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Biggest Tsunami Countdown #4
A collapsed masonry wall in the Messina-Reggio aftermath.
Photo Credit: Karl V. Steinbrugge Collection,
Earthquake Engineering Research Center.

Biggest Tsunami Countdown #4:
The 1908 Messina-Reggio Earthquake

On the early morning of December 28, 1908, the Italian city of Messina awoke to the deadliest earthquake in European history. Striking just days after Christmas in the Straits of Messina, the 7.2 (
USGS) magnitude quake shook for nearly 30 seconds, toppling several story buildings and burying alive it's occupants. Minutes later, the tsunami came, measuring somewhere between 20 to 40 feet high. The waves were gradually followed by smaller ones, until the water finally subsided. Source: The Messina-Reggio Earthquake - A Family Tale

When it was over, the city of Messina, which only had a population of 150,000, had been entirely destroyed, along with the nearby city of Reggio di Calabria, and other outlying areas. It is estimated that the combined earthquake and tsunami killed almost 100,000 people, that fateful December morning. Source:
Sicilian History & Sicilian Culture Because of the advent of World War I, much of the area never had a chance to fully recover. Source: The Messina-Reggio Earthquake - A Family Tale

Since the quake had hit so close to land, the tsunami had little else to go but land, making it #4 in our biggest tsunami countdown.

To learn more about the Italian Messina-Reggio Earthquake of 1908, please visit the following websites:

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