Earthquakes have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the last 100 years and improvements in technology have only slightly reduced the death toll.
25 September 2013
More than 300 people are killed as a 7.7 magnitude quake flattens entire villages in Pakistan’s remote south-western province of Balochistan, mainly in the district of Awaran.
11 August 2012
At least 250 people are killed and more than 2,000 injured in north-west Iran by two powerful quakes which strikes within minutes of each other near the towns of Tabriz and Ahar.
23 October 2011
More than 200 people are killed and 1,000 are injured in a powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake which hits south-eastern Turkey; many of the victims are in the town of Ercis, where dozens of buildings collapsed.
11 March 2011
A devastating magnitude 8.9 quake strikes Japan, leaving more than 20,000 people dead or missing. The tremor generates a massive tsunami along the Japanese coast and triggers the world’s biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
22 February 2011
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake shatters the New Zealand city of Christchurch, killing more than 160 people and damaging some 100,000 homes.
14 April 2010
At least 400 people die after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake strikes western China’s Qinghai province.
27 February 2010
A magnitude 8.8 earthquake hits central Chile north-east of the second city, Concepcion. Official figures put the total number of people at over 700.
12 January 2010
About 230,000 die in and around the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes the city.
30 September 2009
At least 1,000 people die and at least 1,000 remain missing after an earthquake strikes the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
6 April 2009
An earthquake hits the historic Italian city of L’Aquila, killing about 300 people.
29 October 2008
Up to 300 people are killed in the Pakistani province of Balochistan after an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck 45 miles (70km) north of Quetta.
12 May 2008
Up to 87,000 people are killed or missing and as many as 370,000 injured by an earthquake in just one county in China’s south-western Sichuan province.
The tremor, measuring 7.8, struck 57 miles (92km) from the provincial capital Chengdu during the early afternoon.
15 August 2007
At least 519 people are killed in Peru’s coastal province of Ica, as a 7.90-magnitude undersea earthquake strikes about 90 miles (145km) south-east of the capital, Lima.
17 July 2006
A 7.7 magnitude undersea earthquake triggers a tsunami that strikes a 125 miles (200km) stretch of the southern coast of Java, killing more than 650 people on the Indonesian island.
27 May 2006
More than 5,700 people die when a magnitude 6.2 quake hits the Indonesian island of Java, devastating the city of Yogyakarta and surrounding areas.
8 October 2005
An earthquake measuring 7.6 strikes northern Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir region, killing more than 73,000 people and leaving millions homeless.
28 March 2005
About 1,300 people are killed in an 8.7 magnitude quake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Nias, west of Sumatra.
22 February 2005
Hundreds die in a 6.4 magnitude quake centred in a remote area near Zarand in Iran’s Kerman province.
26 December 2004
Hundreds of thousands are killed across Asia when an earthquake measuring 9.2 triggers sea surges that spread across the region.
24 February 2004
At least 500 people die in an earthquake which strikes towns on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast.
26 December 2003
More than 26,000 people are killed when an earthquake destroys the historic city of Bam in southern Iran.
21 May 2003
Algeria suffers its worst earthquake in more than two decades. More than 2,000 people die and more than 8,000 are injured in a quake felt across the sea in Spain.
1 May 2003
More than 160 people are killed, including 83 children in a collapsed dormitory, in south-eastern Turkey.
24 February 2003
More than 260 people die and almost 10,000 homes are destroyed in Xinjiang region, in western China.
31 October 2002
Italy is traumatised by the loss of an entire class of children, killed in the southern village of San Giuliano di Puglia when their school building collapses on them.
26 January 2001
An earthquake measuring magnitude 7.9 devastates much of Gujarat state in north-western India, killing nearly 20,000 people and making more than a million homeless. Bhuj and Ahmedabad are among the towns worst hit.
12 November 1999
Around 400 people die when an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale strikes Ducze, in north-west Turkey.
21 September 1999
Taiwan is hit by a quake measuring 7.6 that kills nearly 2,500 people and causes damage to every town on the island.
17 August 1999
An magnitude 7.4 earthquake rocks the Turkish cities of Izmit and Istanbul, leaving more than 17,000 dead and many more injured.
30 May 1998
Northern Afghanistan is hit by a major earthquake, killing 4,000 people.
More than 1,600 killed in Birjand, eastern Iran, in an earthquake of magnitude 7.1.
27 May 1995
The far eastern island of Sakhalin is hit by a massive earthquake, measuring 7.5, which claims the lives of 1,989 Russians.
17 January 1995
The Hyogo quake hits the city of Kobe in Japan, killing 6,430 people.
30 September 1993
About 10,000 villagers are killed in western and southern India.
21 June 1990
About 40,000 people die in a tremor in the northern Iranian province of Gilan.
7 December 1988
An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale devastates north-west Armenia, killing 25,000 people.
19 September 1985
Mexico City is shaken by a huge earthquake which razes buildings and kills 10,000 people.
4 March 1977
Some 1,500 people are killed in an earthquake that hit close to the Romanian capital, Bucharest.
28 July 1976
The Chinese city of Tangshan is reduced to rubble in a quake that claims at least 250,000 lives.
23 December 1972
Up to 10,000 people are killed in the Nicaraguan capital Managua by an earthquake that measures 6.5 on the Richter scale. The devastation caused by the earthquake was blamed on badly built high-rise buildings that easily collapsed.
31 May 1970
An earthquake high in the Peruvian Andes triggers a landslide burying the town of Yungay and killing 66,000 people.
26 July 1963
An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale strikes the Macedonian capital of Skopje killing 1,000 and leaving 100,000 homeless.
22 May 1960
The world’s strongest recorded earthquake devastates Chile, with a reading of 9.5 on the Richter scale. A tsunami 30ft (10m) high eliminates entire villages in Chile. Death toll reports vary widely, but many settle on the 2,000 mark.
1 September 1923
The Great Kanto earthquake, with its epicentre just outside Tokyo, claims the lives of 142,800 people in the Japanese capital.
28 December 1908
Earthquake around 7.1 magnitude and subsequent tsunami in Italy’s Messina Strait, badly affecting the cities of Messina and Reggio Calabria. Deaths estimated at 70,000-80,000.
18 April 1906
San Francisco is hit by a series of violent shocks which last up to a minute. Between 700 and 3,000 people die either from collapsing buildings or in the subsequent fire.
Source: BBC News