Historic Earthquakes

Tsinghai, China
1927 May 21 22:32 UTC
Magnitude 7.6

More than 40,900 deaths. Extreme damage in the Gulang-Wuwei area. Landslides buried a town near Gulang and dammed a stream in Wuwei County, creating a new lake. Large fissures and sandblows occurred in the area. Damage occurred from Lanzhou through Minqin and Yongchang to Jinta. It was felt at Xi'an and as far as 700 km (440 mi) from the epicenter. This area along the base of the Qilian Shan (formerly named Nan Shan, which is why this is sometimes called the Nan Shan earthquake) was part of the Silk Road connecting China with Central Asia. Some sources list the death toll as high as 200,000, but this may be a confusion with the much-bigger Ningxia quake of 1920. Also, Gu et al. report that over 250,000 livestock were killed by this earthquake.