Haiti homes damaged by earthquake.

Port-au-Prince homes damaged and destroyed by the Haitian earthquake. (Jorge Cruz / AP Photo)

By Frank James

Obviously, we won't know the number of dead in Haiti but from what we know the number of dead is likely to be mind-boggling in what appears to be a disaster of epic dimensions.

Even though it's too soon to know where Tuesday's Haiti earthquake ranks among natural disasters, it's not too soon to remind ourselves of what of some of the largest disasters have been.

The LiveScience website has a list of what it says are the "15 worst disasters of all time."

Unfortunately, I found a problem with the list right off the bat. It doesn't include the 2008 Sichuan , China earthquake which killed 87,587 people. How did the list maker miss that one, still fresh in recent memory?

In any event, even with that oversight, I pass the list along since it includes some ancient disasters worth knowing about, like the Shaanzi, China earthquake of 1556 which is said to have killed 830,000 people.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Geological Survey has a list of the largest, deadliest earthquakes between 1990 and 2009. It also has a list of the world's deadliest earthquakes since 1900.

categories: Accidents and Disasters

2:10 - January 13, 2010