On this day in 1556, an earthquake in Shaanxi, China, kills an estimated 830,000 people. Counting casualties is often imprecise after large-scale disasters, especially prior to the 20th century, but this disaster is still considered the deadliest of all time.The quake struck in late evening, with aftershocks continuing through the following morning. Later 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 epicenter of the earthquake was in the Wei River Valley in the Shaanxi Province, near the cities of Huaxian, Weinan and Huayin. In Huaxian, every single building and home collapsed, killing more than half the residents of the city, a number estimated in the tens of thousands. It was a similar story in Weinan and Huayin.In some places, 60-foot-deep crevices opened in the earth. Serious destruction and death occurred as much as 300 miles away from the epicenter. The earthquake also triggered landslides, which contributed to the massive death toll.
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.
which record 26 other destructive earthquakes in the province, describe the destruction caused by the 1556 earthquake in a level of vivid detail that is unique among these records.Though the quake lasted only seconds, it leveled mountains, altered the path of rivers, caused massive flooding, and ignited fires that burned for days.
Many of the casualties in the quake were people who had been crushed by falling buildings. Thus, in the aftermath of the 1556 quake, many of the stone buildings that had been leveled were replaced with buildings made of softer, more earthquake-resistant materials, such as bamboo and wood.This massive death toll is thought to have reduced the population of the two provinces by about 60 percent.Local annals (which date to 1177 bce) place the epicentre of the earthquake around Huaxian in Shaanxi.
Sites : https://www.britannica.com/event/Shaanxi-province-earthquake-of-1556 / http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/deadliest-earthquake-in-history-rocks-china / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1556_Shaanxi_earthquake / My Photos Google