The earthquake that hit the Tohoku region of Japan on March 11, 2011, had a magnitude of 9.0 and killed over 15000 people.
Steel, reinforced concrete and wood are good building materials for an earthquake resistant house because they flex somewhat without breaking. Family homes built completely out of brick are not as safe because they can break apart easily.
The 2004 earthquake that occurred in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra, Indonesia triggered a series of tsunamis that killed over 200000 people in 14 countries.
Each year, there are about a million earthquakes around the world. But only about 100 of these cause serious damage.