Talk:1556 Shaanxi earthquake

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Former good article nominee1556 Shaanxi earthquake was a Geography and places good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
July 17, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed

Most devastating?[edit]

List_of_earthquakes has: 1201, Upper Egypt or Syria 1,100,000 deaths. But no details. If this is true, the Shanxi earthquake would only rank as the second most devastating natural disaster on record. dab () 12:23, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC) The most devastating disaster is the the earthquake which took plac in China in 1971 and neither of the above.--Sugreev2001 18:08, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

You're right. A lot of places say the Shanxi earthquake is the most deadly, however the NGDC does list the Egypt quake as 1.1M deaths [1]. The USGS does not have that quake on their list, though, which might be the reason why. --Plutor 12:41, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The upper Egypt and Syria one used to be in Guiness, but was taken off. I think after investigation it turned out that it was a cluster of Earthquakes in 1201 that did the damage rather than a single earthquake plus aftershocks. Or some such, I remember one issue of Guinness had a note about why they removed it.--T. Anthony 18:58, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes. i believe you are right. ~Meldshal42 17:28, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Date?[edit]

The article says 14 February, the ext lk says 2 February, and the quake is listed on the 23 January days-of-the-year page. Hajor 18:34, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

I just noticed that, I think they should all be mentioned in the article until it is clarified Astrokey44 05:03, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
I found this from a translation of the 12th paragraph of this webpage, a report by China's Institute for the History of Natural Science. It insinuates that February 14th is the 23rd day of the first Lunar month:
"the Jiajing 35 years on first lunar month 23 (on February 14, 1556) the night of Henan Deng County, Neisiang"
That would eliminate January 23rd, I think. Or is at least something to consider. --RobbyPrather 17:58, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
My guess is the date discrepancy is people converting from Julian to Gregorian, rightly or wrongly. If you take February 2, 1556 Julian you get January 23rd, 1556 Gregorian. And if you take February 14, 1556 Julian and convert to Gregorian you get February 4, 1556. There's probably more complexity to it as each country converted differently. I bring it up because this event still is listed on the January 23rd page.NeilCoughlin (talk) 05:14, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
It's just the other way around, isnt it? 2 February Gregorian is 23 January Julian.
--Susu the Puschel (talk) 22:07, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Possible Move?[edit]

Are there any other big earthquakes that happened in Shaanxi? Because currently, Shaanxi earthquake redirects here, wouldn't Shaanxi earthquake be a better place for the article? - Hahnchen 16:38, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

I just found a message at a chinese forum site which listed some other earthquakes that happened c.750, c.1300 at Shaanxi, but I dont think theyre commonly known ones. darn it ive lost the thread but it was at [2] Astrokey44 05:33, 7 November 2005 (UTC)
As an unnamed event, the correct name should be "1556 Shaanxi earthquake" or possibly "Shaanxi earthquake of 1556" (compare to 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, 2005 Pakistan earthquake, etc.). "Shaanxi Earthquake" is quite incorrect since "Earthquake" should not be capitalized. The rename is trivial, but unfortunately only an admin can do it because redirects already exist at all of those locations (except "Shaanxi earthquake of 1556", but that one's unnecessarily verbose IMO). Jdorje 23:08, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, I'm an admin, and have made the move, since your points make sense. —Lowellian (reply) 22:48, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Source to look at[edit]

I did a bit of research on Google Print, and here's an academic source which talks about the Shaanxi earthquake:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0442251912/

All the reports are the same-- 830000 deaths, 8.3 Richter scale-- which makes me think they are drawing from a single, 20th century academic source, which itself draws from a single Chinese primary source. Ashibaka (tock) 23:43, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Thats how it seems looking at the google results, I had thought alot of them had come from wikipedia. Theres about 50 different sources that say almost exactly the same thing! Astrokey44 05:34, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

mao[edit]

removed "Mao-Tse-Tung, for example, personally claimed to be responsible for the deaths of over 60 million people." and replaced it with a sentence about the Three Years of Natural Disasters Astrokey44 22:20, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

