Morbid Fact Du Jour For January 2, 2017

Today’s Destructive Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The earthquake centered on Hausien in the Shensi (or Shaanxi) province of China on the night of January 23, 1556 is thought to be the worst natural disaster in recorded history in terms of lives lost. Estimated to be of a magnitude 8.0 to 8.3 on the Richter scale, it devastated ninety-eight counties and eight provinces of Central China.

The destruction spanned an area of five hundred square miles, and in some counties the average death toll was sixty percent of the population. A total of 830,000 people lost their lives according to imperial records. This was because many lived in poorly constructed houses whose roofs collapsed or artificial caves dug in cliffs in the plateau of the loess, or soft clay, formed over millions of years by silt blown there from the Gobi Desert 200 miles to the northwest.

Examples of the Shaanxi cave dwellings

The earthquake also struck at night when most people were indoors, ensuring a higher death toll. Survivors of the initial quakes also found themselves victims of subsequent fires, landslides and floods caused, in part, by the quake. The tremor was so big that people felt it in over half of China.

Culled from: 100 Catastrophic Disasters


Morbid Trinket Du Jour!

I went wine tasting at the Klinker Brick Winery in Lodi a few days ago and tried their “Old Ghost” wine. While the wine itself was quite nice, I was most taken by the pourer – and I’m sure you can see why!  I think I need this in my life!

Available from Menagerie.  Check out their other pourers too!

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