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1354 CE Quake

28 Oct. 1354 CE

by Jefferson Williams









Introduction & Summary

An earthquake was reported to have killed 22 people in Hama, Hims, and Baalbek on 28 Oct. 1354 CE. The earthquake is reported by only one source - Yasin al-'Umari writing about 441 years after the event. Although he wrote late, the specificity of the people reported to have died (e.g., 7 women and 3 men and boys died in Hama) suggests he had access to an earlier source.

Textual Evidence

Text (with hotlink) Original Language Biographical Info Religion Date of Composition Location Composed Notes
al-Athar al-Jallya fl'l-Hawadith al-Ardiya by Yasin al-'Umari Arabic
Biography

Yasin al-'Umari was born in Mosul in 1745 CE and received his education there (Sayyar, 1983:34). He composed more than 17 historical works including al-Athar al-Jallya fl'l-Hawadith al-Ardiya (Sayyar, 1983:34). Sayyar (1983:35-36) describes al-Athar al-Jallya fl'l-Hawadith al-Ardiya (ATH) as follows:

ATH is an annalistic historical work which covers twelve centuries of Islam, beginning with the first year of Hijra, and ending in 1210 A.H. The original manuscript of ATH. was kept in the Library of Madrasat Ahmad Efendi al-Khayyat in Mosul, (No. 19). This copy appeared to have been written by the author himself. It is now lost.
...
Another copy of ATH is preserved in the British Library (Or. 6300) in 248 pages.
Sayyar (1983:55) dates the composition of ATH to 1210 A.H. (7 July 1795 - 25 June 1796 CE) when Yasin al-'Umari was 52 years old. Sayyar (1983:55) also reports that the book took 4 years to write, originally consisted of 273 folios, and there is only one known copy (Or. 6300 in the British Library). Yasin al-'Umari died in 1811 or 1812 CE.

Muslim 1795/6 CE (Sayyar, 1983:55). Mosul
Account

Yasin al-'Umari reports that on 28 Oct. 1354 CE, an earthquake struck Hama, Hims, and Baalbek where it killed 22 people. Although he was writing ~441 years after the earthquake, the specificity of the people reported to have died (e.g., 7 women and 3 men and boys died in Hama) suggests he had access to an earlier source.

Text (with hotlink) Original Language Biographical Info Religion Date of Composition Location Composed Notes
Al-athar al-jaliya fi ’l-hawadith al-ardiya by Yasin al-'Umari

Al-athar al-jaliya fi ’l-hawadith al-ardiya by Yasin al-'Umari

Aliases

Aliases Arabic
Yasin al-'Umari
Background and Biography
Background and Biography

Yasin al-'Umari was born in Mosul in 1745 CE and received his education there (Sayyar, 1983:34). He composed more than 17 historical works including al-Athar al-Jallya fl'l-Hawadith al-Ardiya (Sayyar, 1983:34). Sayyar (1983:35-36) describes al-Athar al-Jallya fl'l-Hawadith al-Ardiya (ATH) as follows:

ATH is an annalistic historical work which covers twelve centuries of Islam, beginning with the first year of Hijra, and ending in 1210 A.H. The original manuscript of ATH. was kept in the Library of Madrasat Ahmad Efendi al-Khayyat in Mosul, (No. 19). This copy appeared to have been written by the author himself. It is now lost.
...
Another copy of ATH is preserved in the British Library (Or. 6300) in 248 pages.
Sayyar (1983:55) dates the composition of ATH to 1210 A.H. (7 July 1795 - 25 June 1796 CE) when Yasin al-'Umari was 52 years old. Sayyar (1983:55) also reports that the book took 4 years to write, originally consisted of 273 folios, and there is only one known copy (Or. 6300 in the British Library). Yasin al-'Umari died in 1811 or 1812 CE.

Excerpts
English from Ambraseys (2009)

In one day, 10th Shawwal 755 [28 October 1354], the towns of Hims, Hamah and Ba’albek were shaken by an earthquake and a number of walls collapsed. In Hamah, 7 women died and 3 men and boys, in Hims 8 people died, and in Ba’albek, 4 people. (al-’Umari, f. 131r).

Chronology
Year Reference Corrections Notes
28 Oct. 1354 CE 10th Shawwal A.H. 755 none Calculated using CHRONOS.
Seismic Effects Locations Online Versions and Further Reading

Archaeoseismic Evidence

Landslide Evidence

Tsunamogenic Evidence

Paleoseismic Evidence

Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Kazzab Trench possible ≥ 7 Daeron et al (2007) dated Event S1 to between 926 and 1381 CE (2σ) and assigned it to the 1202 CE earthquake. Daëron et al (2005:529-530) presented surface faulting evidence that suggested younger less weathered fault scarplets on the Rachaıya-Serghaya faults and fresh mole-tracks on the Rachaıya fault were associated with one of the 1759 CE fault breaks while older more weathered faults scarplets on the Yammouneh fault were associated with one of the the 1202 CE earthquakes.
Jarmaq Trench possible ≥ 7 Nemer and Meghraoui (2006) date Event Z to after 84-239 CE. They suggested the Safed Earthquake of 1837 CE as the most likely candidate.
Location (with hotlink) Status Intensity Notes
Kazzab Trench

Daeron et al (2007) dated Event S1 to between 926 and 1381 CE (2σ) and assigned it to the 1202 CE earthquake. Daëron et al (2005:529-530) presented surface faulting evidence that suggested younger less weathered fault scarplets on the Rachaıya-Serghaya faults and fresh mole-tracks on the Rachaıya fault were associated with one of the 1759 CE fault breaks while older more weathered faults scarplets on the Yammouneh fault were associated with one of the the 1202 CE earthquakes.



Jarmaq Trench

Nemer and Meghraoui (2006) date Event Z to after 84-239 CE. They suggested the Safed Earthquake of 1837 CE as the most likely candidate.



Notes

Ambraseys (2009)

AD 1354 Oct 28 Hims, Baalbek

The towns of Hims, Hamah and Ba’albek were shaken by an earthquake, which brought a number of walls down. They are located on the Dead Sea fault zone, Hamah and Baalbek being 130 km apart.

The worst casualties were in Hamah, where seven women and three men and boys died; eight people died in Hims, and four in Ba’albek.

This event is recorded only by al-’Umari (died 1811), but the detail of the information on casualties suggests that it was derived from early and fairly accurate sources.

Note

In one day, 10th Shawwal 755 [28 October 1353], the towns of Hims, Hamah and Ba’albek were shaken by an earthquake and a number of walls collapsed. In Hamah, 7 women died and 3 men and boys, in Hims 8 people died, and in Ba’albek, 4 people.’ (al- ’Umari, f. 131r).

References

Ambraseys, N. N. (2009). Earthquakes in the Mediterranean and Middle East: a multidisciplinary study of seismicity up to 1900.

Paleoclimate - Droughts

References