Do You Remember What Year These Famous Cities Were Hit by Major Earthquakes?



By: Tasha Moore

6 Min Quiz

Image: Oleksandra Korobova / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Get rocked by all the fun facts you'll learn with this seismic quiz! Do you remember when the most infamous earthquakes happened in the world's most famous cities? At the end of this exhilarating cerebral experience, expect to know quake causes and effects like you never did before.

Tremors have shaken just about every part of the planet's surface. They occur when tectonic plates under the Earth's surface move and generate seismic energy. Very few physical energy forces compare to the seismic energy conjured by shifting plates along fault lines. As destructive as the atomic bomb of August 1945 was to Hiroshima at the end of World War II, Tokyo, Japan's 1923 earthquake generated several hundred times more energy than the nuclear bomb. Some citizens of the Dominican Republic may agree that quakes are caused by the interaction of crustal plates and fault lines, but many would argue that karma was what probably set things off during the 1946 tremblor that rocked the nation.

Significant loss of life is a horrible effect that the world's most destructive quakes leave in their wake. Within a matter of mere seconds, an earthquake can cause millions of dollars of property loss. Cultural centers have been permanently ruined and entire groups of people who have existed for thousands of years have been dispersed due to jolts of the Earth's surface.

Wrap your mind around many more jolting facts in this explosive quiz!

Kashmir, Pakistan had been recovering from a December 2004 tsunami when an earthquake hit on October 8 of what year?

Measuring 7.6 on the magnitude scale, the 2005 earthquake that hit Kashmir, Pakistan claimed the lives of at least 86,000 people. The devastation occurred in the midst of heightened tensions over regional barrier disputes among Indian and Pakistani leaders.


A 6.3-magnitude quake that hit Maharashtra state was one of India's worst. When was Gujarat struck?

One of India's largest states, Gujarat was hit hardest by a 7.9 earthquake on Friday, January 26, 2001. Other districts of India's northwestern region suffered as a result of the quake, which was the strongest to hit India in half a century.


Tens of thousands of classrooms had to be replaced after a tremblor targeted Nepal in ________?

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. Mud and brick houses of the Newars, Kathmandu Valley's first inhabitants, suffered the most devastation. It took only 40 seconds for the quake to demolish almost an entire village.


Other 6.2 and 6.7 shakes followed a major Jakarta, Indonesia foreshock. Guess the year it happened?

Aftershocks from the May 27 quake rippled as far as 250 miles east of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city. A 6.3-magnitude foreshock hit the Special Province of Yogyakarta at Java Island. Nearly 200,000 Indonesians were left homeless because of the wreckage that ensued.


Qinghai, China suffered another blast only four years after a convulsion ripped through every building, leaving 100,000 people homeless. Identify the year of the subsequent catastrophe?

The 2010 7.1 quake hit Qinghai province, which lies 20 miles away from the mostly Tibetan county of Yushu. Eighty-five percent of the homes in the nearby district of Jiegu collapsed. The fiercest of the quake's six aftershocks measured a magnitude of 6.2.


A major jolt at Sumatra caused Jakarta shares to drop 2.72 percent the following day on March 29 in which year?

The target of the massive March 28, 2005 earthquake was a seabed off the coast of Sumatra, an Indonesian island. The tiny islands of Simeulue and Nias sustained most of the damage.


Do you remember the time period when Kuala Lumpur was shaken and a hospital in Padang was flattened by a 7.6-magnitude quake?

Padang has a population of 900,000 people and dots Sumatra's west coast. Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, and Singapore were also rocked by the September 30 quake in Sumatra.


Concepcion trembled mightily at the end of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet's first term, which was in ________?

The death toll was comparatively high in Chile's second-largest city of Concepcion after a February 2010 quake rattled southern Chile. Chilean cabinet officials neglected to sound a tsunami warning before a tremendous wave flooded the region.


The famous city of Quito and parts of Colombia and Peru felt the sting of a 7.8-magnitude shock. Do you recall the time?

The April 2016 tremblor registered a magnitude of 7.8 and chose the coastal region of Manabi as its epicenter. Meanwhile, in the capital city of Quito, tremors caused signposts to fall along major roads, triggering panic among drivers.