I took the paragraph out altogether. To what extent the famine was "natural" is certainly a point of dispute. And as disasters come, the famine took about as many lives as the Japanese invasion. Both of these seem to me strange animals to compare an earthquake to. Plus, 830.000 was of course many more per cent of Ming China's population that it would be today. 00.30 January 2006

Some one must have put it back in, I agree that this paragraph should be removed, I don't see how it adds to the article and it smacks of a politcal agenda, even with in it's modified state. An article about thhe Tunguska event would not say, "No one was killed by the meteorite, however 25 million Russians died in the Great Patriotic War." MarcusGraly 17:15, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Still a stub[edit]

I put it as a stub, because it still is. It's just 3 short paragraphs. Needs lots of improvment. --Weirdperson11 21:37, 9 November 2005 (UTC)

Thing is theres almost no detailed info about it on the net. Ive been looking round and I think every scrap of info about the quake now on the net is in this article. Really need someone to find a book about it at a library. Astrokey44 23:26, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
The book I suggested is available at many local libraries, but it seems nobody has gone to take a look. (Personally, I have work to do :) ) Ashibaka (tock) 21:05, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
see http://print.google.com/print?q=shaanxi+earthquake&hl=en --Jiang 03:04, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
thanks for that, I did find a quote from the 'annals of china' which I added to the article. Astrokey44 03:31, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Oh, excellent work! This is probably all the collaboration nominator was after. Ashibaka (tock) 04:42, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
Ok, now its longer, thanks for the Google Print stuff. It does help a lot. --Weirdperson11 20:16, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposed outline[edit]

I've been thinking it would be good to come up with an appropriate outline for this article. Maybe that will help get things rolling and help organize thoughts. So, based loosely on 2005 Kashmir earthquake, I've come up with a proposed outline:


(Intro paragraph)

The earthquake

Information about tectonic plates colliding, approximate epicenter location, aftershocks, etc. Was this one big earthquake or a series of earthquakes? (This section is scientific explanation/description of the earthquake.)

Casualties

Here we detail how many died as a direct result of the earthquake. How many died as an indirect result of the earthquake? Address differing reports on the death toll. A little Information about the loess caves (more detailed info in the Damage section). Any information about numbers injured who survived, if available. Information about rescues (if available). (This section is about how people were effected.)

Damage

Here, information about damage and destruction should be included/detailed. More details about the loess caves. Including the stone classics, steles, Small Wild Goose Pagoda, etc. If known, how did this effect commerce, government, etc.? Is it true that we cannot estimate the damage in monetary terms?

References

All references, including websites, should be listed here.

External links


--RobbyPrather (talk) 15:01, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Unit of area[edit]

The article says "A 520-mile area was destroyed". This is nonsense. Mile is not a unit of area. Thue | talk 13:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

When it says in the first paragraph, "...with great loss of life", would that make it a run-on sentence? it seems so to me...please respond. ((LindVurm))

No. ~Meldshal42 17:30, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

This is still there. is 520 miles the radius of destruction? Also, I don't think the area was destroyed, rather the infrastructure of that area. Kdammers (talk) 04:08, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Also called "Shensi"[edit]

I don't known the protocol with Wikipedia in regard to tranliterations of Chinese words, however the US Geological Survey lists this earthquake as the "Shensi" of January 23, 1556. Not listing this word anywhere in the article keeps it from appearing when one googles the name listed by the USGS. See http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/world/most_destructive.php Theophilus Reed (talk) 01:08, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Ten years later, but perhaps someone else will have the same question: "Shensi" is the old transliteration of the Chinese name, and Shaanxi the new version. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:27, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

There is a tag in the lead that needs to be fixed.

Removed tag per no sources, unnecessary tag anyway. ~Meldshal42 17:25, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

You may want to expand the lead.

Could someone help me find references?

