The Calabrian region has been devastated by numberous earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves. Over the centuries, thousands of Calabrese have lost their lives to these. There are volcanos close to Calabria (but not in Calabria), Stromboli and Mount Etna. The activity of these volcano's causes the land to be unstable and subject to earthquakes. Additionally, the plates between Europe and Africa are active in the region of Southern Italy. The first scientifically studied earthquake occurred in Calabria beginning on February 4, 1783 and over a period of the next 2 months 5 more earthquakes struck the Calabrian region. Over 50,000 lives were lost. On the right sidebar on this page you can view a list of dates of earthquakes that affected the region of Calabria.
The most historic of all the earthquakes to strike Calabria was the earthquakes that occurred between February 5 and March 28 in 1783. Between those dates there were 5 major earthquakes, the first 2 caused tsunamis. Although the true number of deaths that occurred is unknown estimates ranged from 32,000 and as high as 50,000. This series of earthquakes totally descimated many towns.
The first earthquake occurred on February 5 and was followed by 2 more earthquakes on February 6 and 7. The first earthquake affected the areas surrounding the Straights of Messina, which caused a tsunami that devastated Sicily, Reggio Calabria and part of Catanzaro (now Vibo Valentia). It totally destroyed the town of Oppido Mamertina (RC) which was close to the center of the powerful quake. The 4th and weakest of this series of earthquakes is estimated to be a 5.9 on the modern Richter scale and was centered near Filadelfia (VV) on March 1. The final earthquake occurred on March 28 near Borgia (CZ) and caused many landslides and sand volcanoes. Borgia, Maida and Cortale were the worst affected towns and hundreds of people died there.
On March 3, 1886 an earthquake struck Cosenza Province in Italy. Several years back I found a document for sale on Ebay Italia which gave some detail as to how the earthquake affected Rende. This document was a plea for help. You can view the document here. I have a webpage on my other website Cosenza Exchange which includes a translation of the document. You can view that page here.