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List of earthquakes

The following is a list of earthquake lists, and of top earthquakes by magnitude and fatalities.

Main lists

Lists of earthquakes by country

Largest earthquakes by magnitude

Listed below are all known earthquakes measured or estimated to have a moment magnitude scale or Richter magnitude scale of 8.5 and above.

This list is biased towards recent years due to development and widespread deployment of seismometers. Also, records that were detailed enough to make magnitude estimates (est.) were not generally available before 1900.[2]

Date Location Name Magnitude
Valdivia, Chile 1960 Valdivia earthquake 9.5
Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA 1964 Alaska earthquake 9.2
Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake 9.1–9.3
Kamchatka, Russia (then USSR) 1952 Kamchatka earthquakes 9.0[3]
Pacific Ocean, Tōhoku region, Japan 2011 Tōhoku earthquake 9.0[4][5][6]
Arica, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1615 Arica earthquake 8.8 (est.)
Sumatra, Indonesia (then part of the Dutch East Indies) 1833 Sumatra earthquake 8.8–9.2 (est.)
Ecuador – Colombia 1906 Ecuador-Colombia earthquake 8.8
Bio-Bio, Chile 2010 Chile earthquake 8.8
Pacific Ocean, USA and Canada (then part of the British Empire) 1700 Cascadia earthquake 8.7–9.2 (est.)[7]
Valparaiso, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1730 Valparaiso earthquake 8.7 (est.)[8]
Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon, Portugal 1755 Lisbon earthquake 8.7 (est.)[9]
Rat Islands, Alaska, USA 1965 Rat Islands earthquake 8.7
Pacific Ocean, Tōhoku region, Japan 869 Sanriku earthquake 8.6-9.0 (est.)
Pacific Ocean, Nankai Trough, Japan 1498 Meiō Nankaidō earthquake 8.6 (est.)
Pacific Ocean, Shikoku region, Japan 1707 Hōei earthquake 8.6 (est.)
Assam, India – Tibet, China 1950 Assam - Tibet earthquake 8.6
Andreanof Islands, Alaska, USA 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake 8.6
Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA 1946 Aleutian Islands earthquake 8.6
Sumatra, Indonesia 2005 Sumatra earthquake 8.6
Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia 2012 Aceh earthquake 8.6
Valdivia, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1575 Valdivia earthquake 8.5 (est.)
Arica, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1604 Arica earthquake 8.5 (est.)
Santiago, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1647 Santiago earthquake 8.5 (est.)
Lima, Peru (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1687 Peru earthquake 8.5 (est.)
Concepción, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1751 Concepción earthquake 8.5 (est.)
Valparaíso, Chile 1822 Valparaíso earthquake 8.5 (est.)
Concepción, Chile 1835 Concepción earthquake 8.5 (est.)
Arica, Chile (then Peru) 1868 Arica earthquake 8.5–9.0 (est.)[10]
Iquique, Chile (then Peru) 1877 Iquique earthquake 8.5-9.0 (est.)
Atacama Region, Chile 1922 Vallenar earthquake 8.5[11]
Kamchatka, Russia (USSR) 1923 Kamchatka earthquakes 8.5[12]
Banda Sea, Indonesia (then part of the Dutch East Indies) 1938 Banda Sea earthquake 8.5
Kuril Islands, Russia (USSR) 1963 Kuril Islands earthquake 8.5[12]
Sumatra, Indonesia 2007 Sumatra earthquakes 8.5

