World’s worst quakes

THE 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Indonesia was the world’s fifth most powerful since 1900 and the strongest since a 9.2 quake slammed Alaska 40 years ago, US earthquake experts said.

The globe’s most potent quake since 1900 struck with a 9.5 magnitude in Chile in 1960. The quake in Prince William Sound Alaska occurred in 1964, the US Geological Survey’s website said.

A magnitude 9.1 quake hit Alaska’s Andreanof Islands in 1957, and a 9.0 temblor rumbled on Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula in 1952.

Others were:

December 26, 2003: Southeastern Iran, Bam, magnitude 6.5; More than 41,000 killed.

May 21, 2003: Northern Algeria, magnitude 6.8; Nearly 2,300 killed.

March 25, 2002: Northern Afghanistan, magnitude 5.8; up to 1,000 killed.

Jan 26, 2001: India, magnitude 7.9; at least 2,500 killed. Estimates put death toll as high as 13,000.

Sept 21, 1999: Taiwan, magnitude 7.6; 2,400 killed.

Aug 17, 1999: Western Turkey, magnitude 7.4; 17,000 killed.

May 30, 1998: Northern Afghanistan and Tajikistan, magnitude 6.9; as many as 5,000 killed.

Jan 17, 1995: Kobe, Japan, magnitude 7.2; more than 6,000 killed.

Sept 30, 1993: Latur, India, magnitude 6.0; up to 10,000 killed.

June 21, 1990: Northwest Iran, magnitude 7.3-7.7; 50,000 killed.

Dec 7, 1988: Northwest Armenia, magnitude 6.9; 25,000 killed.

Sept 19, 1985: Central Mexico, magnitude 8.1; more than 9,500 killed.

Sept 16, 1978: Northeast Iran, magnitude 7.7; 25,000 killed.

July 28, 1976: Tangshan, China; magnitude 7.8-8.2; 240,000 killed.

Feb 4, 1976: Guatemala, magnitude 7.5; 22,778 killed.

May 31, 1935: Quetta, India, magnitude 7.5; 50,000 killed.

Sept 1, 1923: Tokyo-Yokohama, Japan, magnitude 8.3; at least 140,000 killed.

Tsunamis generated by earthquakes often cause more destruction and death than tremors on land.

Valdivia, Chile in 1960; The tidal wave was reported to be 35ft high, and hit Hawaii, the Philippines, and Japan.

The second largest was centred on Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1964, and measured 9.2.

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