This article is very good. ~Meldshal42 17:25, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I boldly delisted this article, as I don't believe that the proper process was followed. It seems to be a conflict of interest to ask someone to nominate the article so that you can review it (see here). I don't believe the review was sufficient, as there are still obvious problems that need to be fixed before it's ready for GA status. I will leave this as a GA nominee, but I don't believe the next review should be performed by the same editor. GaryColemanFan (talk) 01:53, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:1556 Shaanxi earthquake/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Its an interesting article but I think there are a few improvements to be made. I would remove any spaces or carriage returns after the end of a sentence and before the ref tags, so that each reference is butted up against the last word or punctuation mark to the left - this will make things neater. I think the lead contains slightly too much information, information that could be used in the sections below. Also, the link to the disambiguation page is red - perhaps this is as yet, unnecessary?

I'm not sure exactly what was destroyed from the 520 mile area - I presume property and infrastructure, but could you expand on this? The nuclear weapon quote seems somewhat dubious - is there a recognised method of comparing such disasters to the yield of a nuclear weapon? The cost section makes no mention of it, I would suggest that the nuclear quote should perhaps be in this section, and not the lead. I'm not sure the list of deadliest earthquakes table is required - especially as you have a link to this in the 'see also' section. I think you could also do with a few more references. Parrot of Doom (talk)


Failed "good article" nomination[edit]

This article failed good article nomination. This is how the article, as of July 17, 2008, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: fail - too ambiguous in places, grammar needs tidying up. Please refer to WP:MOS
2. Factually accurate?: pass, although the nuclear weapon comment needs expanding upon, as does the 520 mile wide area (what was destroyed?)
3. Broad in coverage?: fail - the article focusses too much on the immediate impact (deaths), try to expand upon the social impact, loss of infrastructure, time taken to rebuild.
4. Neutral point of view?: pass
5. Article stability? pass
6. Images?: fail - you should find images of the caves and cliffs under discussion, or the area of destruction as it appears today

As in my initial review I think it has promise, however, the article needs to be much more descriptive than it currently is, leaving the reader in no doubt as to exactly what happened, and the scale of the damage, and to be able to visualise the event as it occurred. Please feel free to contact me on my talk page if you wish to discuss this further, once these issues have been dealt with you should resubmit the article for GA review.

When these issues are addressed, the article can be renominated. If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to take it have it reassessed. Thank you for your work so far.— Parrot of Doom (talk) 10:32, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Magnitude scale in use?[edit]

Hello,

I just want to know what magnitude scale was used to measure this earthquake (e.g. richter's, moment of magnitude...) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.103.104.252 (talk) 21:35, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Confusing phrase[edit]

I have just edited the article to clean up the grammar and remove two possible instances of vandalism by abunchofnumbers. I have edited the sentence

The soft loess clay had formed huricans in millions of years due to wind blowing silt to the area from the Gobi Desert.

to

The soft loess clay had formed over millions of years due to wind blowing silt into the area from the Gobi Desert.

"Huricans" does not appear to be a word, but I have very little familiarity with technical terms used in the field of geology, so if there was some nuance that my edit destroyed please feel free to restore the intended meaning. - Greenmango (talk) 03:39, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 05:25, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 2[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 05:25, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

On the reliability of "A History of Civilization in 50 Disasters"[edit]

Regarding:

Eaton, Gale (2015), "Chapter 12: 1556: Deadliest Earthquake Ever Levels Shaanxi", A History of Civilization in 50 Disasters, History in 50, Tilbury House Publishers, ISBN 978-0-88448-407-3.

I deem this source to be unreliable. The material for which it is cited might be true, but the sources Eaton cites (particularly notes 1 and 2, the Encyclopedia Britannica and an archived USGS page, resp.) do not support the content. (The Google Books link does not include the endnotes for Chapter 12, but they were kindly supplied here.) The content there (like the rest of the"History in 50" series) appears to be scraped off the Internet with very shallow sourcing (such as Wikipedia). (For a humorous interlude see this cartoon about where citations come from.)

