9, 1138 Aleppo, Syria 230,000 n.a.
Dec. 26, 2004 off west coast of northern Sumatra 225,000+ 9.0
Dec. 22, 8562 Damghan, Iran 200,000 n.a.
May 22, 1927 near Xining, Tsinghai, China 200,000 7.9
Dec. 16, 1920 Gansu, China 200,000 7.8
March 23, 8932 Ardabil, Iran 150,000 n.a.
Sept. 1, 1923 Kwanto, Japan 143,000 7.9
Oct. 5, 1948 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, USSR 110,000 7.3
Dec. 28, 1908 Messina, Italy 70,000–
100,0003
7.2
Sept. 1290 Chihli, China 100,000 n.a.
May 12, 2008 Eastern Sichuan, China 87,587 7.9
Oct. 8, 2005 Pakistan 80,361 7.6
Nov. 1667 Shemakha, Caucasia 80,000 n.a.
Nov. 18, 1727 Tabriz, Iran 77,000 n.a.
Dec. 25, 1932 Gansu, China 70,000 7.6
Nov. 1, 1755 Lisbon, Portugal 70,000 8.7
May 31, 1970 Peru 66,000 7.9
May 30, 1935 Quetta, Pakistan 30,000–
60,000
7.5
Jan. 11, 1693 Sicily, Italy 60,000 n.a.
12684 Silicia, Asia Minor 60,000 n.a.
June 20, 1990 Iran 50,000 7.7
Feb. 4, 1783 Calabria, Italy 50,000 n.a.

1. Official. Estimated death toll as high as 655,000.

2. Note that these dates are prior to A.D. 1000. No digit is missing.

3. Estimated.

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4. No date available.

Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey. Data compiled from several sources.

The Ten Largest1 Earthquakes Since 1900

Below is a list of the largest earthquakes on record in the world. Magnitude, date, and location are also given.
Location Date Magnitude2
1. Chile May 22, 1960 9.5
2. Prince William Sound, Alaska March 28, 19643 9.2
3. Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands March 9, 1957 9.1
4. Kamchatka Nov. 4, 1952 9.0
5. Off western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia Dec. 26, 2004 9.0
6. Off the coast of Ecuador Jan. 31, 1906 8.8
7. Offshore Maule, Chile Feb. 27, 2010 8.8
8. Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands Feb. 4, 1965 8.7
9. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia March 28, 2005 8.7
10. India-China border Aug. 15, 1950 8.6

1. In terms of magnitude.

2. Moment magnitude.

3. March 28, 03:36:14 UT (March 27, 5:36 P.M. local time)

Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey.

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