This is a list of disasters in China by death toll.


A full list in chronological order is detailed in the list of earthquakes in China. Among which, the most fatal ones were:

Date Article Province Deaths Notes
25 September 1303 Hongdong earthquake Shanxi 270,000 [1]
23 January 1556 Huaxian earthquake Shaanxi 100,000+ [2]
16 December 1920 Haiyuan earthquake Ningxia 265,000 [3]
27 July 1976 Tangshan earthquake Hebei 300,000+ [4][5]


A full list in chronological order is detailed in the list of famines in China. The most fatal ones were:

Name; area Deaths Causes
Great Chinese Famine of 1958–62


15–55 million Great Leap Forward economic failure. The starved could not move out because all out-of-town traffic were guarded by militia to contain the news of starvation.[7]
Chinese famine of 1876–79
  • Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan.[8]
9–13 million Drought
Chinese famine of 1928–30
  • Gansu, Shaanxi.[9]
6 million Drought


A full list in chronological order is detailed in the list of fires in China. The most fatal ones were:

Date/location Article Deaths, Injured Causes
6 January 1878, Tianjin Great fire of Tianjin soup kitchen 2000, ? [10] The gate of the soup kitchen was always locked to prevent hunger from causing social unrest, which prevented evacuation in case of fire.
18 February 1977, Khorgas, Xinjiang 61st Regiment Farm fire 694, 161 [11] Most deaths were the troops' children. At Chinese New Year, a child set off a firecracker and ignited the wreaths for the funeral of Mao Zedong, which for many months no one dared to dispose of for fear of being accused of disrespecting.
12 August 2015, Tianjin 2015 Tianjin explosions 173 A series of explosions at the Port of Tianjin in Tianjin, northern China, killed 173 people.


A full list in chronological order is detailed in the list of floods in China. The most fatal ones were:

Article Province Deaths Notes
1887 Yellow River flood Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu 930,000 [12]
1975 Banqiao dam failure Henan, Anhui 230,000 This dam failure was a landmark technological failure in the 20th century.[13]
1931 China floods Jiangsu 150,000 More deaths caused by the flood-led famine.[14]

See also


  1. ^ 徐岳仁; 何宏林; 李文巧; 张伟恒; 田勤俭 (2018). "1303 年洪洞地震宏观震中修订的新证据" [New evidences for amendment of macro-epicenter location of 1303AD Hongtong earthquake]. 地震地质. 40 (5): 948.
  2. ^ China Earthquake Administration, ed. (2008). 地震知识百问百答 [100 Q&As on Earthquakes]. 地震出版社. Archived from the original on 2009-05-09. 实则直接死于地震的只有十数万人,其余70余万人均死于瘟疫和饥荒 [Actually, direct deaths from earthquake amount to 100,000-odd, the remaining 700,000-odd died from plagues and famine]
  3. ^ 张思源 (2013). "1920年海原大地震死亡人数考析". 西夏研究 (1): 119.
  4. ^ 王瓒玮 (2016-07-28). "唐山大地震四十年:反思与"记忆"". 东方历史评论. Reprinted as: 王瓒玮 (2016-07-28). "唐山大地震40年:从死亡人数到天灾还是人祸仍是一地鸡毛". Jiemian. Archived from the original on 2021-01-15. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  5. ^ 夏明方 (2020). "家庭的解体与重生:历史视野下的唐山大地震". 文明的“双相”——灾害与历史的缠绕. 广西师范大学出版社. p. 79.
  6. ^ 曹树基 (2005). 大饥荒:1959-1961年的中国人口. Hong Kong: 時代國際出版. pp. 46, 67, 117, 150. ISBN 9789889828233. Archived from the original on 2016-02-11. An excerpt is published as: 曹树基 (2005). "1959-1961年中国的人口死亡及其成因". 中国人口科学 (1).
  7. ^ 文贯中; 刘愿 (2010). "从退堂权的失而复得看"大跃进"饥荒的成因和教训" (PDF). 经济学(季刊). 9 (3): 1102.
  8. ^ 刘仁团 (2001). "光绪大灾对北方人口的影响". In 曹树基 (ed.). 中国人口史 第5卷: 清时期. 复旦大学出版社. pp. 601, 677, 687–689.
  9. ^ Li, Lillian M. (2007). Fighting Famine in North China: State, Market, and Environmental Decline, 1690s–1990s (PDF). Stanford: Stanford University Press. p. 304. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2021-12-27. In Gansu the estimated mortality was 2.5 to 3 million in an already sparsely populated province of only 6 million people. In Shaanxi, out of a population of 13 million, an estimated 3 million died of hunger or disease
  10. ^ 李文海. "光绪3年天津粥厂大火事件:保生粥厂不"保生"". 中国文化报. Archived from the original on 2021-12-16.
  11. ^ "一九七七年 六十一团那场大火" [The great fire to the 61st Regiment in 1977]. Yili Evening News. 2007-02-26. p. B06. Archived from the original on 2021-01-09.
  12. ^ 汤其成; 李秀云 (1995). "水圈中的自然灾害" [Natural disaster in the Hydrosphere]. In 王劲峰 (ed.). 中国自然灾害区划——灾害区划、影响评价、减灾对策. Beijing: 中国科学技术出版社. p. 41.
  13. ^ "75·8板桥水库溃坝 20世纪最大人类技术灾难". Phoenix Television. 2012-09-03. Archived from the original on 2020-03-23.
  14. ^ Courtney, Chris (2018). The Nature of Disaster in China The 1931 Yangzi River Flood. Cambridge University Press. pp. 249–250.