Lists of earthquakes

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Earthquakes (M6.0+) between 1900 and 2017

Earthquakes are caused by movements within the Earth's crust and uppermost mantle. They range from events too weak to be detectable except by sensitive instrumentation, to sudden and violent events lasting many minutes which have caused some of the greatest disasters in human history. Below, earthquakes are listed by period, region or country, year, magnitude, cost, fatalities and number of scientific studies.

Lists by period[edit]

Lists by country[edit]

Lists by region[edit]

Largest earthquakes by year[edit]

Year Magnitude Location Depth MMI Notes Deaths Injuries Event Date
1952 9.0  Russia, Kamchatka 21.6 XI The death toll from this earthquake and resulting tsunami may be as high as 17,000. 2,336 0 1952 Severo-Kurilsk earthquake November 4
1953 7.9  Japan, Yokohama 25.0 V - 1 0 [1] November 25
1954 7.8  Spain, Andalusia 626.2 IV Its deep depth might explain why no people were killed in this earthquake. 0 0 [2] March 29
1955 7.5  New Zealand, Kermadec Islands 15.0 I - 0 0 [3] February 27
1956 7.7  Greece, Dodecanese Islands 20.0 IX The earthquake triggered a 30 m (98 ft) high tsunami 56 0 1956 Amorgos earthquake July 9
1957 8.6  United States, Aleutian Islands, Alaska 25.0 VIII A 10 meter high tsunami led to most of the damage. 2 0 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake March 9
1958 8.3  Russia, Kuril Islands 35.0 IX[4] - 0 51 [5] November 6
1959 7.9  Russia, Kamchatka 55.0 VIII A tsunami up to 2 m (6 ft 7 in) high was Observed in the Aleutian Islands 1 13 1959 Kamchatka earthquake May 4
1960 9.5  Chile, Valdivia 25.0 XII This was the Largest earthquake since 1900 anywhere on Earth, a Tsunami up to 25 m (82 ft) High was Observed on the Chilean Coast 6,000 11,000 1960 Valdivia earthquake May 22
1961 7.6  Peru, Madre de Dios Region 612.2 IV - 0 0 [6] August 19
1962 7.5  Fiji, Offshore 390.0 I - 0 0 [7] May 21
1963 8.5  Russia, Kuril Islands 35.0 IX - 0 0 1963 Kuril Islands earthquake October 13
1964 9.2 United States Alaska, Prince William Sound 25.0 XI Most of the deaths were caused by a tsunami, which was the Largest earthquake-produced tsunami ever recorded at a height of 67.0 m (219.8 ft), This Was The 2nd largest earthquake in Modern times and the Largest in The Entire North American Continent. 131 0 1964 Alaska earthquake March 28
1965 8.7 United States Alaska, Aleutian Islands 30.3 X[8] A tsunami up to 10.7 m (35 ft) Was observed but caused little damage, this was the 2nd largest earthquake in Alaska and the United States as a whole. 0 0 1965 Rat Islands earthquake February 4
1966 8.1  Peru, Arequipa 38.0 IX A 3.4 m (11 ft) High tsunami was formed. 125 3,000 October 17
1967 7.4  Turkey, Sakarya Province 30.0 X - 86 0 1967 Mudurnu earthquake July 22
1968 8.3  Japan, Hokkaidō 26.0 VIII A majority of the Casualties Were from a 6 m (20 ft) high tsunami 52 330 1968 Tokachi earthquake May 16
1969 8.2  Russia, Kuril Islands 30.0 VIII - 0 0 [9] August 11
1970 8.0  Colombia, Amazonas Department 644.8 IV This was one of the largest Deep-Focus earthquakes ever recorded. 1 4 1970 Colombia earthquake July 31
1971 8.1  Papua New Guinea, Kokopo 37.0 IX An 8.0 Event occurred 12 Days Earlier,[10] So this can be considered a Doublet earthquake 3 5 1971 Solomon Islands earthquakes July 26