Buildings in Lima, Peru swayed back and forth when an August foreshock rocked the capital city. Please complete the date?

The August 2007 quake that hit Peru's southern coast left some 17,000 people homeless and many residents without power in its aftermath. Witnesses reported that moments before a cathedral in San Clemente collapsed, its bell vibrated an eerie chime.


On the anniversary of a 1985 earthquake that severely damaged Mexico City, a tremblor struck central Mexico in the year ________?

The 2017 earthquake off of Mexico's Pacific coast measured 7.1 in magnitude. Over 40 buildings in Mexico City collapsed from tremors that emerged 76 miles southeast of the capital in the town of Raboso.


Is it a challenge for you to identify when a major earthquake rocked Russia's Far East and shook Moscow?

Officials promptly evacuated Moscow, which lies over 4,000 miles west of the 8.3-magnitude quake's origin 373 miles deep into the Okhotsk Sea. Moscow residents in several buildings reported shaking.


At 4:50 a.m., an 8.0 that originated from the Pacific Ocean jolted the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. Show that you know the year it occurred?

Japan's northern island of Hokkaido is located roughly 600 miles from Tokyo. A little over a month after the September convulsion, Tokyo was hit with a 5.0 that shut down three runways at Haneda airport.


Anchorage, Alaska vibrated while the trans-Alaska oil pipeline sustained damage from a tremblor that happened in ________?

The epicenter of the 2002 Alaska shock occurred 270 miles north of Anchorage and 90 miles south of Fairbanks, along the Denali Fault. Anchorage was affected by the 7.9-magnitude earthquake's strong jolts.


All Saints Day festivities were underway when a violent quake ripped through Lisbon on November 1 in which year?

The southwest-centered Portugal quake rattled the southern and western areas of the country. Considered one of the longest earthquakes in history, the Lisbon episode totaled three tremblors and lasted approximately nine minutes.


Experts fear that Bangladesh's capital city of Dhaka, near Indo-Australian and Eurasian earth plates, is at risk of sustaining considerable damage. The plates caused vibrations to rattle Sitakundu in what year?

In 1762, a major 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the coastal town of Sitakundu in Bangladesh. Experts anticipate that the area will be hit with a major quake in the region once every 100 years. One in five buildings in the nearby capital city of Dhaka is vulnerable to quakes.


Determine the date that a major earthquake caused a 45-storied Caracas skyscraper to tilt?

The affected building, known as the "Tower of David," featured in the television show "Homeland," had been abandoned and occupied by squatters. The 7.3-magnitude August 21 quake originated off of Venezuela's east coast.


Skopje was devastated by a July 26 quake that destroyed much of the city and greatly dispersed the Romani ethnic population. Please provide the date of the North Macedonia event?

Because they were rendered unsafe, multiple buildings in Skopje, North Macedonia's capital city, had to be demolished after the 1963 quake. A great migration into the capital city occurred after it was rebuilt.


Scientists are aware that more than 600 tremblors under 3 degrees shake Lebanon every year. When did a more substantial episode affect Mount Lebanon and the capital city of Beirut?

Voice of Lebanon radio station announced that the 2013 shock was felt at 3:00 a.m. It was one of many jolts the country experienced since a more serious 1956 quake that hit the area, destroying 6,000 homes.


As a result of the "Big One" in the Costa Rican city of Limon, the National Theater was closed for two and a half years. Have you figured out when the big quake happened?

An earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale rattled the Costa Rican destination of Limon on April 22, 1991. The tremblor destroyed 10,000 homes, and the Caribbean nation sustained $160 million in damage.


Pick the year of the "Great Zagreb" earthquake?

The Great Zagreb earthquake of 1880 destroyed the cathedral of Mary's Ascension. Planners rebuilt the cathedral in Croatia's capital city using stone from the old building. It took 22 years to erect the new neogothic temple, which was completed in 1902.


What year did a San Francisco earthquake ignite a huge fire that destroyed millions of dollars worth in property?

