Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Top Ten Most Earthquake Damage Prone Cities


10. Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta and much of Indonesia suffered from a major earthquake earlier this year, in September. Though there weren’t too many reported deaths, thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed. There was another bad one back in 2007. Jakarta, and the rest of Indonesia, is a densely populated place. Many of the homes aren’t earthquake proof because they are flimsy and could topple onto each other. Indonesia is also prone to tsunamis, so it’s not the place to go if you fear natural disasters.

9. Izmir, Turkey

Turkey is known for having small to moderate earthquakes as a daily occurrence. The city of Izmir is located on the West coast of Turkey, which is the part of the country that is most earthquake prone. There were some major quakes back in 2005. There was another serious one back in 1999.


8. Mexico City, Mexico

Central Mexico is prone to earthquakes, and Mexico city is very densely populated with many poorly designed structures. There was a major quake earlier this year, in April, which killed about 149 people, but Mexico City didn’t get as much damage as some other nearby places. This doesn’t protect this danger from the future, however. There was a historic earthquake back in 1985 that was an 8.1 on the Richter scale, and killed about 10,000 people. Mexico City also suffers from horrible air pollution.

7. San Salvador, El Salvador

This small country suffers from a lot of earthquakes, which often result in death, due to its dense population. There were some serious ones back in 2001, with a few earthquakes that went above a 5 on the Richter scale. They often result in dangerous landslides. Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed, and there were hundreds of deaths. There was also a very serious one in 1917.

6. Islamabad, Pakistan

Back in 2005, there was an earthquake that broke a 7.6. As a result, thousands of people were killed by mudslides or buildings collapsing. Islamabad is very densely populated, and also suffers from terrorism, so it’s not the safest place to be in a few different ways.

5. Manila, Philippines

Earlier this year, in September, the Philippines suffered from an earthquake that shook a 6.1 magnitude, but it was more felt in other regions of the country. The Philippines have about 20 earthquakes every day, but not all of them are felt. The city of Manila has an active fault on the northeast end of its metropolitan area. It’s very populated with a lot of run down areas, and a big quake could occur at any time.

4. Quito, Ecuador

There was a historic earthquake in Quito back in 1859, and it caused many famous historic and monumental buildings to be destroyed, among hundreds of homes. There was also another huge earthquake in 1949 that killed about 6,000 people. At these times, Quito was much less populated than it is today. Some city planners and engineers are researching what to do about this problem.

3. Delhi, India

Delhi, the capital of India, is in an unfortunate spot, as it’s on a ridge that is prone to earthquakes. There are many buildings close together in Delhi, so a quake could cause a lot of damage. Most deaths would result from buildings collapsing. In 2006, there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1, but it wasn’t too severe. Earthquakes are pretty common, but not always felt. The potential problem is more of the zoning of the city.


2. Istanbul, Turkey

This city is over one of the most active seismic fault lines on earth, the North Anatolian. This could potentially rock the city to magnitudes of 8 and up. Many scientists are very wary about this possibility. Istanbul is home to over 12 million people, many of whom live in crowded, run-down conditions with poor planning for such disasters. The city, like much of Izmir and much of Turkey, was affected by the quake back in 1999. It is estimated that there will be a severe earthquake by the year 2030, according to scientific calculations. This is because the African and Arabian plates are moving up, but the Eurasian plate is pushing down. Istanbul is famous for being a crossing roads of world cultures, but unfortunately suffers from some geologic setbacks from such continents.


1. Kathmandu, Nepal

This city is located in one of the world’s most active seismic zones, but most of the buildings are not prepared for it. If something happens, tens of thousands of people living in this highly packed urban area will likely die. Its seismic risk is increasing annually, as construction practices are lax and the population continues to grow at an annual rate of 6.5%; people sprawl out along the terrain. There were huge earthquakes in the past with intense damage, but earthquakes of such magnitudes will have even more fatal effects in the future. In the 20th century, there were about 11,000 deaths as a result of earthquakes in Nepal. Many of the temples and other buildings in the Kathmandu Valley are also vulnerable to damage by earthquakes.


9 thoughts on “Top Ten Most Earthquake Damage Prone Cities

  1. Now the Nepalese government will have to think about this catastrophe .The government should have to do a proper plan and how to reduce more casualties .Nepalese people will also have to more concern about this subject because it will happen when we dont know but it happen so all nepalese people will have to serious in this matter

  2. Welcome earthquake to nepal and destroy all the houses and livelihood of nepaleses politicians…..FCUK them.

  3. We are at the top of the list and nepalese government is not even prepared for the rescue and post event activities…

  4. As we know kathmandu is one of the most dangerous cities (from the point of view of earthquake), government of Nepal most be careful about this,it should be proactive. Government should arouse now, if not then when???

  5. Thanks for the information! I needed it for a Geography – Disaster Management – Fact File. I was doing it a day before I had to submit it. I was in a big hurry and this was the first search option I clicked and I got everything I needed. Everything seems super accurate. Thanks! Finally I’m done with my Fact File.

  6. Quito is an attractive city, but after this last quake on August 12, 2014, and after reading this incredible article with information I was not aware of, I am seriously thinking about moving to another city! God have mercy on us!!!

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