Worst of the Century

The deadliest earthquakes in this century have occurred in the Far East, Latin America and the Mediterranean. By far the most lethal was a temblor that devastated the city of Tangshan, China, in July 1976. While Peking later put the official death toll at 242,000, other estimates ranged as high as 750,000. The great San Francisco quake of 1906 was the most powerful in modern U.S. history; the tremor and resulting fires resulted in 700 casualties--not enough to make the list. Nor will last week's disaster in Mexico City, despite the heavy damage, unless the death total reaches 30,000. The ten...

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