Deadliest earthquakes on record

Deadliest earthquakes[13]
Rank Name Date Location Fatalities Magnitude Notes
1 "Shaanxi" Shaanxi, China 820,000–830,000 (est.)[14] 8.0 (est.) Estimated death toll in Shaanxi, China.
2 "Haiyuan" NingxiaGansu, China 273,400[15][16] 7.8 Major fractures, landslides.
3 "Tangshan" Hebei, China 242,769[17][18] 7.8
4 "Antioch" Antioch, Turkey (then Byzantine Empire) 240,000[19] 7.0 (est.)[20] Procopius (II.14.6), sources based on John of Ephesus.
5 "Indian Ocean" Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia 230,210+[21][22] 9.1–9.3 Deaths from earthquake and resulting tsunami.
6 "Aleppo" Aleppo, Syria 230,000 Unknown The figure of 230,000 dead is based on a historical conflation of this earthquake with earthquakes in November 1137 on the Jazira plain and the large seismic event of September 30, 1139 in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja. The first mention of a 230,000 death toll was by Ibn Taghribirdi in the fifteenth century.[23]
7 "Haiti" Haiti Estimates vary from 316,000 (unsubstituted Haitian government claim) to 222,570 (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimate)[24] to 158,000 (report published in the Medicine, Conflict and Survival) to between 85,000 and 46,000 (unpublished LTL Strategies report commissioned by USAID).[25][26] 7.0
8 "Damghan" Damghan, Iran 200,000 (est.) 7.9 (est.)
9 "Ardabil" Ardabil, Iran 150,000 (est.) Unknown Reports probably relate to the 893 Dvin earthquake, due to misreading of the Arabic word for Dvin, 'Dabil' as 'Ardabil'.[27] This is regarded as a 'fake earthquake'.[28]
10 "Great Kantō" Kantō region, Japan 142,800[29] 7.9 An earthquake which struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58 on the morning of September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes. The quake had an epicenter deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay. It devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region.[30] The power and intensity of the earthquake is easy to underestimate, but the 1923 earthquake managed to move the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura. The statue slid forward almost two feet.[31] Casualty estimates range from about 100,000 to 142,800 deaths, the latter figure including approximately 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead.
11 "Messina" Messina, Italy 123,000[32] 7.1 On December 28, 1908 from about 5:20 to 5:21 am an earthquake of 7.1 on the moment magnitude scale occurred centered on Messina, a city in Sicily. Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland also suffered heavy damage. The ground shook for some 30 to 40 seconds, and the destruction was felt within a 300 km radius. Moments after the earthquake, a 40 feet (12 m) tsunami struck nearby coasts causing even more devastation. 93% of structures in Messina were destroyed and some 70,000 residents were killed. Rescuers searched through the rubble for weeks, and whole families were still being pulled out alive days later, but thousands remained buried there. Buildings in the area had not been constructed for earthquake resistance, having heavy roofs and vulnerable foundations.
12 "Ashgabat" Ashgabat, Turkmen SSR (modern-day Turkmenistan) 110,000[33] 7.3
13 "Genroku" Edo, Japan 2,300, with an offshore tsunami that it may have caused killing as many as 10,000 people[34] 8.2[35]
14 "Lisbon" Lisbon, Portugal Estimates range from 15,000–40,000[36] to 40,000-60,000 people of Lisbon's population of ~275,000,[37] to 90,000 (one-third of Lisbon's population of 270,000) (Braun and Radner 2005)[38] 8.5–9.0 (est.) "A watershed event in the Western world" that annihilated the Portuguese capital.[39] Many deaths were from a resulting tsunami, falling buildings, and fires.[36][37]

Property damages caused by earthquake

Rank Name Magnitude Property damages
1 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, Japan 9.0[6] $235 billion[40][41]
2 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake, Japan 6.9 $100 billion
3 2008 Sichuan earthquake, China 8.0 $75 billion
4 2010 Chile earthquake, Chile 8.8[42] $15–30 billion[42]
5 1994 Northridge earthquake, United States 6.7 $20 billion
6 2012 Emilia earthquakes, Italy 5.9 (est.)[43] $13.2 billion
7 2011 Christchurch earthquake, New Zealand 6.3[44] $12 billion [45]
8 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, United States ~7.0; 6.9-7.1 reported[46] $11 billion
9 921 earthquake, Taiwan 7.6 $10 billion
10 1906 San Francisco earthquake, United States 7.7 to 7.9 (est.)[43] $9.5 billion ($400 million 1906 value[43])

See also

Earthquakes portal
Disasters portal


External links

  • Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)
  • Earthquakes Canada
  • Earthquakes in India
  • IRIS Seismic Monitor, Recent earthquakes around the world
  • Recent New Zealand earthquakes
  • SeismoArchives, Seismogram Archives of Significant Earthquakes of the World
  • USGS list of current earthquakes
  • USGS list of current earthquakes above M5.0
  • USGS list of earthquakes magnitude 6.0 and greater sorted by magnitude
  • List of Deadliest Earthquakes
  • Earthquake Panic Grips Kenya and Tanzania
  • NOAA Significant Earthquakes Global Database, over 6500 events
  • Santiago de Cuba earthquake of June 11, 1766
  • Database for the damage of world earthquake, ancient period (3000 BC) to year of 2006– Building Research Institute (Japan) (建築研究所)
  • The Hive Group”
  • Largest Earthquakes in the World Since 1900

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