Earthquakes are nature’s most devastating disasters. They occur when tectonic plates, which form the surface of the Earth, move and cause the ground to shake. Earthquakes occur in every country in the world, although they’re much more common in certain areas due to the movement of tectonic plates. Earthquakes cause mass destruction, killing thousands of people and destroying homes, businesses and infrastructure in their path.
Following are the top 10 strongest earthquakes in the world.
1. Valdivia Earthquake (1960)– 9.5
It was the strongest earthquake ever recorded and is also known as the Great Chilean Earthquake (Spanish: Gran Terremoto de Chile). The earthquake occurred on May 22 at 15:11 local time (19:11 GMT), about 100 miles (160 km) off the coast of Chile. It was parallel to the city of Valdivia. It caused a tremendous tsunami with waves as high as 25 metres and lasted roughly 10 minutes (82 feet). The major tsunami wreaked havoc on the Chilean coastline before tearing through the Pacific and decimating Hilo, Hawaii. Even 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) from the epicentre and as far away as Japan and the Philippines, waves as tall as 10.7 metres (35 feet) were observed.
2. Great Alaska Earthquake (1964)– 9.2
The 1964 Great Alaska earthquake, sometimes referred to as the Good Friday earthquake, struck the Alaskan region of Prince William Sound at 5:36 PM (local time, 3:36 UTC) on March 27, 1964. The greatest earthquake ever recorded in the United States, it lasted for nearly 4.5 minutes.
The earthquake generated a 27-foot (8.2 metres) tsunami which demolished the village of Chenega, killing 23 of the 68 people who lived there. The survivors escaped the tsunami by moving to higher ground. It also triggered a major underwater landslide. Thirty people died when the docks and port in Port Valdez city collapsed.
3. Sumatra Earthquake (2004)– 9.1
The epicentre of the 2004 Sumatra Earthquake, also known as the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, was off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, and it struck on December 26 at 00:58:53 UTC. In recent memory, it was one of the deadliest natural disasters. It ruptured a 1500 km long fault, the longest fault length ever recorded in an earthquake (900 miles). Up to a quarter of a million people were killed by the ensuing tsunami, which had waves up to 30 metres (100 feet) high.
4. Tōhoku Earthquake (2011) – 9.1
On 11 March 2011 Friday, at 14:46 local time (05:46 UTC), a major undersea megathrust earthquake notes 1 off the coast of Japan occurred. An enormous tsunami with waves as high as 40.5 metres (133 feet) was caused by the earthquake.
It was one of the deadliest in human history, the waves reached inland as far as 6 miles (10 km) and caused massive and catastrophic structural damage in north-eastern Japan. 127,290 structures were completely destroyed, 272,788 were partially demolished, and 747,989 were partially damaged. Airports, motorways, and trains were all affected. A dam collapsed. The tsunami caused the three reactors of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex to experience level 7 meltdowns, the worst possible nuclear catastrophe.
5. Kamchatka, Russia Earthquake (1952) – 9.0
On November 4, 1952, at 16:58 GMT, a powerful earthquake occurred off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s far east (04:58 local time). It generated a massive, deadly tsunami that swept across the whole Pacific Ocean, with waves as high as 15 metres (50 feet), which severely damaged the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Kuril Islands and resulted in the deaths of between 10,000 and 15,000 people. The tsunami did not result in any fatalities, even though it also severely damaged the Hawaiian Islands. Peru, Chile, and New Zealand were also hit by the waves. There have been reports of tsunami waves up to 1.4 metres (4.6 feet) in height in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and California.
6. Maule(Chile) Earthquake (2010)– 8.8
On February 27, 2010, at 03:34 local time (06:34 UTC), the 2010 Chile earthquake—often referred to as the 2010 Maule Earthquake—struck the Maule Region of Chile, around 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) off the coast of the Pelluhue commune. The sustained shaking lasted around three minutes. Several coastal settlements in south-central Chile were entirely destroyed by the tsunami that the earthquake caused. The tsunami caused significant damage to the Talcahuano port.
7. Ecuador-Colombia Earthquake(1906)– 8.8
On January 31, 1906, at 15:36 UTC, a powerful earthquake struck close to Esmeraldas in Ecuador (a coastal city in northwestern Ecuador). Massive tsunamis up to 5 metres (16 feet) high were to blame for the deaths.
8. Rat Islands Earthquake(1965) – 8.7
Rat Islands Earthquake of 1965 occurred on February 4 at 05:01 UTC (19:01, February 3, local time). It only produced a tsunami that was taller than 10 metres (33 feet) on Shemya Island in Alaska due to its isolated position.
9. Assam-Tibet Earthquake (1950) – 8.6
On August 15, 1950, an earthquake struck the Xizang-India border region, with the epicentre being not far from Rima, Tibet. The earthquake caused many buildings to collapse, and between 1500 and 3000 people died as a result.
After the earthquake, the Subansiri River was impeded by significant landslides. This natural defence broke down eight days later, unleashing a 7 m (23 ft) massive wave that inundated many settlements and killed 536 people.
The earthquake also rendered roughly 5,000,000 individuals homeless.
10. Sumatra Earthquake (2012)– 8.6
On April 11, 2012, at 15:38 local time, a magnitude 8.6 undersea quake occurred in the Indonesian city of Aceh. Following a tsunami alert, authorities stopped their response. These incredibly intense intraplate earthquakes produced the strongest recorded strike-slip earthquake.
Despite reports of tsunamis as large as 10 cm to 0.8 metres (3.9 inches to 31.4 inches), none of them were particularly destructive because they occurred so distant from populous areas. Twelve injuries and ten fatalities were reported, the most of which were caused by anxiety or heart attacks.
Read More:- The 17-Year-Old Boy Rescued From A Thai Cave When His Football Team Was Trapped Has Died