Some scholars insist that the May 5, 1906, San Francisco earthquake was several hundred times stronger than the atomic bomb catastrophe that rocked Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Quake tragedy struck San Francisco at 5:10 a.m. in 1906, and a massive fire erupted one minute later.


The ________ earthquake in the Cayman Islands was the biggest since 1900?

Windows rattled and shattered in Georgetown, the capital city in the world-famous Cayman Islands, after a 2004 earthquake ripped through the island. Experts say the 6.7 shake was the strongest of several tremors that struck at the time.


Prove that you know the year that a 7.0-magnitude convulsion destroyed much of the infrastructure of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti?

More than one million Haitians were moved to tent cities after losing their homes during the 2010 tremblor. Many of the tents were posted in Leogane, which was near the quake's epicenter.


Some citizens of the Dominican Republic suspect that a devastating quake was caused by the "Columbus curse." Do you remember the time?

To commemorate the 450th anniversary of Santo Domingo, the urn of Christopher Columbus was opened at the Cathedral of Santo Domingo on August 4, 1946 at 1:00 p.m. Seconds later, the island nation was rattled by its worst quake of the 20th century.


During October of what year were ancient Islamic monuments put in harm's way because of a tremblor?

The epicenter of the Cairo 5.9-magnitude quake was approximately 44 miles southwest of the city. Islamic monuments that suffered most of the damage trailed across Sharia Saliba, a major stretch of road in the area.


Baseball legend Roberto Clemente rushed to join rescue efforts after a quake devastated the capital of Nicaragua in ________?

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua demolished close to 80 percent of the capital's infrastructure. The National Cathedral in the city was just one of the quake's concrete casualties.


Try to guess the time of the Messina and Reggio Calabria earthquake that took place in Sicily?

The 1908 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck southern Italy, the Ionian Sea and the Messina Straits on December 28 at 5:20 a.m. and lasted for at least 30 seconds. Major trembles emanated from under the Messina Straits.


Areas near Istanbul suffered considerable damage and two Navy buildings collapsed in the town of Golcuk after a violent quake took hold. Do you notice the correct date?

The 1999 foreshock trapped thousands of people in Turkey's largest western cities; scores of people sustained injuries in Istanbul, alone. The country's most devastating quake, measuring 7.9 in magnitude, rocked Turkey's Erzinican province on December 26, 1939.


One of the most destructive earthquakes of all time happened in the city of Tangshan in China. Can you guess the year?

China's 1976 quake catastrophe erupted in the country's northeast region in the city of Tangshan. Several decades after the disaster razed most of its buildings, the city is comprised of some of the most contemporary structures you will find in the country.


Scientists have ranked the ________ earthquake third among Iran's most ruinous natural disasters?

Social scientists have determine that the 1978 earthquake in Tabas continues to have a rippling effect on the desert town. Recent data has shown that since the quake, literacy in the region decreased by at least 65 percent compared to culturally similar districts.


Experts speculate that considerable slippage along the Motagua Fault triggered the foreshock that rocked Guatemala City. How easy is it for you to determine the exact date?

The February 4, 1976 Guatemalan earthquake caused ground breakage that spread for 143 miles. The same ground depression that triggered the quake approximately 100 miles from Guatemala City runs through Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador.


A ________ quake demolished a suburb of San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador?

With an epicenter in the Pacific Ocean, the 7.6-magnitude quake hit San Salvador at 11:35 a.m. Razed buildings and dangerous landslides plagued the region in its wake. So powerful was the San Salvador tremblor that structures shook 600 miles away in Mexico City.


A strike-slip malformation along the Ghazaband fault generated enough seismic energy to rattle Quetta, Pakistan. Have you figured out the date?

Geologists speculate that the 7.7-magnitude Quetta earthquake emanated from what they've classified as India's western transform system. Scientists designate structural systems of the earth to assist in the study and prediction of geological phenomena.


Select the year of the Tokyo earthquake that's considered one of the worst in Japan's history?

Scientists have estimated that energy released during the 1923 Toyko earthquake was 300 times more powerful than that of the Hiroshima bomb explosion of 1945. Tremors that emerged along the Kanto Plain during the massive foreshock measured as high as 8.3 on the Richter scale.


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