Messina: Europe’s deadliest earthquake and tsunami

In 1908, on approximately 5:20 AM the Earth shook around the city of Messina, Italy and the region surrounding it. The earthquake was so strong that it was felt within a 300-kilometer (186-mile) radius. It levelled almost all of Messina to the ground. It’s estimated that more than 75,000 lost their lives in the city. Approximately 25,000 died in other cities.

As if the devastating earthquake was not enough, nature had something more in store. A 12-meter (39-foot) tsunami hit the several Italian beaches and killed several thousand more unlucky earthquake survivors. Although there are not accurate numbers, it is possible that over 100,000 lost their lives in this calamity. One thing is certain: The Messina earthquake still is the most deadly European earthquake in known history.


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Information sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1908_Messina_earthquake

Image Sources:

Underwood & Underwood – “The once beautiful Water-front after the earthquake. Digging for bodies. Messina, Sicily, Italy“. Stereo card. © 1908, catalogue # 10495.

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