In 1556 a earthquake in Shaanxi, China, kills an estimated 830,000 people. The earthquake also triggered landslides, which contributed to the massive death toll. This disaster is still considered the deadliest of all time.
The quake struck in late evening, with aftershocks continuing through the following morning. Scientific investigation revealed that the magnitude of the quake was approximately 8.0 to 8.3, which isn’t close to the strongest tremor on record. The quake struck in the middle of a densely populated area with poorly constructed buildings and homes.
The epicenter of the earthquake was in the Wei River Valley in the Shaanxi Province, near the cities. Every single building and home collapsed, killing more than half the residents of the city. A number estimated in the tens of thousands. Serious destruction and death occurred as much as 300 miles away from the epicenter.
Even if the number of deaths caused by the Shaanxi earthquake has been overestimated slightly, it would still rank as the worst disaster in history by a considerable margin. The earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia in 2004 is generally considered the second deadliest disaster in history.