December 16

This Day in History

General Interest

Dec 16, 1920:

Earthquake devastates Gansu province of China

One of the deadliest earthquakes in history hits the Gansu province of midwestern China, causing massive landslides and the deaths of an estimated 200,000 people. The earthquake, which measured 8.5 magnitude on the Richter scale, affected an area of some 25,000 square miles, including 10 major population centers.

The great devastation caused by the earthquake was due largely to poor soil conditions throughout the Gansu province, and by the fact that for almost 300 years there had been no recorded earthquakes in the region to stabilize gradual changes to the landscape.

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