A Seismic Change for the Planet

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Historically, earthquakes have accounted for 50% of natural-disaster related deaths. In 2023, they have accounted for over 90%. Two earthquakes created the greatest shocks.

Earthquakes are not a rare phenomenon — small earthquakes can occur several hundred times a day, major earthquakes (7.0 magnitude or higher) usually occur 15 times a year, and great earthquakes (8.0 magnitude or higher) once per year. Even with this frequency, they are not the most common natural disaster to occur on our planet — floods are.

And yet, between 1900 and 2020 earthquakes accounted for 50% of natural disaster-related deaths. In 2023, they have so far accounted for 90% of disaster-related deaths— and that’s just from two earthquakes alone.

February 2023: Double earthquakes devastate Turkey-Syria

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