When Was the First Recorded Earthquake?

The first recorded earthquake occurred in at Mount Tai, located in eastern China's Shandong province. According to the ancient Chinese chronicle, the "Bamboo Annals,” the earthquake took place during Emperor Fa's 7th year of reign as monarch of the Xia Dynasty.

According to the "Bamboo Annals," people believed that upon Emperor Fa's death, Mount Tai shattered. There are no records regarding the magnitude, casualties or damage to surrounding populated areas, as there was no scientific method for recording or predicting earthquake activity. In 132 AD, Zhang Heng, a Chinese polymath, invented the world's first seismometer, which could detect the direction of an earthquake from over 300 miles away.