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Updated by List Mixed on Aug 25, 2014
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List Of Largest Earthquakes In The World

A list the largest earthquakes in the world going back to 1900 when records were accurate enough to make magnitude calculations. Ranked by the USGS.

1960 Valdivia earthquake - Chile: 9.5

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean Earthquake of Sunday, 22 May 1960 was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, rating 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon (19:11 GMT, 15:11 local time), and lasted approximately 10 minutes. The resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands.

1964 Alaska earthquake: 9.2

The 1964 Alaskan earthquake, also known as the Great Alaskan Earthquake and Good Friday Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that began at 5:36 P.M. AST on Good Friday, March 27, 1964. Across south-central Alaska, ground fissures, collapsing structures, and tsunamis resulting from the earthquake caused about 139 deaths.

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami: 9.1 - 9.3

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, 26 December 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake.

2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami: 9.0

The earthquake is also often referred to in Japan as the Great East Japan Earthquake and also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake,and the 3.11 Earthquake. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan.

Kamchatka: 9.0

The main earthquake struck at 16:58 GMT (04:58 local time) on November 4, 1952. Initially assigned a magnitude of 8.2, the quake was revised to 9.0 Mw in later years. A large tsunami resulted, causing destruction and loss of life around the Kamchatka peninsula and the Kuril Islands. Hawaii was also struck, with estimated damages of up to US$1 million and livestock losses, but no human casualties were recorded. Japan reported no casualties or damage. The tsunami reached as far as Alaska, Chile, and New Zealand

2010 Chile earthquake: 8.8

The 2010 Chile earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile on Saturday, 27 February 2010, at 03:34 local time (06:34 UTC), having a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale, with intense shaking lasting for about three minutes. It ranks as the sixth largest earthquake ever to be recorded by a seismograph.

1906 Ecuador-Colombia earthquake: 8.8

The 1906 Ecuador-Colombia earthquake occurred at 15:36 UTC on January 31, off the coast of Ecuador, near Esmeraldas. The earthquake had a magnitude of 8.8 and triggered a destructive tsunami that caused at least 500 casualties on the coast of Colombia. The earthquake occurred along the boundary between the Nazca Plate and the South American Plate.

1965 Rat Islands earthquak: 8.7

The 1965 Rat Islands earthquake occurred at 05:01 UTC, on 4 February. It had a magnitude of 8.7 and triggered a tsunami of over 10 m on Shemya Island, but caused very little damage.

2005 Sumatra earthquake: 8.6

The 2005 Sumatra earthquake, referred to as the Nias Earthquake by the scientific community, was a major earthquake on 28 March 2005, off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Approximately 1300 people were killed by it, mostly on the island of Nias.

1950 Assam - Tibet earthquake: 8.6

The 1950 Assam - Tibet earthquake, also known as the Assam earthquake or Medog earthquake [citation needed ], occurred on August 15, 1950, and had a magnitude of 8.6. The epicentre was actually located near Rima, Tibet. The earthquake was destructive in both Assam and Tibet, and 1,526 people were killed.