The following is a list of earthquake lists, and of top earthquakes by magnitude and fatalities.
Lists of earthquakes by country
Largest earthquakes by magnitude
A pie chart
comparing the seismic moment
release of the three largest earthquakes for the hundred year period from 1906 to 2005 with that for all earthquakes of magnitudes <6, 6 to 7, 7 to 8 and >8 for the same period
Earthquakes of magnitude 8.0 and greater since 1900. The apparent 3D volumes of the bubbles are linearly proportional to their respective fatalities.
Listed below are all known earthquakes measured or estimated to have a moment magnitude scale or Richter magnitude scale of 8.5 and above.
This list is biased towards recent years due to development and widespread deployment of seismometers. Also, records that were detailed enough to make magnitude estimates (est.) were not generally available before 1900.
|May 22, 1960||Valdivia, Chile||1960 Valdivia earthquake||9.5|
|March 27, 1964||Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA||1964 Alaska earthquake||9.2|
|December 26, 2004||Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia||2004 Indian Ocean earthquake||9.1–9.3|
|November 4, 1952||Kamchatka, Russia (then USSR)||1952 Kamchatka earthquakes||9.0|
|March 11, 2011||Pacific Ocean, Tōhoku region, Japan||2011 Tōhoku earthquake||9.0|
|September 16, 1615||Arica, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire)||1615 Arica earthquake||8.8 (est.)|
|November 25, 1833||Sumatra, Indonesia||1833 Sumatra earthquake||8.8–9.2 (est.)|
|January 31, 1906||Ecuador – Colombia||1906 Ecuador-Colombia earthquake||8.8|
|February 27, 2010||Maule, Chile||2010 Chile earthquake||8.8|
|January 26, 1700||Pacific Ocean, USA and Canada||1700 Cascadia earthquake||8.7–9.2 (est.)|
|July 8, 1730||Valparaiso, Chile||1730 Valparaiso earthquake||8.7 (est.)|
|November 1, 1755||Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon, Portugal||1755 Lisbon earthquake||8.7 (est.)|
|February 4, 1965||Rat Islands, Alaska, USA||1965 Rat Islands earthquake||8.7|
|July 9, 869||Pacific Ocean, Tōhoku region, Japan||869 Sanriku earthquake||8.6 (est.)|
|September 20, 1498||Pacific Ocean, Nankai Trough, Japan||1498 Meiō Nankaidō earthquake||8.6 (est.)|
|October 28, 1707||Pacific Ocean, Shikoku region, Japan||1707 Hōei earthquake||8.6 (est.)|
|August 15, 1950||Assam, India – Tibet, China||1950 Assam - Tibet earthquake||8.6|
|March 9, 1957||Andreanof Islands, Alaska, USA||1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake||8.6|
|April 1, 1946||Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA||1946 Aleutian Islands earthquake||8.6|
|March 28, 2005||Sumatra, Indonesia||2005 Sumatra earthquake||8.6|
|April 11, 2012||Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia||2012 Aceh earthquake||8.6|
|December 16, 1575||Valdivia, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire)||1575 Valdivia earthquake||8.5 (est.)|
|November 24, 1604||Arica, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire)||1604 Arica earthquake||8.5 (est.)|
|May 13, 1647||Santiago, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire)||1647 Santiago earthquake||8.5 (est.)|
|October 20, 1687||Lima, Peru (Viceroyalty of Peru)||1687 Peru earthquake||8.5 (est.)|
|May 24, 1751||Concepción, Chile (Kingdom of Chile)||1751 Concepción earthquake||8.5 (est.)|
|November 19, 1822||Valparaíso, Chile||1822 Valparaíso earthquake||8.5 (est.)|
|February 20, 1835||Concepción, Chile||1835 Concepción earthquake||8.5 (est.)|
|August 13, 1868||Arica, Chile (then Peru)||1868 Arica earthquake||8.5–9.0 (est.)|
|May 9, 1877||Iquique, Chile (then Peru)||1877 Iquique earthquake||8.5-9.0 (est.)|
|November 10, 1922||Atacama Region, Chile||1922 Vallenar earthquake||8.5|
|February 3, 1923||Kamchatka, Russia (USSR)||1923 Kamchatka earthquakes||8.5|
|February 1, 1938||Banda Sea, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)||1938 Banda Sea earthquake||8.5|
|October 13, 1963||Kuril Islands, Russia (USSR)||1963 Kuril Islands earthquake||8.5|
|September 12, 2007||Sumatra, Indonesia||2007 Sumatra earthquakes||8.5|
Deadliest earthquakes on record
|1||"Shaanxi"||January 23, 1556||Shaanxi, China||820,000–830,000 (est.)||8.0 (est.)||Estimated death toll in Shaanxi, China.|
|2||"Haiti"||January 12, 2010||Haiti||316,000 (Haitian sources)|
50,000–92,000 (non-Haitian sources)
|7.0||Estimate June 2010.|
|3||"Tangshan"||July 28, 1976||Hebei, China||242,769||7.0|
|4||"Antioch"||May 21, 526||Antioch, Turkey (then Byzantine Empire)||240,000||7.0 (est.)||Procopius (II.14.6), sources based on John of Ephesus.|
