The deadliest earthquake in history happened nearly 500 years ago. It happened in the Wei River Valley in west-central China.
Though it wasn’t technically the most powerful earthquake in history, it had a devastating death toll due to where it hit and because of the circumstances of the people that lived there.
Many of the people lived in yaodongs:
These are towns and cities built into the side of mountains. These homes were not reinforced and didn’t have strong bases of sediment to protect them from shifts in the ground. (Source: Ruins of Hua County Earthquake. Science Museums of China) The quake hit immediately in one of these areas, causing a huge collapse inwards, instantly crushing most of the population. The earthquake also caused the collapse of many buildings in the region, which weren’t prepared for the tectonic shift.
Additionally, the loose soil was shaken, causing massive landslides, which engulfed several towns. These landslides also caused the diversion of an entire river, which flooded several towns. 15 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, the ground in the town of Weinan instantly sank 10 feet, killing 50% of the population. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it caused huge fires that spread across the region due to the dry season. (Source: A History of Civilization in 50 Disasters. Gale Eaton.) The deadliest earthquake was a Perfect Storm, the coming together of a domino effect in a densely-populated region, resulting in the deaths of ~830,000 people. This earthquake was the equivalent of an Irwin Allen disaster movie in real life. It was really, really, really bad.
Content created and supplied by: CoronaCure (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More