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3600 BC
The Supe people, a maritime farming community along the coast of Peru, disappeared about this time. In 2009 researchers found their disappearance coincided with earthquakes and landslides followed by massive flooding.
Links: Peru, Earthquake, Agriculture, HistoryBC, Flood     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1461 BC
Egyptians erected a 68.5 foot obelisk in Heliopolis. The Romans moved it to Alexandria in 14BC. An earthquake soon after 1300 left it lying prone on the coast.
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360 BC
Greek philosopher Plato, in his "dialogues" from about this time, said an island he called Atlantis "in a single day and night... disappeared into the depths of the sea." He described Atlantis as "an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules." In 2011 a US-led research team, using a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city, suggested a site just north of Cadiz, Spain, as the site of Atlantis.
Links: Earthquake, Greece, Philosophy, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
27 BC
An earthquake hit Egypt and devastated the temple of Amenhotep III in Luxor, which dated to about 1389.
Links: Earthquake, Egypt, HistoryBC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
365 Jul 21
An earthquake, whose epicenter was in Crete, leveled the Egyptian Port of Alexandria as well as the Roman outpost of Leptis Magna in Libya. Some 50,000 people died. The ancient Egyptian city, known as Leukaspis or Antiphrae, was hidden for centuries after it was nearly wiped out by the tsunami. When Chinese engineers began cutting into the sandy coast to build the roads for a new resort in 1986, they struck the ancient tombs and houses of the town founded in the second century B.C.
Links: Libya, Earthquake, Egypt, Crete, Disaster     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1349
L'Aquila in central Italy was devastated by an earthquake.
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1365
Basel, Switzerland, was wrecked by an earthquake.
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1400
Occupants of the Towosaghy site near New Madrid, Missouri, burned their temple about this time. Later evidence indicated that this coincided with a major earthquake in the area.
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1461
L'Aquila in central Italy was again devastated by an earthquake.
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1500
Geologists in 2009 said an earthquake of magnitude 6.5-7, dated to about this time, tore a deep gash into a 35-mile fault sergment along the Wasatch front of Utah state.
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1541
An earthquake and tidal wave finished off the settlement of Nueva Cadiz on Isla de Cubagua off the coast of Venezuela.
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1600 Feb 18
Arequipa, Peru, was destroyed by an earthquake. Huaynaputina was the site of a monogenetic silicic eruption that ranks greater than 1883 Krakatau and 1991 Mt. Pinatubo in magnitude. A 26 hour-long plinian eruption devastated the socioeconomic fabric of southern Peru and neighboring Chile and Bolivia.
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1601
Large portions of Russia received heavy rains in the summer of 1601, and by the end of the growing season it was clear that most crops would fail. This was later related to a major earthquake in Peru in 1600.
Links: Russia, Peru, Earthquake, Agriculture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1687 Oct 20
In Peru a massive earthquake leveled most of Lima. It triggered a tsunami and overall about 5,000 people died.
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1692 Jun 7
An earthquake struck Jamaica. It rearranged the geology, splitting the rocks, turning mountains to lakes, and engulfed two-thirds of Port Royal. On that day and subsequently, five thousand of the inhabitants died.
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1700 Jan 26
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake shook Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Colombia. It triggered tsunami that damages villages in Japan.
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1703
L'Aquila in central Italy was again devastated by an earthquake.
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1727
An earthquake on Martinique devastated the local cocoa plantations. Landowners replanted fields with coffee from French Captain Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu.
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1730 Jul 8
A magnitude 8.7 earthquake in Valparasio, Chile, killed at least 3,000 people.
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1755 Nov 1
An 8.7 earthquake hit Lisbon, Portugal, and killed some 70,000 people. Heavy damage resulted from ensuing fires and tsunami flooding in Morocco and nearly a quarter of a million people were killed. In 2008 Nicholas Shrady authored “The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake.”
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1755 Nov 18
The Cape Ann (Boston) earthquake, estimated at 6.0-6.5, hit the east coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Nova Scotia.
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1761 Sep 21
Gabriel Malagrida (b.1689), Portuguese Jesuit missionary, was garroted and burned in Lisbon. In his “Opinion of the True Cause of the Earthquake,” referring to Lisbons 1755 quake, Malagrida argued that rebuilding was an offense against God.
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1812 Mar 26
Earthquake destroyed 90% of Caracas; about 20,000 died.
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1838
In California an earthquake, estimated at magnitude 7.7 -7.9, hit two miles off the coast of San Francisco.
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1854 Dec 23
The 8.4 Ansei Tokai Quake struck Japan. The epicenter ranged from Suruga Bay to the deep ocean, but destroyed houses as far away as in Edo. The accompanying tsunami caused damage along the entire coast from the Boso Peninsula in modern-day Chiba prefecture to Tosa province (modern-day Kochi prefecture).
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1854 Dec 24
The 8.4 Ansei Nankai Quake struck Japan. Over 10,000 people from the Tokai region down to Kyushu were killed.
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1855 Nov 11
The 6.9 Ansei Edo earthquake hit near Tokyo, Japan. Some 8,000 casualties resulted with about 14,000 structures destroyed.
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1857 Jan 9
The Fort Tejon, Ca., earthquake, estimated at magnitude 8, ruptured ground for 225 miles from Parkfield to Tejon Pass. It killed 2 people and destroyed the Teyon Army post.
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1865 Oct 8
1865 Oct 9
An earthquake hit San Francisco.
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1865 Oct 21
Another earthquake hit San Francisco. It lasted for 42 seconds and caused major damage throughout the city.
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1868 Apr 3
An earthquake estimated at magnitude 7.9 hit the Big Island of Hawaii. 46 people were killed in the resulting tsunami at Keauhou and 31 died in a landslide at Kapapala.
