/ / / Top 10 Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions

1: Chile, May 22 1960, magnitude 9.5


The largest recorded earthquake, along the Chile-Peru trench, caused more than 2,000 deaths, with 3,000 injured, 2 million homeless and $550m (£286,000) damage in southern Chile. Tsunamis which followed measured as high as 25 metres close to the epicentre. They killed 61 in Hawaii, 138 in Japan, 32 in the Philippines, and caused $500,000 worth of damage on the US west coast.

2: Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 28 1964, magnitude 9.2

Prince William Sound earthquake 1964

The largest earthquake to hit Alaska killed 15, but 125 lives were lost in the accompanying tsunami caused $311m damage and devastated many towns along the Gulf of Alaska and the US west coast. The highest wave recorded was 67 metres.

3: Andreanof Islands, Alaska, March 9 1957, magnitude 9.1

Andreanof Islands 1957

This earthquake generated two tsunamis of 15 and eight metres which travelled as far as Hawaii, Chile, El Salvador and Japan. More than 300 aftershocks were reported along edge of Aleutian islands. Mount Vsevidof volcano also erupted after being dormant for 200 years.

4: Kamchatka peninsula, Russia, November 4 1952, magnitude 9.0

Kamchatka peninsula 1952

Created 13-metre waves. No lives lost, though about $1m of damage was inflicted in Hawaii, as homes, piers and boats were wrecked.

5: West coast of northern Sumatra, December 26, 2004, magnitude 8.9

West coast of northern Sumatra 2004

Yesterday's earthquake was over six miles below sea level. Thousands killed.

6: Coast of Ecuador, January 31, 1906, magnitude 8.8

Coast of Ecuador 1906

Tsunami killed up to 1,500 people. It affected the coast of Central America and reached San Francisco and Japan.

7: Rat Islands, Alaska, February 4, 1965, magnitude 8.7

Rat Islands, Alaska 1965

Generated 10-metre waves, damaging houses and runways, but no records of deaths.

8: Assam, India, August 15, 1950, magnitude 8.6

Assam, India 1950

More than 1,500 deaths and $25m damage. Epicentre was on China-Tibet border, but worst damage was in Assam, India where floods, landslides, and breached dykes destroyed more than 70 villages and killed more than 650 people.

9 Earthquake off Kamchatka peninsula, Russia, February 3, 1923, magnitude 8.5

Earthquake off Kamchatka peninsula 1923

Extensive damage at Hilo and Kahalui, Hawaii.

10 Banda Sea, Indonesia, February 1 1938, magnitude 8.5

 Banda Sea, Indonesia 1938

Extensive damage caused by tsunamis which reached New Guinea and Australia.


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  1. chilean eartquake: february 27, 2010 magnitude 8,8

  2. On average, an earthquake occurs somewhere in the world every 30 seconds. Most are in the 2.0 to 5.0 magnitude range, but destructive earthquakes in the 6.0 and higher range strike at the average rate of 3 per week. Most earthquakes are associated with the boundaries of tectonic plates. The majority of quakes occur on land, but some big ones happen deep below the ocean floor. It is these large undersea quakes that can start tsunamis.where do earthquakes occur