Earthquakes have claimed millions of lives in the last 100 years alone. Even the improvements in our modern technology did little to help reduce the death toll of these deadly natural disasters.
The list of recorded earthquakes can go on and on and it may take a while to talk about all of them. In this article, we’ll focus on the five deadliest earthquakes of the last decade. These earthquakes are responsible for the destruction of billions of properties and the loss of tens of thousands of lives.
April 2015 Nepal Earthquake
More than 8,000 people were reported to be dead after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, 2015. The earthquake also triggered an avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest which left a dozen people dead. The United Nations reported that over 8 million people were affected by the earthquake.
On May 12, 2015, another 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal again and killed several dozens more. Nearly 9,000 people were reported to have died following the two earthquakes.
2010 Haiti Earthquake
A catastrophic earthquake that measured 7.0 Mw on the Richter scale struck the small island nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010. The epicenter of the earthquake was located just 16 miles (25 kilometers) west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
It may not be the strongest but it is definitely one of the deadliest earthquakes in human history. Over 3 million people were affected by the natural disaster and the death toll was estimated to be between 100,000-316,000. The earthquake also caused severe destruction in Haiti. Thousands of residential and commercial buildings collapsed or were damaged after the earthquake.
March 2011 Japan Earthquake
An undersea megathrust earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 Mw struck the coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. The epicenter was located 43 miles (70 kilometers) east of Tōhoku, Japan.
This is by far the strongest earthquake that struck Japan and currently number four in the world. The earthquake triggered a powerful tsunami with waves of up to 133 feet (40.5 meters) and traveled as far as 6 miles (10 kilometers) inland. As a result, hundreds of thousands of commercial and residential buildings along the coast collapsed or were severely damaged. The tsunami also caused a nuclear disaster as the destructive waves affected the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant located in Ōkuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
All in all, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami were responsible for over 15,000 deaths and over $235 billion in damage to properties and infrastructures, making it the most expensive natural disaster in human history.
2008 Sichuan Earthquake
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake is one of the deadliest natural disasters to strike China. The magnitude 7.9 earthquake triggered over 200,000 landslides. In fact, one-third of the total death toll after the earthquake was caused by these huge number of landslides. Over 69,000 people were estimated to be killed because of the earthquake.
2009 Sumatra Earthquakes
Over 1,100 people were estimated to be killed by a series of earthquakes that struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia on September 30, 2009.
The earthquakes which started from the depths rippled throughout the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. As a result, thousands of buildings either collapsed or were severely damaged during these earthquakes.
So, while these are the deadliest earthquakes recorded from the last decade, there are still plenty of earthquakes that were not covered in this list.
Earthquakes always have the potential to bring total devastation after it hits. This is why government authorities from all over the world are doing their best to educate the public about earthquakes and encourage them to practice disaster preparedness to help ensure their survival once this natural disaster strikes.