The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake killed 256,000 people. The 2011 Fukushima Earthquake killed 18,000 and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake killed thousands more. The coming San Francisoc Bay Area earthquake will cause $165 billion in damage and also kill many thousands. These earthquakes all have one thing in common: they are part of the ring of fire that stretches half way around the world.
In this Nova documentary the discussion on earthquakes begins at minute 20. It is fascinating, as is the entire documentary.