1972 8.0  Philippines, Mindanao 60.0 VII - 0 0 [11] December 2
1973 7.8  Japan, Hokkaidō 43.3 VIII A 5.98 m (19.6 ft) High tsunami was triggered. 0 27 1973 Nemuro earthquake June 17
1974 8.1  Peru, Lima 13.0 IX - 78 2,400 1974 Lima earthquake October 3
1975 7.9  Papua New Guinea, Bougainville Island 49.0 VIII A 2 m (6 ft 7 in) high tsunami destroyed a few homes. 0 0 [12] July 20
1976 8.0  Philippines, Moro Gulf 33.0 VIII Further casualties were Caused by a 9 m (30 ft) High tsunami. 8,000 10,000 1976 Moro Gulf earthquake August 17
1977 8.3  Indonesia, Bima 25.0 VI The earthquake was felt as far away as Albany in Australia, A 5.8 m (19 ft) High tsunami was also triggered. 189 1,100 1977 Sumba earthquake August 19
1978 7.7  Japan, Miyagi 44.0 VIII 6,757 Buildings destroyed or badly damaged, The earthquake also triggered a 60 cm (2.0 ft) high tsunami. 28 1,325 1978 Miyagi earthquake June 12
1979 8.2  Ecuador, Tumaco 24.0 IX A tsunami up to 6 m (20 ft) high was triggered.[13] 600 0 1979 Tumaco earthquake December 12
1980 7.9  Solomon Islands, Santa Cruz Islands 33.0 VI - 0 0 [14] July 17
1981 7.7  Samoa, Apia 25.0 VI One person drowned in a 1 m (3 ft 3 in) high tsunami. 1[15] 0 [16] September 1
1982 7.2  El Salvador, Offshore 73.0 VIII This event had similarities to the January 2001 El Salvador earthquake. 43 0 1982 El Salvador earthquake June 19
1983 7.6  Papua New Guinea, New Ireland 88.8 VII In areas close to the epicentre, landslides occurred and trees were uprooted, a 25 cm (0.82 ft) high tsunami was observed off the coast. 0 0 [17] March 18
1984 7.6  Solomon Islands, Honiara 18.1 VIII Some landslides occurred 0 0 [18] February 7
1985 8.0  Mexico, Mexico City 27.9 IX At least 3,536 buildings damaged or destroyed, a 3.0 m (9.8 ft)-high tsunami was observed on the Mexican coast, while some estimates put the height at 30 m (98 ft)[19] 10,000 30,000 1985 Mexico City earthquake September 19
1986 8.0  United States, Aleutian Islands, Alaska 19.0 VII Minor damage was reported in areas near the epicenter. A tsunami with heights of 10 ft (3.0 m) struck Hawaii, more than 6,400 km (4,000 mi) away.[20] 0 0 [21] May 7
1987 7.9  United States, Gulf of Alaska 10.0 VI Minor damage was reported in areas near the epicentre and a small tsunami was observed. 0 0 [22] November 30
1988 7.7 MyanmarChina Myanmar-China border region 17.8 X Some damage was also reported in Myanmar. 938 7,700 1988 Lancang earthquake November 6
1989 8.0  Australia, Macquarie Island 10.0 V - 0 0 [23] May 23
1990 7.8  Philippines, Luzon 24.4 IX 1,621 3,000 1990 Luzon earthquake July 16
1991 7.7  Costa Rica, Limón 10.0 IX A 4 m (13 ft)-high tsunami was observed. 127 759 1991 Limon earthquake April 22
1992 7.8  Indonesia, Sunda Islands 23.5 VIII A tsunami struck with heights of 25 m (82 ft). 2,500 0 1992 Flores earthquake and tsunami December 12
1993 7.8  Guam, Offshore 59.3 IX 71 people were injured and a tsunami up to 2.1 m (6 ft 11 in) was observed. 0 71 1993 Guam earthquake August 8
1994 8.3  Russia, Kuril Islands 3.0 IX A 3.5 m (11 ft)-high tsunami was observed. 12 1,742 1994 Kuril Islands earthquake October 5
1996 8.0  Chile, Antofagasta 30.5 VII 3 59 1995 Antofagasta earthquake July 30
1996 8.2  Indonesia, Biak 11.5 VIII A 7 m (23 ft)-high tsunami occurred. 166 423 1996 Biak earthquake February 17
