What Were Some of the Worst Earthquakes in History?

What Were Some of the Worst Earthquakes in History?

Some of the worst earthquakes in history happened in Chile in 1960; off the coast of Honshu in Japan in 2011; off the coast of northern Sumatra in 2004; and in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1964. These quakes were magnitude 9.0 on the Richter scale or higher.

The Chilean earthquake hit Chile on May 22, 1960, and was magnitude 9.5. It killed around 1,655 people, injured 3,000 and left a million people homeless. It not only ravaged Chile but killed people and caused millions of dollars worth of damage in Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines and the West Coast of the United States.

The Honshu earthquake happened on March 11, 2011, and was a magnitude 9.0. It killed at least 15,703 people, and like the Chilean earthquake, it caused damage that was felt as far away as the West Coast of the United States and Hawaii. This quake was followed by a devastating tsunami.

The magnitude 9.1 earthquake that devastated northern Sumatra and much of the area around the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004, was also followed by a catastrophic tsunami. The tsunami caused more damage than the quake itself and killed at least 227,898 people.

The earthquake that struck Prince William Sound on March 27, 1964, was believed to be magnitude 9.2. It also caused a tsunami, caused damage in much of south central Alaska, and was felt as far away as South Africa. However, only 131 people died as a result of the quake.