Why don’t earthquakes get proper names, the way hurricanes do?
Because they happen in one place. A storm can move 3,000 miles across land and sea in its lifetime, and the ability to disseminate clear information about its path and strength is crucial for public safety. According to the World Meteorological Organization—the body that coordinates the naming of tropical cyclones—giving storms pithy monikers like Mindy or Gordon makes it easier for the media to report on them and for “widely scattered stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea” to share data quickly and accurately. For earthquakes, no such warning system is necessary. So the informal nomenclature commonly used by geologists—year and then location, as in “the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake”—works just fine.
source - Slate.com