The 1995 Kobe earthquake highlighted Japan's lack of disaster preparation
Earthquakes have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the last 100 years and improvements in technology have only slightly reduced the death toll.
27 February 2010 - 700
A magnitude 8.8 earthquake hits central Chile north-east of the second city, Concepcion. Within 48 hours more than 700 people were confirmed killed.
12 January 2010 - 230.000
About 230,000 die in and around the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes the city.
6 April 2009 - 300
An earthquake hits the historic Italian city of L'Aquila, killing about 300 people.
29 October 2008 -300
Up to 300 people are killed in the Pakistani province of Balochistan after an earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck 70km (45 miles) north of Quetta.
12 May 2008: -87.000
Up to 87,000 people are killed or missing and as many as 370,000 injured by an earthquake in just one county in China's south-western Sichuan province.
The tremor, measuring 7.8, struck 92km (57 miles) from the provincial capital Chengdu during the early afternoon.
15 August 2007: - 519
At least 519 people are killed in Peru's coastal province of Ica, as a 7.90-magnitude undersea earthquake strikes about 145km (90 miles) south-east of the capital, Lima.
17 July 2006: - 650
A 7.7 magnitude undersea earthquake triggers a tsunami that strikes a 200km (125-mile) stretch of the southern coast of Java, killing more than 650 people on the Indonesian island.
27 May 2006: - 5.700
More than 5,700 people die when a magnitude 6.2 quake hits the Indonesian island of Java, devastating the city of Yogyakarta and surrounding areas.
1 April 2006: - 70
Seventy people are killed and some 1,200 injured when an earthquake measuring 6.0 strikes a remote region of western Iran.
8 October 2005: - 73.000
An earthquake measuring 7.6 strikes northern Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir region, killing more than 73,000 people and leaving millions homeless.
28 March 2005: - 1.300
About 1,300 people are killed in an 8.7 magnitude quake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Nias, west of Sumatra.
22 February 2005: 100s
Hundreds die in a 6.4 magnitude quake centred in a remote area near Zarand in Iran's Kerman province.
26 December 2004: 250.000
Hundreds of thousands are killed across Asia when an earthquake measuring 9.2 triggers sea surges that spread across the region.
24 February 2004: 500
At least 500 people die in an earthquake which strikes towns on Morocco's Mediterranean coast.
26 December 2003: 26.000
More than 26,000 people are killed when an earthquake destroys the historic city of Bam in southern Iran.
21 May 2003: 2.000
Algeria suffers its worst earthquake in more than two decades. More than 2,000 people die and more than 8,000 are injured in a quake felt across the sea in Spain.
1 May 2003: 160
More than 160 people are killed, including 83 children in a collapsed dormitory, in south-eastern Turkey.
24 February 2003: 260
More than 260 people die and almost 10,000 homes are destroyed in Xinjiang region, in western China.
31 October 2002:
Italy is traumatised by the loss of an entire class of children, killed in the southern village of San Giuliano di Puglia when their school building collapses on them.
26 January 2001: 20.000
An earthquake measuring magnitude 7.9 devastates much of Gujarat state in north-western India, killing nearly 20,000 people and making more than a million homeless. Bhuj and Ahmedabad are among the towns worst hit.
12 November 1999: 400
Around 400 people die when an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale strikes Ducze, in north-west Turkey.
21 September 1999: 2.500
Taiwan is hit by a quake measuring 7.6 that kills nearly 2,500 people and causes damage to every town on the island.
17 August 1999: 17.000
An magnitude 7.4 earthquake rocks the Turkish cities of Izmit and Istanbul, leaving more than 17,000 dead and many more injured.
30 May 1998: 4.000
Northern Afghanistan is hit by a major earthquake, killing 4,000 people.
May 1997: 1.600
More than 1,600 killed in Birjand, eastern Iran, in an earthquake of magnitude 7.1.
27 May 1995: 1989
The far eastern island of Sakhalin is hit by a massive earthquake, measuring 7.5, which claims the lives of 1,989 Russians.
17 January 1995: 6.430
The Hyogo quake hits the city of Kobe in Japan, killing 6,430 people.
30 September 1993:
About 10,000 villagers are killed in western and southern India.
21 June 1990: 40.000
Around 40,000 people die in a tremor in the northern Iranian province of Gilan.
7 December 1988: 25.000
An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale devastates north-west Armenia, killing 25,000 people.
19 September 1985: 10.000
Mexico City is shaken by a huge earthquake which razes buildings and kills 10,000 people.
28 July 1976: 250.000
The Chinese city of Tangshan is reduced to rubble in a quake that claims at least 250,000 lives.
23 December 1972: 10.000
Up to 10,000 people are killed in the Nicaraguan capital Managua by an earthquake that measures 6.5 on the Richter scale. The devastation caused by the earthquake was blamed on badly built high-rise buildings that easily collapsed.
31 May 1970: 66.000
An earthquake high in the Peruvian Andes triggers a landslide burying the town of Yungay and killing 66,000 people.
26 July 1963: 1.000
An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale strikes the Macedonian capital of Skopje killing 1,000 and leaving 100,000 homeless.
22 May 1960:
The world's strongest recorded earthquake devastates Chile, with a reading of 9.5 on the Richter scale. A tsunami 30ft (10m) high eliminates entire villages in Chile and kills 61 hundreds of miles away in Hawaii.
1 September 1923:142.800
The Great Kanto earthquake, with its epicentre just outside Tokyo, claims the lives of 142,800 people in the Japanese capital.
18 April 1906: 3.000
San Francisco is hit by a series of violent shocks which last up to a minute. Between 700 and 3,000 people die either from collapsing buildings or in the subsequent fire.