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1868 Aug 13
A magnitude 9.0 quake in Arica, Peru (later Chile), generated catastrophic tsunamis; more than 25,000 people were killed in South America.
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1868 Oct 21
A major earthquake, later estimated at magnitude 7, took place on the Hayward Fault in northern California. It destroyed the top of the San Mateo County Courthouse. At this time only 265,000 people lived in the Bay Area. The Marine Hospital at Rincon Point was badly damaged and forced to close.
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1886 Aug 31
South Carolina bore the brunt of the largest-ever earthquake on the East Coast, a 7.3 magnitude earth-shaker that killed at least 60 people in post-Civil War Charleston.
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1900 Apr 26
Charles Richter (1985), seismologist, was born in Hamilton, Ohio. He developed the Richter Scale for measuring the amplitude of earthquakes.
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1906 Jan 31
A magnitude 8.8 quake off the coast of Ecuador and Colombia. It generated a tsunami that killed at least 500 people.
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1906 Apr 18
5:12 a.m. the San Francisco 8.2 earthquake occurred. Seismologists in 1977 reduced the magnitude to 7.9. 28,000 buildings were destroyed and 498 blocks leveled. One quarter of the city burned. About 700 people died. The massive earthquake was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles and as far inland as Nevada. It caused severe damage and loss of life in the San Francisco Bay area, and a three-day fire spawned by the shaking reduced 4.7 square miles of the city to blackened ruins. Military officials estimated $400 million of damage and a total of 700-800 killed. Modern research estimates that closer to 3,000 of San Francisco's 400,000 inhabitants lost their lives. Sweeney Observatory in Goldengate Park was destroyed. Some 30,000 people were left homeless and lived in GG Park for up to a year and a half. The quake was centered in Olema. Old City Hall at Fulton and Larkin was destroyed. In 2001 Dan Kurzman authored "Disaster: The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906."
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1906 Apr 18
The SF earthquake killed 119 people at Agnews State Hospital in San Jose, Ca.
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1906 Apr 18
In SF residents on Russian Hill saved 5 homes on Green Street between Jones and Leavenworth from fire and dynamite crews.
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1906 Apr 22
The SF Health Office reported that about 500 bodies had been recovered from the earthquake and fire. Insurance losses were estimated at $175 million and total losses at $300 million.
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1906 Sep
1907 Feb
In San Francisco 5,610 fir and redwood shacks were built during this period to provide housing for earthquake refugees. They were placed in rows at 11 refugee camps and rented for $2 per month.
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1935 May 31
In Quetta, India (later Pakistan), a magnitude 7.5 earthquake killed some 50,000 people. The earthquake flattened Quetta, killing an estimated 26,000 people in the city alone, more than half its population.
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1935
Seismologists Beno Gutenberg and Charles Francis Richter introduced the Richter scale. It became widely used as a quantitative measure of the magnitude of an earthquake.
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1946 Apr 1
Two large earthquakes shook the Scotch Cap Lighthouse on Unimak Island, Alaska. A resulting tsunami washed away the lighthouse. The Aleutian Islands earthquake also triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami that killed 165 people and caused over $26 million in damages. Tidal waves struck the Hawaiian islands, resulting in more than 170 deaths. 91 people were killed in Hilo.
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1948 Oct 6
A 7.3 earthquake hit Ashgebat, Turkmenistan, and killed an estimated 110,000 people. Stalinist media at the time claimed only 35,000 deaths.
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1949
The US started a rudimentary tsunami warning program at Ewa Beach, Honolulu.
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1950 Aug 15
A magnitude 8.6 earthquake in Assam, Tibet, killed at least 780 people.
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1952 Nov 4
A magnitude 9.0 quake in Kamchatka caused damage but no reported deaths, despite setting off 30-foot (9.1-meter) waves in Hawaii.
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1955 Oct 23
A 4.5 Richter scale earthquake hit the SF Bay Area.
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1956 Apr 19
In Spain 12 people died and about 70 were injured following earthquakes in the southern Granada region.
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1959 Mar 3
A SF Bay Area earthquake measured 5.5 on the Richter scale in Berkeley.
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1959 Aug 18
A magnitude 7.3 quake near Hebgen Lake, Montana, just west of Yellowstone National Park triggered a landslide that killed 28 people.
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1960 May 22
Chile experienced a 9.5 earthquake (moment magnitude). A slow earthquake was detected just before the big one. It caused tsunamis in every coastal town between the 36th and 44th parallels with a death toll of some 1000 people.
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1962
Manuel G. Bonilla (d.2006 at 85), USGS geologist, discovered and mapped an ancient fault in San Francisco that ran from Cow Palace northwest to the sand dunes of the Richmond district. It was named the City College of SF Fault.
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1964 Mar 27
On Good Friday, Valdez, Alaska, in Prince William Sound was rocked by an 8.6 earthquake, the largest ever recorded in North America. In 1977 seismologists pegged the quake at 9.2. It lasted 4 minutes and was followed by tsunamis and fires and 131 people were killed. Survivors moved 4 miles west to solid bedrock and rebuilt the town.
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1964 Mar 28
Much of Crescent City, Ca., was demolished early today by a tsunami generated from the 8.6 earthquake that hit Valdez, Alaska. 11 people were killed.
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1966
A major earthquake hit Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan in the USSR.
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1967 Jul
A 6.7 earthquake hit Caracas, Venezuela, and left 300 dead and 2,000 injured.
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1968 Aug 31
In northeast Iran some 7-12 thousand people died in the 7.8 Dasht-e Bayaz earthquake, which also destroyed 60,000 buildings.
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1970 Jan 5
In China a 7.7 earthquake in Yunnan province killed over 15,000 people and was covered up by authorities amid the chaos of the cultural revolution.
Links: China, Earthquake, Disaster     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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