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History’s strongest earthquakes



Here is a list of earthquakes worldwide that registered at least magnitude 8.6:

>> May 22, 1960: Magnitude 9.5 in southern Chile; ensuing tsunami killed at least 1,716, including 61 in Hilo.

>> March 27, 1964: Magnitude 9.2 in Prince William Sound, Alaska; ensuing tsunami killed 128.

>> Dec. 26, 2004: Magnitude 9.1 off the Indonesian island of Sumatra; triggered a tsunami that killed 226,000 in 12 countries, including 165,700 in Indonesia and 35,400 in Sri Lanka.

>> Aug. 13, 1868: Magnitude 9.0 in Arica, Peru (now Chile) generated catastrophic tsunamis; more than 25,000 people were killed in South America.

>> Jan. 26, 1700: Magnitude 9.0 shakes Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia; triggered tsunami that damaged villages in Japan.

>> Nov. 4, 1952: Magnitude 9.0 in Kamchatka caused damage but no reported deaths despite setting off 30-foot waves in Hawaii.

>> Jan. 31, 1906: Magnitude 8.8 off coast of Ecuador and Colombia; generated a tsunami that killed at least 500.

>> Feb. 27, 2010: Magnitude 8.8 off the coast of Chile killed a still-undetermined number of people and sent a tsunami across the Pacific.

>> Nov. 1, 1755: Magnitude 8.7 in Lisbon, Portugal; ensuing tsunami killed an estimated 60,000 and destroyed much of Lisbon.

>> July 8, 1730: Magnitude 8.7 in Valparaiso, Chile, killed at least 3,000 people.

>> Aug. 15, 1950: Magnitude 8.6 in Assam, Tibet, killed at least 780 people.

>> March 28, 2005: Magnitude 8.6 in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, killed about 1,300 people.

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and WHO’s International Disaster Database


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