ON THIS DAY: MAY 22
Natural disasters have occurred throughout the ages, from the earliest years of Earth’s history. Although many prehistoric natural disasters have gone unrecorded, there is an outstanding number of natural disasters that have found their place into our history books, gleaned from eyewitness reports, early religious and historical literature, and evidence revealed by modern-day scientists. Throughout each month I will be sharing “On this day” posts about past geological events and natural disasters in history.
On this day: MAY 22, 1986
One hundred people were killed, 9,000 left injured, and 35,000 houses were damaged when hailstones weighing up to 2.2 pounds (1 kg) fell over a region in the Chinese province of Sichuan.
On this day: MAY 22, 1927
One of the world’s highest earthquake death tolls was recorded when violent tremors measuring 8.6 on the Richter scale shook the city of Xining, the capital of Qinghai province in China.
At least 200,000 people are believed to have died directly from the immediate of the quake or as a result of post-earthquake disease and starvation. To put that into perspective, the 2004 Sumatra earthquake had a death toll of about 236,000.
On this day: MAY 22, 1960
EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI
With a magnitude of 9.5 on the Richter scale, an earthquake centered on Valdivia in Chile was the largest on record since seismographic records began. Valdivia, the cities of Puerto Montt, and Conceptción, and many smaller settlements were worst affected with 2,300 deaths and 130,000 houses destroyed.
Seven hours later, the tsunami wave hit Japan and fifteen hours later Hawaii, causing a total of 3,400 deaths. Damage was reported in countries as far away from the epicentre as New Zealand.
Image Credit: http://on.doi.gov/RffhgG