Many of the worst earthquakes were felt along the Pacific "Ring of Fire," a zone encompassing the coasts of Asia, Oceania and the Americas. The area is rife with active submarine volcanoes and produces approximately 90 percent of the world's earthquakes.
However, no country was struck as hard as Ecuador, which suffered hundreds of casualties and continues to reel from aftershocks that persistently rock its coastal cities and regions.
As the year draws to a close, we take a look at the five deadliest earthquakes of 2016.
On April 16 Ecuador was slammed by a 7.8 magnitude quake that claimed more than 670 lives and shattered buildings across the South American country's Pacific coastal region, adding to the small OPEC nation's economic difficulties owing to low oil prices.
The coastal province of Manabi was hit hardest by the quake, registering 646 fatalities, while parts of the neighboring province of Esmeraldas suffered loss of life, injury and significant damage to infrastructure.