The 1783 Calabrian earthquakes were a sequence of five strong earthquakes that hit the region of Calabria in southern Italy (then part of the Kingdom of Naples), the first two of which produced significant tsunamis. The epicenters form a clear alignment extending nearly 100 km from the Straits of Messina to about 18 km SSW of Catanzaro. The epicenter of the first earthquake occurred in the plain of Palmi. The earthquakes occurred over a period of nearly two months, all with estimated magnitudes of 5.9 or greater. Estimates of the total number of deaths lie in the range 32,000 to 50,000.
The southwestern part of Calabria and the eastern part of Sicily are areas of active crustalextension within the Siculo–Calabrian Rift Zone. This 350 km long zone developed within the Apennine chain during the Pleistocene and takes up WNW-ESE directed extension.