One can only imagine the horror of experiencing an earthquake. And millions of people live in areas where the possibility of having that experience is great.
The recent ‘quakes in New Zealand prompted us to seek out stamps on the subject.
Let us not forget that the city of Christchurch, in the region of Canterbury on New Zealand’s South Island, was devastated by an earthquake which killed 185 people in February 2011. The stamp sheet below depicts a cathedral ruined by the event. Incredibly, 4,558 earthquakes were recorded in the Canterbury region above magnitude 3.0 on the Richter measuring scale, from 4 September 2010 to 3 September 2014!
However, the deadliest ‘quake in New Zealand occurred in 1931 in the Hawkes Bay area on North Island, when 256 people lost their lives.
New Zealand issued this 50th anniversary commemorative cover in 1981, see below.
Below is a stamp sheet depicting scenes concerning the 2003 disaster in Bam, Iran which, tragically, resulted in more than 26,000 dying.
One of the greatest disasters to hit the Greek island of Kefalonia was the earthquake of 1953.
It killed 600 and reulted in three-quarters of the island’s population deciding to move elsewhwere.
The 1908 earthquake, possibly the most powerful recorded in Europe, had its epicentre under the Strait of Messina, which separates the island of Sicily from the province of Calabria, the “toe” of Italy’s geographical “boot.” The main shock lasted for more than 20 seconds, and its magnitude reached 7.5 on the Richter scale. The tsunami that followed brought waves estimated to be 13 metres high crashing down on the coasts of northern Sicily and southern Calabria. More than 80,000 people were killed in the disaster.
Italy issued the above stamp to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the disaster.
And around 45,000 people died when an earhquake ripped through Armenia, then part of the Soviet Union, in 1988. Stamps below released by the U.S.S.R.
The stamp above was issued by Nepal in 2015, the year a major ‘quake devastated the capital, Kathmandu, and surrounding areas. Thousands died or were made homeless.
Horrible events, and we musn’t forget there have been hundreds of other major earthquakes in many other parts of the world not commemorated by the issuance of postage stamps.