The World: The Century's Quakes

The Century's Quake

MEASURED on a human Richter scale, the Managua earthquake ranks as one of history's more modest seismic upheavals. In 1556 a quake collapsed thousands of cave dwellings in the cliffs of China's Shensi province, killing an estimated 830,000 peasants. In 1755 more than 50,000 died in a series of tremors that destroyed the city of Lisbon and inspired Voltaire to compose his moving Poem on the Lisbon Earthquake.

Since 1900 there have been 26 quakes resulting in serious loss of life, including the storied upheaval that shook San Francisco in 1906, killing...

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