|5||"Gansu"||December 16, 1920||Ningxia–Gansu, China||235,502||7.8||Major fractures, landslides.|
|6||"Indian Ocean"||December 26, 2004||Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia||230,210+||9.1–9.3||Deaths from earthquake and resulting tsunami.|
|7||"Aleppo"||October 11, 1138||Aleppo, Syria||230,000||Unknown||The figure of 230,000 dead is based on a historical conflation of this earthquake with earthquakes in November 1137 on the Jazira plain and the large seismic event of September 30, 1139 in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja. The first mention of a 230,000 death toll was by Ibn Taghribirdi in the fifteenth century.|
|8||"Damghan"||December 22, 856||Damghan, Iran||200,000 (est.)||7.9 (est.)|
|9||"Ardabil"||March 22, 893||Ardabil, Iran||150,000 (est.)||Unknown||Reports probably relate to the 893 Dvin earthquake, due to misreading of the Arabic word for Dvin, 'Dabil' as 'Ardabil'. This is regarded as a 'fake earthquake'.|
|10||"Great Kantō"||September 1, 1923||Kantō region, Japan||142,800||7.9||An earthquake which struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58 on the morning of September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes. The quake had an epicenter deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay. It devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. The power and intensity of the earthquake is easy to underestimate, but the 1923 earthquake managed to move the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura. The statue slid forward almost two feet. Casualty estimates range from about 100,000 to 142,800 deaths, the latter figure including approximately 40,000 who went missing and were presumed dead.|
|11||"Messina"||December 28, 1908||Messina, Italy||123,000||7.1||On December 28, 1908 from about 5:20 to 5:21 am an earthquake of 7.1 on the moment magnitude scale occurred centered on Messina, a city in Sicily. Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland also suffered heavy damage. The ground shook for some 30 to 40 seconds, and the destruction was felt within a 300 km radius. Moments after the earthquake, a 40 feet (12 m) tsunami struck nearby coasts causing even more devastation. 93% of structures in Messina were destroyed and some 70,000 residents were killed. Rescuers searched through the rubble for weeks, and whole families were still being pulled out alive days later, but thousands remained buried there. Buildings in the area had not been constructed for earthquake resistance, having heavy roofs and vulnerable foundations.|
|12||"Ashgabat"||October 6, 1948||Ashgabat, Turkmenistan||110,000||7.3|
|13||"Genroku"||December 31, 1703||Edo, Japan||108,800||Unknown||This earthquake shook Edo and killed an estimated 2,300 people. The earthquake is thought to have been an interplate earthquake whose focal region extended from Sagami Bay to the tip of the Bōsō Peninsula as well as the area along the Sagami Trough in the open sea southeast of the Boso Peninsula. This earthquake then resulted in a tsunami which hit the coastal areas of the Boso Peninsula and Sagami Bay. This caused more than 6,500 deaths, particularly on the Boso Peninsula. The Habu Pond on Izu Ōshima collapsed and it rushed into the sea. The tsunami was reported to have caused more than 100,000 fatalities.|
|14||"Lisbon"||November 1, 1755||Lisbon, Portugal||10,000–100,000||8.5–9.0 (est.)||Includes several thousands of deaths in Morocco and Spain|
Property damages caused by earthquake
|1||2011 Tōhoku earthquake, Japan||9.0||$122 billion|
|2||1995 Great Hanshin earthquake, Japan||6.9||$100 billion|
|3||2008 Sichuan earthquake, China||8.0||$75 billion|
|4||2010 Chile earthquake, Chile||8.8||$15–30 billion|
|5||1994 Northridge earthquake, United States||6.7||$20 billion|
|6||2012 Emilia earthquakes, Italy||4.6 to 6.1 (est.)||$13.2 billion|
|7||2011 Christchurch earthquake, New Zealand||6.3||$12 billion|
|8||1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, United States||~7.0; 6.9-7.1 reported||$11 billion|
|9||921 earthquake, Taiwan||7.6||$10 billion|
|10||1906 San Francisco earthquake, United States||7.7 to 7.9 (est.)||$9.5 billion ($400 million 1906 value)|
- ^ USGS: Magnitude 8 and Greater Earthquakes Since 1900
- ^ Weeks, Linton (March 13, 2011). "The Recorded History Of Quakes Is A Long One". National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/2011/03/13/134475802/the-recorded-history-of-quakes-is-a-long-one.
