The World’s Most Powerful Earthquake with an instrumentally documented magnitude occurred on May 22, 1960, near Valdivia, in southern Chile. It was assigned a magnitude of 9.5 by the United States Geological Survey. Explore the list of 10 Largest Earthquakes in the World both in the number of deaths and magnitude.
Largest Earthquake In The World:
An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves.
Throughout the recorded history, earthquakes have resulted in the loss of numerous human lives. The worst of the damage attributed from the earthquake was caused by a tsunami as it was seen 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake that hit Indonesia, and the north-eastern island of New Guinea with reported 10 m high waves hitting the island nations.
Earthquakes on land have contributed some of the largest death tolls in human history. Here is the list of 10 most notable and largest earthquake in the world – both in terms of a number of deaths, physical devastation, and magnitudes.
2017 Mexico Earthquake (8.1 magnitudes)
On September 7th, 11:49 p.m (local time), Mexico was hit by massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake, shaking buildings in the capital and killing at least 26 people in southern states. The quake hit offshore near Chiapas state at a depth of 69.7 kilometers (43.3 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
10. Northern Pakistan and Kashmir
October 8, 2005, Kashmir, Pakistan was hit by an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.6. The disaster had a death toll of 85,000 and more than 69,000 were injured.
With its epicenter about 19 km (12 mi) northeast of Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, it affected countries in surrounding regions with 14,000 deaths in Jammu alone and tremors felt as far as in Tajikistan and western China.
U.S. military stationed in Afghanistan, UN Disaster Relief Agency along with Pakistan military – recover the people from remote areas using helicopters, rebuilt the destroyed roads and providing aerial transportation in hard to reach areas.
9. Shemakha, Azerbaijan
Shemakha, Azerbaijan earthquake with a 6.9 magnitude on Richter scale occurred in November 1667 with its epicenter close to the city of Sama Xi, also in Azerbaijan.
It had a maximum felt intensity of 10 Richter scale and caused the death of 80,000 people with an estimated damage of over $25 million.
8. Tabriz, Iran
A large Earthquake struck Tabriz, Iran on April 26, 1721. With an epicenter near the city of Tabriz, It leveled some three-quarters of the city, including many prominent mosques and schools in the city, resulting in death casualties of 8,000 to 250,000, though it was approximated at 80,000 only.
At the time that it occurred, the earthquake was popularly interpreted as an omen of misfortune, or a demonstration of godly wrath.
The destruction that the earthquake caused was a significant factor in the successful Ottoman takeover of Tabriz in 1722, as well as contributing to Tabriz’s economic difficulties during that period.
7. Lisbon, Portugal in 1755
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon earthquake, occurred in the Kingdom of Portugal on Saturday, 1 November, the holy day of All Saints’ Day, at around 09:40 local time. With an estimated magnitude of 8.5 – 9, the Lisbon earthquake resulted in the death casualties of 10,000–100,000.
The earthquake accentuated political tensions in the Kingdom of Portugal and profoundly disrupted the country’s colonial ambitions.
6. Yungay (Ancash), Peru
The Great Peruvian Earthquake was an undersea earthquake that affected the regions of Ancash and La Libertad. It occurred on May 31, 1970, and was recorded as the worst catastrophic natural disaster that hit Peru, which affected over 3 million people.
It led to the death of 20,000 people in the town of Yungay alone, with damages incurred tallied to 74,194 deaths, 25,600 missing, 143,331 injured, and more than a million homeless. It had a moment magnitude of 7.9. It was the worst catastrophic natural disaster in the history of Peru.
5. Sicily, Italy
On January 11, 1693, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4. The 1693 Sicily earthquake struck parts of southern Italy near Sicily, Calabria, and Malta on January 11 at around 21:00 local time. This earthquake was preceded by a damaging aftershock on January 9.
Destroying at least 70 towns and cities, seriously affecting an area of 5,600 square kilometers (2,200 sq mi) and causing the death of about 60,000 people, resulting in the killing of almost two-thirds of the entire population of the City of Catania.
4. Rudbar, Iran
The 1990 Manjil–Rudbar earthquake occurred on June 21 at 00:30:14 local time in northern Iran. The shock had a moment magnitude of 7.4. Widespread damage occurred to the northwest of the capital city of Tehran, including the cities of Rudbar and Manjil.
The earthquake destroyed 700 villages across the cities of Rudbar, Manjil, and Lushan and cost $8 billion dollars in damages, including 40,000 fatalities, 60,000 injured and 500,000 people homeless.
3. Izmit, Turkey
The 1999 İzmit earthquake (also known as the Kocaeli, Gölcük, or Marmara earthquake) occurred on 17 August at 03:01:40 local time in northwestern Turkey. The shock had a moment magnitude of 7.6.
The city of Izmit was worst hit and had a death toll of 17,127 and 43, 959 injured through other sources suggested that the actual figure for fatalities may be closer to 45,000 with a similar number of injured.
The entire earthquake event lasted for 37 seconds, killing around 17,000 people in total and left approximately half a million people homeless. The nearby city of İzmit was very badly damaged.
2. Nankaido, Japan
The 1498 Nankai earthquake occurred off the coast of Nankaidō, Japan, at about 08:00 local time on 20 September 1498. It had a magnitude estimated at 8.6 MS and triggered a large tsunami. It triggered a large tsunami, which cost the lives of between 26,000 and 31,000 people.
The earthquake measured between 8.1 and 8.4 on the moment magnitude scale and was felt from Northern Honshū to Kyūshū at a distance of 1000 Km.
1. Nepal Earthquake
The 2015 Nepal earthquake (also known as the Gorkha earthquake) killed nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000. It occurred at 11:56 Nepal Standard Time on 25 April, with a magnitude of 7.8. It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake.
The ground motion recorded in Kathmandu valley was of low frequency which, along with its occurrence at an hour where many people in rural areas were working outdoors, decreased the loss of property and human life.
The devastating quake also destroyed major monuments such as the Dharahara tower, temples and world heritage sites near Kathmandu. The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing 21 climbers, making April 25, 2015, the deadliest day on the mountain in history.