About 1.4 million earthquakes occur every year – 100 of which cause damage on average.
Predicting the outcome of earthquakes is impossible, although mapping their geographical likelihood is feasible.
The "Ring of Fire" – a horseshoe-shaped band of volcanoes and fault lines circling the edges of the Pacific Ocean – is where most of the largest earthquakes happen.
Central China suffered the world's deadliest recorded earthquake, which killed about 830,000 in 1556.
The largest recorded earthquake was in Chile in 1960. It measured 9.5 on the Richter scale.
Quakes generally occur at depths of less than 80km from the Earth's surface.
Evidence of earthquakes date back to 1831BC, in China's Shandong province.
Source: The US Geological Survey