Jan. 18, 2010— -- The earthquake last week in Haiti was the most severe in that nation in more than two centuries. At least 70,000 people are estimated to have been killed, and the death toll is being revised every day.
In the wake of the disaster, people are wondering what might happen next, and where. Many Americans may be surprised to learn that earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world.
Here is a summary of the top-five deadliest earthquakes since 1900, according to figures from the U.S. Geological Survey:
1. A magnitude 7.5 quake in Tangshan, China, in 1976 killed 255,000 people.
2. In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude quake in Sumatra (and the resulting Tsunami) killed 227,898 in 14 countries.
3. A 7.8 earthquake in Haiyuan, China, killed 200,000 people in 1920.
4. In Kanto, Japan, 120,000 people died after a 7.9 quake in 1923.
5. In 1948, 110,000 were killed after a 7.3 quake struck Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.