Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
1556 Shaanxi earthquake
The Shaanxi earthquake occurred on the morning of 14 February1556 in China, killing approximately 830,000 people. More than 97 counties in the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Gansu, Hebei, Shandong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu and Anhui were affected . It is the deadliest earthquake on record, though the numbers are very sketchy. A 500-mile area was destroyed and in some counties, sixty percent of the population was killed . Most of the population at the time lived in artificial caves in loess cliffs, many of which collapsed during the disaster .
Modern estimates give the earthquake a moment magnitude of approximately 8. Aftershocks continued several times a month for half a year . The epicenter was in Hua county in Shaanxi. It is also among the deadliest natural disasters in history, only outstripped by floods of China's Yellow River (Huang He).
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