1997 7.7  Russia, Kamchatka Peninsula 23.5 VIII An 8.2 m (27 ft)-hugh tsunami was observed. 0 0 1997 Kamchatka earthquake December 5
1998 8.1  Antarctica, Balleny Islands 10.0 VI Believed to be the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in this area to date. 0 0 [24] March 25
1999 7.7  Taiwan, Nantou County 15.5 IX At least 105,479 buildings damaged or destroyed. 2,444 11,305 1999 Jiji earthquake September 21
2000 8.0  Papua New Guinea, New Ireland 13.0 VII One person killed in a landslide, another from a heart attack. Two 7.8 Mw  aftershocks occurred the following day. 2 0 2000 New Ireland earthquakes November 16
2001 8.4  Peru, Arequipa 33.0 VIII At least 90 drowned in a 7 m (23 ft)-high tsunami. 145 2,713 2001 southern Peru earthquake June 23
2002 7.9  United States, Alaska 4.2 IX It is the largest earthquake in Alaska in 16 years. 0 1 2002 Denali earthquake November 3
2003 8.3  Japan, Hokkaidō 23.5 IX Two missing. A 4 m (13 ft)-high tsunami observed. 0 849 2003 Tokachi earthquake September 25
2004 9.1-9.3  Indonesia, Sumatra 10.0 IX Majority of the deaths were from the associated tsunami that devastated parts of Southeast Asia and Western Africa with heights up to 51 m (167 ft) in Banda Aceh. 227,898 125,000 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami December 26
2005 8.6  Indonesia, Simeulue 21.0 IX Ten fatalities in Sri Lanka due to evacuations. A 3 m (9.8 ft)-high tsunami damaged an airport. 1,313 300 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake March 28
2006 8.3  Russia, Kuril Islands 10.0 VI 1 person injured when the tsunami struck with heights of 15 m (49 ft). 0 1 2006 Kuril Islands earthquake November 15
2007 8.4  Indonesia, Sumatra 34.0 VIII A 3 m (9.8 ft) tsunami observed. 23 0 September 2007 Sumatra earthquakes September 12
2008 8.0 Ms  China, Sichuan 19.0 XI 87,587 374,177 2008 Sichuan earthquake May 12
2009 8.1  Samoa, Offshore 18.0 VII A tsunami up to 14 m (46 ft) struck the Samoan coast. 189 7 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami September 29
2010 8.8  Chile, Concepción 22.9 IX A 10 m (33 ft) tsunami struck the Chilean coast. 550 12,000 2010 Chile earthquake February 27
2011 9.1  Japan, Honshu 29.0 IX A Tsunami up to 40.5 m (133 ft) struck the Tohoku coast. 19,747 6,000 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami March 11
2012 8.6  Indonesia, Indian Ocean 20.0 VII An 8.2 Mw  aftershock occurred a few hours later. 10 12 2012 Indian Ocean earthquakes April 11
2013 8.3  Russia, Sea of Okhotsk 598.1 VI The quake was felt as far away as Moscow. 0 0 2013 Okhotsk Sea earthquake May 24
2014 8.2  Chile, Iquique 25.0 VIII 6 9 2014 Iquique earthquake April 1
2015 8.3  Chile, Coquimbo 22.4 IX 21 34 2015 Illapel earthquake September 16
2016 7.9  Papua New Guinea, New Ireland 94.5 VII - 0 0 2016 Solomon Islands earthquakes#December 17 earthquake December 17
2017 8.2  Mexico, Chiapas 47.4 IX 98 250 2017 Chiapas earthquake September 8
2018 8.2  Fiji, Offshore 600.0 V - 0 0 2018 Fiji earthquake August 19
2019 8.0  Peru, Loreto 122.6 VIII 2 0 2019 Peru earthquake May 26
2020 7.8  United States, Alaska Peninsula 28.0 VII Foreshock to the 8.2 in 2021, along with an Event in October. 0 0 July 2020 Alaska Peninsula earthquake July 22
2021 8.2  United States, Alaska Peninsula 32.2 VI This is the largest earthquake in the United States since the 1965 Rat Islands earthquake 0 0 2021 Shumagin earthquake July 29

