Recent California earthquakes have reminded us how destructive nature’s power can be. Nevertheless, mankind has been a witness of global disasters through its history. Did you know about the 3 most powerful earthquakes in the world?

  1. Valdivia, Chile. Magnitude 9.5

On May 22, 1960, the biggest earthquake recorded in history—magnitude 9.5—struck southern Chile. This earthquake killed 1655 people, injured 3000 and displaced two million. It caused US$550 million damage in Chile.

The Valdivia earthquake triggered a massive tsunami that raced across the Pacific. Waves wracked coastal communities as far away as New Zealand, Japan, and the Philippines. In Hawaii, the tsunami devastated the coastal town of Hilo, killing 61 people. Two days after the initial quake, the nearby volcano Puyehue erupted, sending ash and steam up to 4 mi. into the atmosphere over a period of several weeks.

  1. Prince William Sound, Alaska. Magnitude 9.2

On March 27, 1964 at 5:36pm local time a great earthquake of magnitude 9.2 occurred in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska. The earthquake lasted approximately 4.5 minutes and is the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. history. It is also the second largest earthquake ever recorded worldwide.

The earthquake was felt mainly over Alaska, as well as some places in Canada, while the tsunami created by it caused damage as far away as Hawaii, took 128 lives and caused overall US$311 million in damage.

  1. Sumatra, Indonesia (9.1)

On December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake occurred off the coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The tsunami generated by this earthquake was recorded nearly world-wide and killed more people than any other tsunami in recorded history, almost 230,000 missing and presumed dead with around 1.7 million displaced over 14 countries in South Asia and East Africa.

Some days later on December 28, a mud volcano began erupting near Baratang, Andamar Islands, which is thought to have been associated with the earthquake.

The estimated material losses are $10 billion and insured losses are $2 billion.

Stay tuned and find more information about the most outstanding natural phenomena in the SkyAlert website.


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