Most Powerful Earthquakes in History

Specialists say that the activity of the tectonic plates intensified. The effect is disastrous as devastating earthquakes occur killing hundreds of people and leaving serious damages. Despite all the precise scientific innovations, the earth is moving and man seems to be helpless in front of the most powerful earthquakes in history.

Earthquakes represent the result of the tectonic plates shifting. Sometimes, an important shifting can cause powerful earthquakes that can kill people, destroy entire cities, while the tsunamis they can trigger are able to erase islands. Here are some 5 most powerful earthquakes in history.

Valdivia, Chile (May 22, 1960) - magnitude 9.5

On May 22, 1960, an earthquake struck the coast of South Central Chile. The earthquake in Valdivia, or the Great Chilean earthquake, is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded with a magnitude of 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale. The tsunami it triggered affected the southern part of Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. This powerful earthquake killed over 2.000 people and another 3.000 people injured, and left 2.000.000 people homeless causing damages of 550 million dollars only in the southern Chile. The tsunami caused other fatalities, 61 people died and 75 million dollars damages in Hawaii, 138 were killed and 50 million dollars damages in Japan, 32 dead in Philippines, and $500.000 monetary cost on the western US coast.

Alaska (March 27, 1964) - magnitude 9.2

The Great Alaskan Earthquake, or The Good Friday Earthquake, occurred on March 27, 1964 during the Good Friday celebration. With a magnitude of 9.2 and a duration of about 5 minutes, it is the most powerful earthquake in the US and in the North American history. It caused fissures and failures, 131 people were killed, and damages were estimated at over 300 million dollars. The earthquake triggered tsunamis in Alaska, Oregon, and California.

Sumatra - Andamán (26 December, 2004) - magnitude 9.1

The earthquake in the Indian Ocean was an undersea earthquake that occurred on December 26, 2004. Having its epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, the earthquake is known as the Sumatra - Andamán earthquake. With a magnitude of 9.1, this is the third most powerful earthquake in history, and also the one that lasted the most between 8 and 10 minutes. The incredible, devastating tsunami waves killed a total of 227.898 people, certain regions were totally washed away by water, and the entire planet vibrated.

Kamchatka (November 4, 1952) - magnitude 9.0

On November 4, 1952, a strong earthquake off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, in the far east of Russia, triggered a great destructive Pacific tsunami, which struck the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands, causing important damage and taking away many lives. The tsunami was also recorded in Japan, Alaska, Chile, New Zealand, and Hawaii where it caused serious damages.

Chile (February 27, 2010) – magnitude 8.8

This is one of the most recent earthquakes that struck Chile on February 27, 2010, with a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale, and a duration of about 3 minutes. The cities that most experimented the fear were Talcahuano, Arauco, Lota, Chiguayante, Cañete, and San Antonio. The earthquake generated a tsunami that caused serious damages on coastal towns in south-central Chile. It was also issued a tsunami warning in 53 countries. It is estimated that the earthquake was so powerful as it may have shortened the length of the day by 1.26 microseconds and also moved the Earth's figure axis by 8 cm. The reports from May say that 521 people were killed.

Tags: most powerful earthquakes in history, powerful earthquakes, Valdivia, Chile, Alaska, Sumatra - Andaman, tsunami, earthquake, Kamchatka, Chile, natural disasters

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