Top 10 deadliest earthquakes in history

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A look at the worst earthquakes in recorded history, in loss of human life.

   Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Oct. 5, 1948

Ashgabat, one of the 'Top 10 deadliest earthquakes in history' by

1948 Ashgabat earthquake 

Magnitude: 7.3

Deaths: 110,000

This quake brought extreme damage in Ashgabat (Ashkhabad) and nearby villages, where almost all the brick buildings collapsed, concrete structures were heavily damaged and freight trains were derailed. Damage and casualties also occurred in the Darreh Gaz area in neighboring Iran. Surface rupture was observed both northwest and southeast of Ashgabat. Many sources list the casualty total at 10,000, but a news release from the newly independent government on Dec. 9, 1988, advised that the correct death toll was 110,000. (Turkmenistan had been part of the Soviet Union, which tended to downplay the death tolls from man-made and natural disasters.)

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