Days that shook the Earth through history

A LOOK at the world’s most powerful earthquakes and tsunamis:

January 2010, Haiti: A 7.0-magnitude quake kills more than 200,000 people. It produces two six-foot tsunamis.

October 2010, Indonesia: A volcanic eruption and tsunami kill more than 500 people hundreds of miles apart. Thousands flee and scores of houses are destroyed by waves after the 7.7-magnitude quake.

February 2010, Chile: A devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Chile, triggering a tsunami which threatens a quarter of the globe. It kills 524 people.

September 2009, South Pacific: The 8.0-magnitude earthquake is the biggest of 2009, sending four killer waves rising up to 20 feet that hit American Somoa, Somoa and Tonga. It kills 194 people.

September 2007, Indonesia: An earthquake with an 8.4 magnitude hits Sumatra, triggering a wave in Padang that kills at least 25 people.

April 2007, Solomon Islands: Thirteen villages are completely wiped out when the 8.1-magnitude quake hits. The tsunami that follows kills 52 people.

July 2006, Indonesia: A 7.7-magnitude quake hits Java, triggering a giant tsunami that hits barely an hour later. At least 600 people are killed.

March 2005, Indonesia: An 8.6-magnitude quake in Sumatra kills about 1,300 people, mostly on the island of Nias.

December 2004, Indian Ocean: An undersea earthquake triggers a series of devastating tsunamis. It kills more than 230,000 people in 14 countries, sending waves up to 100 feet high. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand are hardest hit.

August 1976, Philippines: The 8.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami is the worst in the history of the Philippines. It leaves at least 5,000 people dead.

March 1964, Alaska: The “Great Alaskan Earthquake,” with a magnitude of 9.2, kills 131 people, including 128 from the resulting tsunami.

May 1960, Chile: A 9.5-magnitude earthquake is the largest ever recorded, according to the US Geological Survey. Approximately 1,655 are killed and 3,000 injured in the quake and ensuing tsunami.

November 1952, Hawaii: A 9.0-magnitude quake in Kamchatka sets off 30-foot waves in Hawaii. There are no reported deaths.

August 1950, Tibet: An 8.6-magnitude earthquake in Assam kills at least 780 people.

August 1868, Peru: A magnitude 9.0 quake in Arica, Peru (now Chile) generates catastrophic tsunamis; more than 25,000 people die in South America.

November, 1755, Portugal: A magnitude 8.7 quake and ensuing tsunami in Lisbon kill an estimated 60,000 people.

July 1730, Chile: A magnitude 8.7 quake in Valparasio kills at least 3,000 people.

January 1700: A magnitude 9.0 quake shakes Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Colombia and triggers a tsunami in Japan.

Picture: AP Photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun / Reiri Kurihara

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox