Segments in this Video

Tangshan Quake (02:45)


Earthquakes cause the most destruction of all natural disasters. In 1976, 243,000 Chinese citizens were killed by a large earthquake. Nearly all residential buildings and transport infrastructure were destroyed, but authorities refused outside help.

"The Innocents Abroad": Amphitheater of Pompeii (03:57)

Doc, Mark, and Julia ride horses on an Italian beach. The group visits an ancient amphitheater in Pompeii.

"The Innocents Abroad": Athens, Greece (08:39)

Greece issues a medical quarantine for ships sailing from Italy. Mark steals a dinghy and rows Doc, Blucher, and Julia to shore, where they visit the Parthenon.

Ancash Earthquake (01:21)

In 1970, a 7.9 quake occurred 20 miles off the Peruvian coast. The shock wave struck a 350 mile stretch between Trujillo and Lima. The fishing village of Chimbote was worst hit; 3,000 residents died.

Ancash Avalanche (02:39)

An earthquake shock wave collapsed Mt. Huascarán's northern wall, triggering a massive avalanche that buried Yungay and Ranrahirca—killing tens of thousands.

"The Innocents Abroad": Russia (07:45)

Mark has to re-write all the missing reports for his editor. The ship passengers are ceremoniously received by the Russian tsar.

Ring of Fire (03:17)

Most devastating earthquakes occur along an area circling the Pacific Basin. The South American plate is moving over the Nazca plate, causing quakes further inland. A 2007 event measured 7.9 and killed 400. Yungay has been declared a national cemetery.

Nicaragua Earthquake (02:23)

In 1972, Managua was struck by a 6.2 tremor that destroyed 75% of the city and set off fires. Communication problems delayed rescue efforts.

Nicaragua Rescue Efforts (03:12)

International aid couldn't bury bodies fast enough and disease spread. Authorities ordered survivors to leave Managua. The 6.2 magnitude quake's shallow epicenter and poorly constructed buildings caused greater damage.

"The Innocents Abroad": Holy Land (08:42)

The ship passengers visit the Holy Land; Mark is not impressed. Mark's editor does not like his critical writing, but the public loves it.

"The Innocents Abroad": Publishing Offer (02:40)

Mark receives news that a publisher wants to publish Mark's travel stories. The ship captain admits that he destroyed Mark's reports.

"The Innocents Abroad": Egypt (06:28)

Mark has affections for Julia, but learns that Julia plans to wed Doc. Mark receives consolation and advice from the tour guide.

Credits: The Innocents Abroad (02:02)

Credits: The Innocents Abroad

Gujarat Relief Efforts (02:08)

The Indian government distributed supplies to survivors and troops tried to dig victims out of collapsed buildings, but the death toll was estimated at 25,000.

Poor Building Construction (02:55)

Colliding Endo-Australian and Eurasian plates have created the Himalayas and caused the Gujarat earthquake. Intersecting fault lines increased damage in Bhuj. Building industry corruption resulted in greater collapse rates.

Earthquake Warning Efforts (02:48)

After the Gujarat disaster, the Indian press called for an earthquake awareness program and improved emergency response measures. Seismographs can't predict seismic activity, but detect tremors and have notified populations near volcanoes of impending eruptions.

Credits: Shattered Countries: The World's Worst Disasters (00:50)

Credits: Shattered Countries: The World's Worst Disasters

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Shattered Countries: The World's Worst Disasters

Part of the Series : The World's Worst Disasters
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



Earthquakes have the power to reduce towns to rubble, are unpredictable and unstoppable, and can also result in landslides and avalanches. The worst earthquake in 500 years occurred on 28 July 1976 when the Chinese city of Tangshan was destroyed, killing an estimated 250,000 people. This program looks at some of the world’s deadliest seismic events, ranging from Peru to Nicaragua and from Guatemala to India. Footage shows not only the effect of the earthquake, but also how emergency teams risk their own lives looking for survivors. Compelling graphics show how earthquakes start deep underground, sending shockwaves to the surface. It also explains why earthquakes are more likely to occur in certain parts of the world than others. A BBC Production.

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: FPT95241

ISBN: 978-1-68272-348-7

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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