- ^ "Historic Earthquakes – Kamchatka." U.S. Geological Survey, October 26, 2009.
- ^ "New USGS number puts Japan quake at 4th largest". CBS News. 14 March 2011. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/14/501364/main20043126.shtml. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
- ^ Reilly, Michael (March 11, 2011). "Japan's quake updated to magnitude 9.0". New Scientist. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
- ^ a b USGS analysis as of March 12, 2011
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- ^ "Historic Earthquakes – Chile-Argentina Border." U.S. Geological Survey, October 26, 2009.
- ^ a b "Magnitude 8 and Greater Earthquakes Since 1900." U.S. Geological Survey, March 7, 2010
- ^ "Earthquakes with 50,000 or More Deaths". Earthquake.usgs.gov. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/world/most_destructive.php. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
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- ^ If the death toll in Myanmar was 400–600 as claimed by dissident groups there, rather than just 61 or 90, more than 230,000 people would have perished in total from the tsunami.
- ^ "Myanmar is withholding true casualties figures, says Thai priest". AsiaNews.it. January 4, 2005. Archived from the original on October 9, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061009053106/http://www.asianews.it/view.php?l=en&art=2255. Retrieved February 12, 2011. "A missioner in Ranong, a town on the border between Thailand and Myanmar, says locals talk about 600 victims. Burmese political dissidents say the same."
- ^ Ambraseys, Nicholas N., "The 12th century seismic paroxysm in the Middle East: a historical perspective" (PDF), Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 47, N. 2/3, April/June 2004, p. 743.
- ^ Ambraseys, N.N.; Melville, C.P. (2005). A History of Persian Earthquakes. Cambridge Earth Science. Cambridge University Press. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-521-02187-6. http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1JkfKub5vakC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=893+ardabil+earthquake&ots=VBmpsiGtzu&sig=5l-4JthzJg4BN6TnHBI-ADmgAsc#v=onepage&q=893%20ardabil%20earthquake&f=false. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
- ^ Gupta, H. (2011). Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences (2 ed.). Springer. p. 566. ISBN 978-90-481-8701-0. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=BHgOwNCGbnAC&pg=PA566&dq=893+ardabil+earthquake&hl=en&ei=PJGDTu6gDtCg-waUpv2rDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=893%20ardabil%20earthquake&f=false.
- ^ http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/today/index.php?month=9&day=1&submit=View+Date
- ^ Hammer, Joshua. (2006). Yokohama Burning: the Deadly 1923 Earthquake and Fire that Helped Forge the Path to World War II, p. 278, citing Francis Hawks, (1856). Narrative of the Expedition of an American Squadron to the China Seas and Japan Performed in the Years 1852, 1853 and 1854 under the Command of Commodore M.C. Perry, United States Navy, Washington: A.O.P. Nicholson by order of Congress, 1856; originally published in Senate Executive Documents, No. 34 of 33rd Congress, 2nd Session.
- ^ Great Buddha: blog
- ^ The world's worst natural disasters Calamities of the 20th and 21st centuries CBC News'.' Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- ^ Pagano, Margareta (March 13, 2011). "Japan looks for market stability after quake". The Independent (London). http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/japan-looks-for-market-stability-after-quake-2240323.html.
- ^ a b "Events and Developments (P. 3, "Calendar of events 2010: February 27")". Yearbook (UNEP). 2011. http://www.unep.org/yearbook/2011/pdfs/events_and_development.pdf.
- ^ a b c "Where can I learn more about the 1906 Earthquake?". Berkeley Seismological Lab. Last modified: December 11, 2011. http://seismo.berkeley.edu/faq/1906_0.html.
- ^ "New Zealand Earthquake Report". GeoNet (Earthquake Commission and GNS Science). February 22, 2011. http://www.geonet.org.nz/earthquake/quakes/3468575g.html.
- ^ Stoffer, Philip W., "The San Andreas Fault In The San Francisco Bay Area, California: A Geology Fieldtrip Guidebook To Selected Stops On Public Lands" (Introduction, p. 5), USGS, 2005.