Largest earthquakes by magnitude[edit]

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. The 2011 Japan quake would be roughly similar to Sumatra.
Earthquakes of magnitude 8.0 and greater from 1900 to 2018. The apparent 3D volumes of the bubbles are linearly proportional to their respective fatalities.[25] The colour indicates the continent, and the legend counts the number of quakes for each. Notice the absence of Africa.

Listed below are all the 37 known earthquakes with an estimated magnitude of 8.5 or higher since 1500. Limited to a timeframe with enough data, this gives a rough estimate of its frequency per century. (The timeframe does not include outlying events like the earlier 1361 Shōhei earthquake and 869 Jōgan earthquake, both estimated to have magnitude ≥ 8.5.)

Prior to the development and deployment of seismographs – starting around 1900 – magnitudes can only be estimated, based on historical reports of the extent and severity of damage.[26]

Rank Date Location Event Magnitude
1 May 22, 1960 Chile Valdivia, Chile 1960 Valdivia earthquake 9.4–9.6
2 March 27, 1964 United States Prince William Sound, Alaska, United States 1964 Alaska earthquake 9.2
3 December 26, 2004 Indonesia Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake 9.1–9.3
4 March 11, 2011 Japan Pacific Ocean, Tōhoku region, Japan 2011 Tōhoku earthquake 9.1[27]
5 June 11, 1585 United States Pacific Ocean, Aleutian Islands (now Alaska, United States) 1585 Aleutian Islands earthquake 9.25 (est.)
6 July 8, 1730 Chile Valparaiso, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1730 Valparaíso earthquake 9.1–9.3 (est.)[28]
7 November 4, 1952 Russia Kamchatka, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union 1952 Severo-Kurilsk earthquake 9.0[29]
8 August 13, 1868 Chile Arica, Chile (then Peru) 1868 Arica earthquake 8.5–9.0 (est.)
9 January 26, 1700 CanadaUnited States Pacific Ocean, US and Canada (then claimed by the Spanish Empire and the British Empire) 1700 Cascadia earthquake 8.7–9.2 (est.)
11 April 2, 1762 Bangladesh Chittagong, Bangladesh (then Kingdom of Mrauk U) 1762 Arakan earthquake 8.8 (est.)
11 November 25, 1833 Indonesia Sumatra, Indonesia (then part of the Dutch East Indies) 1833 Sumatra earthquake 8.8 (est.)
12 November 26, 1852 Indonesia Banda Islands, Indonesia (then part of the Dutch East Indies) 1852 Banda Sea earthquake 8.8 (est.)[30]
13 January 31, 1906 EcuadorColombia Ecuador – Colombia 1906 Ecuador–Colombia earthquake 8.8[31]
14 February 27, 2010 Chile Offshore Maule, Chile 2010 Chile earthquake 8.8[31]
15 October 28, 1707 Japan Pacific Ocean, Shikoku region, Japan 1707 Hōei earthquake 8.7–9.3 (est.)
16 November 1, 1755 Portugal Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon, Portugal 1755 Lisbon earthquake 8.5–9.0
17 February 4, 1965 United States Rat Islands, Alaska, United States 1965 Rat Islands earthquake 8.7
18 October 28, 1746 Peru Lima, Peru (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1746 Lima–Callao earthquake 8.6 (est.)
19 March 28, 1787 Mexico Oaxaca, Mexico (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1787 New Spain earthquake 8.6 (est.)
20 August 15, 1950 IndiaChina Assam, India – Tibet, China 1950 Assam–Tibet earthquake 8.6
21 March 9, 1957 United States Andreanof Islands, Alaska, United States 1957 Andreanof Islands earthquake 8.6[31]
22 March 28, 2005 Indonesia Sumatra, Indonesia 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake 8.6[31]
23 April 11, 2012 Indonesia Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia 2012 Indian Ocean earthquakes 8.6
24 December 16, 1575 Chile Valdivia, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1575 Valdivia earthquake 8.5 (est.)
25 November 24, 1604 Chile Arica, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1604 Arica earthquake 8.5 (est.)
26 May 13, 1647 Chile Santiago, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1647 Santiago earthquake 8.5 (est.)
27 May 24, 1751 Chile Concepción, Chile (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1751 Concepción earthquake 8.5 (est.)
28 November 19, 1822 Chile Valparaíso, Chile 1822 Valparaíso earthquake 8.5 (est.)
29 February 20, 1835 Chile Concepción, Chile 1835 Concepción earthquake 8.5 (est.)
30 February 16, 1861 Indonesia Sumatra, Indonesia 1861 Sumatra earthquake 8.5
31 May 9, 1877 Chile Iquique, Chile (then Peru) 1877 Iquique earthquake 8.5 (est.)
32 November 10, 1922 Chile Atacama Region, Chile Catamarca Province, Argentina 1922 Vallenar earthquake 8.5[32]
33 February 1, 1938 Indonesia Banda Sea, Indonesia (then part of the Dutch East Indies) 1938 Banda Sea earthquake 8.5[31]
34 October 13, 1963 Russia Kuril Islands, Russia (USSR) 1963 Kuril Islands earthquake 8.5[31]
35 October 20, 1687 Peru Lima, Peru (then part of the Spanish Empire) 1687 Peru earthquake 8.5 (est.)
36 October 17, 1737 Russia Kamchatka Peninsula|Kamchatka, Russia 1737 Kamchatka earthquake 8.5 (est.)
37 June 15, 1896 Japan Pacific Ocean, Tōhoku region, Japan 1896 Sanriku earthquake 8.5 (est.)
38 July 25, 1668 China Shandong, China 1668 Shandong earthquake 8.5 (est.)[33]
39 March 31, 1761 Portugal Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon, Portugal 1761 Lisbon earthquake 8.5 (est.)[34]
Century Number with
magnitude ≥ 8.5
1501–1600 2
1601–1700 5
1701–1800 9
1801–1900 7
1901–2000 10
2001–2020 5
Total 37

