Saturday, 12 March 2011

Disturbing chart of the increasing frequency of earthquakes

Chart by the U.S. Geological Survey of earthquakes magnitude 6-8 from 1900 till 2007
Following the tragic events before the East coast of Japan today and it's aftermath, the above chart shows an excessive increase in deadly and destructive earthquakes since the year 2000.
I don't know exactly what I will be doing on December 21th, 2012, probably have a big party.
"Se non morimo se divertimo" or "If we will not die, we had fun"
Where will you be and what are you planning to do at this date?

In earlier comments I have investigated the death tolls since 1901, which I put in the graph below:

Modern record-keeping began in 1900.
The estimated death tolls per 10 years since 1901 in numbers:
1901-1910: 124,748 people
1911-1920: 266,584 people
1921-1930: 187,452 people
1931-1940:  95,042 people
1941-1950:  42,355 people
1951-1960:  16,723 people
1961-1970:  95,521 people
1971-1980: 319,180 people
1981-1990:  83,446 people
1991-2000:  62,821 people
2001-2010: 697,513 people

The average deaths per 10 years from 1901 till 2000 was 119,893 people.
So from 2001 till 2010 the earthquake death toll has been almost six times higher than the average in the last century.

One factor which explains the increase is surely the growth of the world's population:
 World Population Data Chart (1900-2050)
Data source from
If we take the average of the population in the last century, this is 3.2 billion versus an avarage of 6.5 billion in 2001 till 2010, the population in that period compared to that of the last century has doubled.
If we incorporate this into the earlier figure the death toll due to earthquakes in the last decade it still triples the anticipated figure.



  1. Or you could do a bit of research and realize that the link in your graph is for "earthquakes of historical interest" and not for all earthquakes. Recent earthquakes are of much more interest and are thus more heavily represented.

    A link to *all* earthquakes, such as:

    Shows no such increase.

  2. @Anonymous:
    The link you mention is from the same website of U.S. Geological Survey which I studied and shows information about earthquakes from 2000 till 2011. On that page there's a similar link for the 90's. Unfortunately the website doesn't show data about earlier years.
    Many people will not be aware that last year (2010) 226,729 people died from earthquakes.
    This is almost the same figure as in the year of the Sumatra tsunami distaster, 2004. (228,802)
    Such high death tolls never occured in the last century as as far as I am aware.
    I don't know about your research, but to substantiate my viewpoint; the estimated global death toll due to earthquakes is the following:
    2001-2010: 697,513 people
    1991-2000: 62,821 people

    More than an 11-fold increase.
    Although I cannot find accurate data about the exact death toll in earlier decennia, it seems not to diverge very much from the 90's and is more or less proportional to the graph.
    I rest my case and sweet dreams.

  3. Update: Modern record-keeping began in 1900.
    Below more info on estimated death tolls per 10 years since 1901:
    1901-1910: 124,748 people
    1911-1920: 266,584 people
    1921-1930: 187,452 people
    1931-1940: 95,042 people
    1941-1950: 42,355 people
    1951-1960: 16,723 people
    1961-1970: 95,521 people
    1971-1980: 319,180 people
    1981-1990: 83,446 people
    1991-2000: 62,821 people

    Average deaths/10 years 1901-2000:
    119,893 people

    2001-2010: 697,513 people


  4. Damn - some sobering stats. Makes me want to get drunk or something. WTF is going on here lately?

    Thanks for commenting on my ThaiPulse blog I-Nomad. Finding yours full of great information. Thanks and cheers!

  5. Hi Mike, perhaps the sun is having her red period every other 1000 years or something? :)
    Btw thnx!

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