[Splitting off the rest of this discussion as we have transcended this particular source. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:45, 13 October 2018 (UTC)]

Death toll?[edit]

[Split from the prior section. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:45, 13 October 2018 (UTC)]

It appears that "830,000 dead in Shaanxi" (etc.) has become an "everyone knows" kind of factoid for which no one (?) remembers the original and factual source, and as such I would say fails verification. (Not that we can't use it, but it should be properly qualified.) As far as I can tell the original sources for this quake are in Chinese. It would be definite benefit if someone fluent in Chinese could do a proper search for materials on this quake, and add them to the article. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:02, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

It further appears that the original and authoritative sources for this event are in Chinese. Googling on "site:en.cnki.com.cn 1556 earthquake" returns English-language abstracts of likely relevant articles, but that site is a paywall. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:49, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

The death toll is likely larger than 830,000 which only compiled from identified deaths among government officials as well as the top two household types. This is probably an error made by the author of the History of Ming in which the death toll was said to be merely more than 830,000. From Ming Shilu, Volume 430: On the 39th day of the Sexagenary cycle, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Henan had earthquake at the same time. Sounded like thunder, and caused cock and dog barking. Weinan, Huazhou, Chaoyi in Shaanxi and Puzhou in Shanxi was hit especially hard. Some places had ground crack and fountain pop out with fish, some places had cities or buildings sink into pools, some places had mountains suddenly appear in plains. Some places were hit multiple times a day. The Yellow River and the Huai River were flooded. Mountains Huabing and Zhounan were ringing. The water in Yellow River went clear for a few days. More than 830,000 named deaths from government officials, army and civilians. Retired Defence Minister in Nanjing Han Bangqi, Lead of Court of Imperial Entertainments in Nanjing Ma Li, President of the Nanjing Imperial College Wang Weizhen died on the same day. Unidentified deaths were too many to be counted. --Skyfiler (talk) 15:54, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Interesting, but do we have a verifiable, reliable source to cite? A historical source like this exhibits some of the difficulties with historical sources, where we don't have corroborating sources, don't know the basis of the statement, and there is a question re just what is said. E.g., does "identified dead" mean only bodies to which names could be attached? Or deaths "identified" as being the result of the earthquake? Also, it's been said that in some places 60% of the population died. If all of those were military, government, and the more affluent citizens, there are some curious questions as to the make up of the population. Issues like these require expert assessment, and I would prefer a secondary or tertiary source that summarizes the assessments of experts.
However, we might not need that. I have found what seems to be a suitable source. More on this very soon. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:27, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes 830k is only for those deaths whose identity were found. 830k is pretty much the only estimation around. Xuwenxiantongkao has an estimation of 820k, however the whole sentence is identical to that of History of Ming except a number, so probably just a typo. --Skyfiler (talk) 18:53, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
Is this thesis that the Shaanxi death toll was much greater because the 830,000 number was only of the identified dead based on some citeable authority? Or on your own reading of the historical text? While I will readily allow that you quite likely know these ancient sources (or at least their modern renditions) better than I, still, it seems like a novel idea not supported by published, reliable sources. And therefore WP:OR. (And recognizing the irony that the standard number/interpretation lacks reliable sourcing. But I am making progress on that!)
Along these lines: have you seen Wang Ru-diao's 'Questioning about that "830 Thousand People Died" in the 1556 Huaxian Earthquake'? According to the abstract (link, also here), he concludes that the 830k represents "reduced population in registration, including people died from injuries, illness, starvations, coldness after the shock, and from plague occurred in the next year and disappeared people (including families escaped), rather than the number of people killed directly by the earthquake." He puts the actual death toll at 530k. But he seems to have been ignored. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:36, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
Ming Shilu is the original source and the one I translated. It is as official as you can get, written by the imperial court and quoted in many history books, including the History of Ming, one of the 24 official Chinese history books. The original sentence is 压死官吏军民奏报有名者八十三万有奇 where "reportedly named (奏报有名者)" is right before the 830k number. Another way read the scope limit of the death toll is the 未经奏报者复不可数计 (unidentified deaths were too many to be counted) sentence right after the news about government official deaths. Yes there is no possible way the 830k figure is for building collapse (压死) alone, as the ensuring flood/fire/famine/epidemic etc could easily inflate the death to several millions, which could be more than the local population. The China Earthquake Administration put the direct death toll at between 100k and 200k and blame more than 700k deaths on famine/epidemic[3].
It is probably wrong to use Wang Ru-diao's paper for the total death toll, as the scope of paper is only limited to counties with earthquake scale Ⅷ、Ⅸ、Ⅹ and Ⅺ, and did not consider area affected merely by the resulting flood/famine/epidemic. There are more papers on this in the paper "Research Commentary on Earthquake History in China since 1980s". As for population underreporting in household registrar, it didn't start after or stopped before the earthquake, many of those undocumented are likely those "unidentified deaths were too many to be counted". How underreporting affect the death toll would be an interesting research area, but assuming underreporting rate did not change significantly after the disaster, then the deaths among the undocumented population should be more than those survived documented escapees, as the death rate in hard hit areas were more than 50%.--Skyfiler (talk) 17:11, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Very interesting. I shall have to contemplate on the matter. Meanwhile, could you be inclined to finding the official CEA death toll for the 1976 Longling earthquake and 1976 Songpan–Pingwu earthquake? That would be greatly appreciated. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:52, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
I have updated those artiles with government sources.--Skyfiler (talk) 16:07, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I have some reservations about your sources at Songan (i.e., the Consulate-General's webpage), but I will address those there. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:24, 16 October 2018 (UTC)

