Shaanxi Province China
Shaanxi comprises the Wei River Valley and much of the surrounding fertile Loess Plateau, stretching from the Qin Mountains and Shannan in the south to the Ordos Desert in the north.
Along with areas of adjacent Shanxi and Henan, it formed the cradle of Chinese civilization, with its Guanzhong region sheltering the capitals of the Zhou, Qin, Han, Jin, Sui, and Tang dynasties.
The Wei River (Center : Left to Right) is the largest tributary of the Yellow River and very important in the early development of Chinese civilization.
a Day in History : January 23 1556
During the Ming Dynasty, the Shaanxi earthquake (华县大地震) was the deadliest on record, killing approximately 830,000 people.
In the annals of China it was described in this manner:
In the winter of 1556, an earthquake catastrophe occurred in the Shaanxi and Shanxi Provinces. In our Hua County, various misfortunes took place. Mountains and rivers changed places and roads were destroyed. In some places, the ground suddenly rose up and formed new hills, or it sank abruptly and became new valleys. In other areas, a stream burst out in an instant, or the ground broke and new gullies appeared. Huts, official houses, temples and city walls collapsed all of a sudden.
The earthquake's epicenter was in the Wei River Valley in Shaanxi Province, near the cities of Huaxian, Weinan and Huayin.
An 840-kilometre-wide (520 mi) area was destroyed, and in some counties as much as 60% of the population was killed.
Most of the population in the area at the time lived in yaodongs, artificial caves in loess cliffs, many of which collapsed with catastrophic loss of life.
In Huaxian, every single building and home was demolished, killing more than half the residents of the city, with a death toll estimated in the hundreds of thousands. The situation in Weinan and Huayin was similar. In certain areas, 20-metre (66 ft) deep crevices opened in the earth. Destruction and death were everywhere, affecting places as far as 500 kilometres (310 mi) from the epicenter.
The earthquake also triggered landslides, which contributed to the massive death toll. The rupture occurred during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Therefore, in the Chinese historical record, this earthquake is often referred to as the Jiajing Great Earthquake.
- Geo-Historical Text : Wikipedia
- Calculations : WolframAlpha Pro
- Satellite Imagery: ESRI ArcGIS
Overlay Source Image: NASA Johnson