The Damghan Earthquake was an earthquake of magnitude 8.0, that struck a 200-mile (320 km) stretch of Iran on 22 December, 856 A.D. The earthquake's epicenter was said to be directly below the city of Damghan, which was then the capital of Iran.
It caused approximately 200,000 deaths, making it the fifth deadliest earthquake in recorded history. The earthquake was caused by the Alpide earthquake belt, a name for the geologic force that created a mountain range named the Alpide belt, which is among the most seismically active areas on earth.
On December 22, 856, an earthquake of magnitude 8 struck the city of Damghan, at that time the capital of the area we now know as Iran.
While the earthquake was centered on Damghan and destroyed most of that city, damage to neighboring areas extended east and west over a two hundred mile stretch of countryside. Every village in this area was destroyed. One third of the town of Bustam, about fifty miles east of Damghan, collapsed. In mountain areas close to the center of the earthquake the surface of the ground parted in several places. Overall, 200,000 people lost their lives. The memory of the event was so vivid that, two generations later, detailed memories of all that had happened were still being recounted.
Iran has always been highly susceptible to earthquakes due to its location along fault lines. The 856 Damghan earthquake, which cost an estimated 200,000 lives, was the most devastating in the nation’s history. The 2004 Bam earthquake was a vivid reminder of the havoc wreaked by this massive calamity more than a millennium ago
Damghan earthquake of 856 In the Iranian town of Damghan, which sits atop the Alpide earthquake belt, was struck by a massive quake which is believed to have killed over 200,000. Magnitude unknown