IAEG source not available[edit]

In support of the death toll and other details of the 1556 Shaanxi (Huaxian) earthquake, this article (and also 1976 Tangshan earthquake, 1556 in science, and Lists of earthquakes) uses the citation:

  • International Association of Engineering Geology International Congress. Proceedings. [1990] (1990). ISBN 90-6191-664-X.

Quite aside from the defects of the citation itself (missing the author, title, and page range of the paper), there is a problem with the source: I have not found a copy for verification. I am therefore tagging it. If anyone can find a copy (see Resource Request [archived]) please let me know. Even better would be other authoritative sources, but it appears those are in Chinese. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:25, 29 September 2018 (UTC)

I have added Du et al. 2017 (an English translation of a journal article in Chinese; see here) for the death toll. However, it does not entirely replace the IAEG source, as it does not support all of the details for which the IAEG source is cited. ♦ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 01:04, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

The changes made recently to the article were unexplained. One of the citations did not appear to link anywhere and I have been unable to find a paper that matches the details given. For this reason I have reverted these changes until a complete citation appears. Mikenorton (talk) 00:05, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Notwithstanding the discussion further up this page, I have changed the death toll back to 830,000 as that is what the cited sources say. Mikenorton (talk) 14:39, 20 July 2019 (UTC)




everything unhelpful thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.185.249.163 (talk) 20:49, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Historical map[edit]

It doesn't make much sense to have a present-day political map to show a Ming dynasty event, which, on top of that, contradicts the Wikipedia policy of neutrality. It unnecessarily expresses a standpoint manifested in many due to biased media and disregards the official policies by the UN and the governments of some 180 countries, a modern problem. Please leave that out of here. Administrative divisions are well documented by the Ming court and maps certainly available.--91.142.213.109 (talk) 20:24, 25 April 2020 (UTC)

Part of the purpose of such a map is to show the areas that were affected by the earthquake in their modern context, which has nothing to do with neutrality policy. If you are willing to create a map based on the sources that you mention for the provinces during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor, then that would be useful, none appear to be available on Commons. Mikenorton (talk) 11:04, 26 April 2020 (UTC)