Messina Italy, 1908

Earthquake & Tsunami

December 28, 1908

Earthquakes occur when tectonic plates go through a shift, causing vibrations to echo through the earth. Depending on the type of shift, location and severity of the earthquake, a tsunami may occur.

Shake and Quake

Monday, Dec. 28th 1908 at 5:15am

Messina & Reggio Calabria, Italy

On that dreadful, rainy Monday morning, an earthquake struck southern Italy. Most citizens were in bed asleep, only to be trapped and left to die. 90% of buildings collapsed, and an estimated 100,000 people were killed.

Get The Facts

*The main shock lasted about 20 seconds.

*90% of buildings destroyed

*Telegraph & railway lines were damaged upon impact

*Near 100,000 people killed

*Repairs cost $86,342,700

*USA, Great Britain, Russian, and French forces aided in rescue

*Reached 7.5 on the Richter scale


Despite Italy being an earthquake-prone place, their preparedness is very poor. However, Italian government officials seem to have learned from a more recent earthquake where newer buildings crumbled to the ground just as easily as the historical ones. Thankfully, Italy has increased their resources and become better equipped to handle such situations.