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Dubai: Has the fear of the number 13 doubled its terror to 26?

The earthquake in South Asia on October 26 — affecting Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and killing more than 300 people — has left aftershocks of a different kind on social media.

Call it coincidence, but users of WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook seem to believe that all major tragedies take place on the 26th.

Triscadecaphobia — or the fear of number 13 — has its origins in the belief across various cultures that the number is evil and brings bad luck.

So strong is the superstition that many hotels, offices and apartment buildings choose to skip the 13th floor number as part of the options in the elevator. Airports usually do not have a 13th gate and some people opt to stay at home on Friday the 13th, too.

So is the number 26 next in line?

Some users on Twitter and Facebook seem to think so.

While the post got plenty of shares on Facebook, twitter users posted under the hashtag #MysteriousNumber.

One user said: “Number 26 has a bad history, majority of the bad and sad incidents in World happened on this date. 26? Unlucky for? #MysteriousNumber”

Here’s a list of disasters that took place on a 26th:

Gujarat Earthquake: 26 January 2001 (19,727 dead)

Tsunami in Indian Ocean: 26th December 2004 (2,30,000 dead)

Mumbai attack: 26 November 2008 (166 dead)

Taiwan earthquake: 26th April 2010 (no death toll)

Japan Earthquake: 26th February 2010 (no death toll)

The Rhodes earthquake: 26 June 1926 (no death toll)

North America earthquake: 26 January 1700 (not accounted)

Yugoslavia earthquake: 26 July 1963 (1,070 dead)

Bam, Iran earthquake: 26 December 2003 (60,000 dead )

Sabah Tidal waves: 26 December 1996 (1,000 dead )

Turkey earthquake: 26 December 1939 (41,000 dead )

Kansu, China earthquake: 26 December 1932 (70,000 dead )

Portugal earthquake: 26 January 1951 (30,000 dead )

Krakatau volcanic eruption: 26 August 1883 (36,000 dead )

Aceh Tsunami: 26 December 2004 (230,000 dead)

Tasik earthquake: 26 June 2010 (80 dead)

Mumbai floods: 26 July 2005 (5,000 dead)


— The writer is an intern with Gulf News