The 1556 Shaanxi earthquake or Huaxian earthquake was a catastrophic earthquake and is also the deadliest earthquake on record. On January 23, 1556, the earthquake hit Shaanxi and took the life of 830,000 people.
It is predicted that the earthquake scored 8.0 score on Richter scale. Although, the earth has witnessed more intense earthquake than Shaanxi earthquake it was the most destructive in the history.
Shaanxi Earthquake Destroyed 840 KM Wide Area
More than 97 counties in the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Gansu, Hebei, Shandong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu and Anhui were affected. Buildings were damaged slightly in the cities of Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai. An 840-kilometre-wide (520 mi) area was destroyed.
In many counties, it wiped out 60% of the total population. The people used to live in the artificial caves which collapsed and caused a catastrophic damage to life.
66 Feet Cracks In The Ground
According to the historians, the earthquake caused 66 feet cracks in the ground. The Shaanxi earthquake’s epicenter was in the Wei River Valley in Shaanxi Province, near the cities of Huaxian, Weinan, and Huayin.
In Huaxian, every single building and home were demolished, killing more than half the residents of the city, with a death toll estimated in the hundreds of thousands.
Recorded In The History
The destruction and death were witnessed within the 500 km radius of the epicenter. The rupture occurred during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Therefore, in the Chinese historical record, this earthquake is often referred to as the Jiajing Great Earthquake.
Several Geographic Changes
The earthquake brought many geographical changes. To illustrate, mountains and rivers changed places and roads were destroyed. In some places, the ground suddenly rose up and formed new hills, or it sank abruptly and became new valleys. In other areas, a stream burst out in an instant, or the ground broke and new gullies appeared.
We all know when nature retaliates against the humans it brings a massive destruction and the Shaanxi earthquake was one of the examples. What do you say about the fury of nature? Share in the comments.
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