Today in Earthquake History

Earthquake History for August 31st

  •  M7.3 - Iran, 1968

    7,000 to 12,000 deaths.
    Five villages were totally destroyed in the Dasht-e Bayaz area, and another 6 from Kakhk to Salayan had at least half of the buildings destroyed. A strong aftershock on Sep 01 destroyed the town of Ferdows (see next event). In all, more than 175 villages were destroyed or damaged in this rather sparsely populated area of Khorasan Province. Most buildings in the area were built of adobe with very thick (1-2 m, or about 3-6 ft) arched roofs. The walls shattered, bringing tons of material down on the people inside. This was a major reason for the severity of damage and casualties in this earthquake. The death toll would likely have been much higher if this quake would have struck in the middle of the night, when many more people would have been indoors. The few steel-frame or brick-and-mortar structures in the area generally survived with only minor to moderate damage, making it difficult to assign a maximum intensity to the quake. The intensity estimates range from VIII to X. Surface faulting occurred in a zone about 80 km (50 mi) long. The maximum strike-slip (horizontal) offset was about 4.5 m (15 ft) near Dasht-e Bayaz with a vertical offset of about 2 m. Extensive ground ruptures and sandblows occurred in the Nimbluk Valley east of Salayan, south of the main fault trace.
  •  M7.0-7.3 - New Zealand, 1888

    Local time: September 1, 1888 04:10 a.m. NZST
    The earthquake in northern Canterbury, some 100 kilometers from Christchurch, caused the partial collapse of the cathedral's spire. This earthquake originated at a shallow depth and ruptured to the surface along the Hope Fault, west of Hammer Springs. This was the first scientific observation of strike-slip faulting.
    From The how, what and where of an earthquake by Warwick Smith.

    The North Cantebury earthquake of September 1, 1888 by H.A. Cowan. (PDF)

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