How the strongest earthquakes can rewrite our maps
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Some earthquakes are never felt and others have devastating and deadly consequences.
Earthquakes happen daily across the world. However, their impact varies. Some earthquakes are never felt and others have devastating and deadly consequences.
Here's a look at some of the deadliest earthquakes recorded by death count:
More than 450 years ago, an earthquake devastated China. The Shaanxi earthquake killed approximately 830,000 people on Jan. 23, 1556. Historical records show that the earthquake was brief but powerful enough to change the landscape. The earthquake occurred before the Richter scale was developed. However, it is estimated to have had a magnitude of 8.0.
China was again rocked by another devastating earthquake in 1976. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it measured 7.8 in magnitude. The official death toll was 242,000.
A magnitude 9.1 earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a devastating tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004. Low-lying areas were decimated as waves, some measuring over 100 ft. high, washed ashore. According to the United Nations, more than 225,000 people were killed in 14 countries.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. It reportedly lasted about 35 seconds. According to the United Nations, approximately 220,000 people were killed in the quake. In addition, the U.N. says 1.5 million people were left homeless.
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The death toll continues to rise from the earthquake on Feb. 6. It measured 7.8 in magnitude and killed at least 35,000 people. The earthquake was so powerful, homes more than 60 miles from the epicenter were leveled.
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