The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku was the most
10. Islamabad, Pakistan
Pakistan’s capital lies on an active fault line, according to a paper issued by two universities suggesting an updated building code. A report issued in 2011 said that an earthquake of 6.2 on the Richter scale was likely to hit Islamabad.
The National Earthquake Information Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, in an interview with CNBC, included Islamabad on its list of regions at high risk of earthquake damage. The city lies on the Main Boundary Thrust in the northern part of the country, where a 2005 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Kashmir killed at least 86,000 people and injured more than 69,000.
9. Lima, Peru
Peru’s capital suffered a massive earthquake in 1746 that spurred a tsunami that killed all but 200 of 5,000 inhabitants in the nearby port of Callao. The city is believed to be at risk of another deadly earthquake and tsunami combo.
About 170 earthquakes are felt annually in Peru, where a major fault lies near Lima’s coast. There is a risk of a shallow earthquake hitting Lima directly, a concern because of the amount of buildings including adobe homes not expected to withstand an earthquake.
8. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s capital, the ninth largest city in the world, is prone to many natural disasters including earthquakes. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake in nearby Nepal that killed more than 2,300 people affected Dhaka, which is in a high-risk zone for earthquakes.
A 2010 study showed that a 6-magnitude quake in Dhaka could destroy 78,323 buildings, a 7.5-magnitude increasing that to 72,316 buildings. The study states at least 10 major hospitals and 90 schools in the city would be destroyed in a 7.5-magnitude quake.
7. Jakarta, Indonesia
Indonesia’s capital lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The danger is doubled because almost half of the city is below sea level, which means the soil is soft and could turn to liquid of a big enough earthquake happened. A major earthquake could put about 17.7 million lives at risk.
6. Tehran, Iran
Tehran lies on the Northern Anatolian fault, considered one of the world’s most dangerous. The city has not had an earthquake since 1830, and seismologists believe another one is coming. The 13.6 million population of Tehran could be at risk. Estimates predict half a million people could die in a major Tehran earthquake, convincing the government to suggest at least 5 million people should leave the city.
5. Los Angeles, United States
The U.S. Geological Survey has increased its estimates of an 8.0 or greater earthquake striking California in the next three decades. It’s now 7 percent likely compared to 4.7 percent and could affect one of Los Angeles’ multiple faults, affecting the United States second-most populous city.
A study by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, researching the ground after 2014’s 5.1-magnitude La Habra quake, predicts an earthquake with a magnitude of 5 to 6.3 could happen in less than three years. The study places it at a 99.9 percent risk while the U.S. Geological Survey puts the risk at closer to 85 percent. The USGS and others have questioned the study.
4. Manilla, Philippines
Philippines’ capital is no stranger to risky weather including tsunamis. Manilla lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire, prone to both earthquakes and volcanoes. Estimates state as many as 16.8 million people could experience injury, death or damage if an earthquake more than a 6-magnitude one struck the city. The potential death toll is as high as 35,000. The danger doesn’t stop at deaths. If Manilla was destroyed, it’s believed that such a loss could weaken the country’s economy.
3. Istanbul, Turkey
Earthquakes killed more than 100,000 people in Turkey in the 20th century and the risk isn’t over. A 2000 study predicts there’s more than a 60 percent chance of an earthquake, at least 7-magnitude striking Istanbul by 2030. The risk is estimated at 2 percent annually, similar to the cities of San Francisco and Tokyo.
Istanbul is located on the North Anatolian fault line. About 120 earthquakes have struck Istanbul and the surrounding area in the past 2,000 years.
2. San Francisco, United States
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed about 3,000 people in San Francisco in 1908. Is another one likely? Very much so, according to a U.S. Geological Survey that predicts a 99.7 percent change of a 6-7-magnitude or larger somewhere in California by 2038. The report estimates a 63 percent chance of one hitting San Francisco, which lies along the both the San Andreas and Hayward faults.
1. Tokyo, Japan
Lloyd’s of London international insurance market ranks Tokyo as the second-riskiest city in the world in danger of natural disasters in the world, with only Taipei ahead of it. Risks of volcanic eruptions, heat waves, and wind storms like typhoons are on the list, but so are earthquakes.
Japan already has a name for the next big quake, with plans to call it the Tokai earthquake. Scientists predict it will be in an area along the Pacific Ocean about a hundred miles southwest of Tokyo. The death toll is estimated at between 7,900 and 9,200 people if it happens during the early morning.