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Is it true that earthquakes often strike on the 26th?

India TV News Desk 26 Oct 2015, 19:14:36 IST
India TV News Desk

Many regions of Northern India were jolted by an earthquake on Monday, killing numerous people across Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the epicentre lay.

The date happens to be October 26th. This had led some sources to dig up an old factoid that several major earthquakes and tsunamis around the world have arrived on the 26th of the month.

The Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004 was followed by a tsunami, devastating many parts of Asia. The disaster, which killed at least 230,000 people in 14 countries, struck on December 26th.

In 2003, the Kerman province of Iran was flattened by an earthquake which killed over 26,000 people. That also occurred on December 26th.

The earthquake that hit the Kutch region of Gujarat in 2001 took place on January 26, which also happens to be India's Republic Day. It killed almost 20,000 people.
Going further back in time, the 1883 eruption of Mt Krakatoa in present day Indonesia was technically a volcano, not an earthquake. But it too struck on the 26th of August and took over 36,000 lives.

However, once you take a closer look at the figures, it's clear that this is just cherrypicking. In fact, of the top 10 deadliest earthquakes, only one occurred on the 26th: the Indian Ocean quake mentioned above.

As Mark Twain famously said, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics."