23. Streams Suddenly Burst, and Gullies Suddenly Appeared
Things in nearby Huayin and Weinan were also terrible. The Shaanxi Earthquake’s mayhem spread far and wide, causing death and destruction at distances up to 310 miles away from the epicenter. Buildings were damaged as far away as Beijing and Shanghai. There have been other earthquakes that registered far higher on the Richter scale, and that lasted for far longer. None, however, have killed as many people as did the Shaanxi Earthquake of 1556.
As described in the annals of China: “In the winter of 1556, an earthquake catastrophe occurred in the Shaanxi and Shanxi Provinces. In our Hua County, various misfortunes took place. Mountains and rivers changed places and roads were destroyed. In some places, the ground suddenly rose up and formed new hills, or it sank abruptly and became new valleys. In other areas, a stream burst out in an instant, or the ground broke and new gullies appeared. Huts, official houses, temples and city walls collapsed all of a sudden“.