In October 1989 the Loma Prieta earthquake struck California with a force equal to 7.1 on the Richter scale, claiming more than 60 lives.
In February 1997, an earthquake struck north-western Iran, tearing apart rural areas and claiming 1000 lives. This earthquake was roughly one-fortieth Loma Prieta’s strength1 — but it killed more than 16 times as many people.
Three months later, a stronger tremor, exactly equal in force to the California quake, again struck Iran – this time in the east, killing a further 1,000 people.
There’s much that is unnatural in how natural disasters claim lives. [...]