Note that historical records are known to be incomplete. Earthquakes that occurred in remote areas prior to the advent of modern instrumentation in the early to mid 1900s were not well-reported, and exact locations and magnitudes of such events are often unknown. Therefore, the apparent increase in large earthquake frequency over the last few centuries is unlikely to be accurate.

Largest earthquakes by country/territory[edit]

  • This list is a work in progress. Information is likely to be changed.
  • The list refers to current country boundaries rather than those at the date of the earthquake.
  • Please note, multiple countries could have the same earthquake listed, such as the 1906 Ecuador–Colombia earthquake being listed for both Ecuador and Colombia.
  • Unless otherwise noted, magnitudes are reported on the Moment magnitude scale (Mw).
Country/Territory Magnitude Date More information
Afghanistan Afghanistan 7.8 15 November 1921 [35]
Albania Albania 6.7 30 November 1967 [36]
Algeria Algeria 7.1 10 October 1980 1980 El Asnam earthquake
Andorra Andorra 6.7 Februay 2 1428 1428 Catalonia earthquake
Angola Angola 5.3 19 October 2001 [37]
Antarctica Antarctica 8.1 25 March 1998 [38]
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda 7.5 8 October 1974 [39]
Armenia Armenia 6.8 Ms 7 December 1988 1988 Armenian earthquake
Argentina Argentina 7.5 27 October 1894 1894 San Juan earthquake
Australia Australia 6.7 22 January 1988 [40]
Austria Austria 5.5–6.0 15 September 1590 1590 Neulengbach earthquake
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 6.9 25 November 1667 1667 Shamakhi earthquake
Bangladesh Bangladesh 8.8 2 April 1762 1762 Arakan earthquake
Barbados Barbados 6.5 18 February 2014 [41]
Belgium Belgium 6.3 18 September 1692 [42]
Belize Belize 7.3 28 May 2009 2009 Swan Islands earthquake
Bhutan Bhutan 7.5–8.5 1714 [43]
Bolivia Bolivia 8.2 9 June 1994 1994 Bolivia earthquake
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 6.4 27 October 1969 1969 Banja Luka earthquake
Botswana Botswana 6.8 11 October 1952 [44]
Brazil Brazil 7.6 9 November 1963 [45]
British Indian Ocean Territory British Indian Ocean Territory 7.3 30 November 1983 [46]
Bulgaria Bulgaria 7.2 Ms[47] 4 April 1904 see List of earthquakes in Bulgaria
Burundi Burundi 5.3 29 January 1978 [48]
Cameroon Cameroon 4.9 27 January 1987 [49]
Canada Canada 8.7–9.2 26 January 1700 1700 Cascadia earthquake
Cayman Islands Cayman Islands 6.8 14 December 2004 [50]
Central African Republic Central African Republic 4.9 6 February 1994 [51]
Chile Chile 9.5 22 May 1960 1960 Valdivia earthquake
China China 8.6 15 August 1950 1950 Assam–Tibet earthquake
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Cocos Islands 7.9 18 June 2000 [52]
Colombia Colombia 8.8 31 January 1906 1906 Ecuador–Colombia earthquake
Comoros Comoros 6.0 29 April 1952 [53]
Republic of the Congo Congo 5.2 26 April 1998 [54]
Costa Rica Costa Rica 7.7 22 April 1991 1991 Limon earthquake
Croatia Croatia 6.4 29 December 2020 2020 Petrinja earthquake
Cuba Cuba 7.6 11 June 1766 List of earthquakes in Cuba[55]
Cyprus Cyprus 7.0 11 May 1222 1222 Cyprus earthquake
Czech Republic Czech Republic 4.8 ML 23 December 1985 [56]
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo 6.8 5 December 2005 2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake
Denmark Denmark 4.4 ML[57][58][59] 19 February 2010 Jutland
Djibouti Djibouti 6.5 20 August 1989 [60]
Dominica Dominica 6.3 21 November 2004 2004 Les Saintes earthquake
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic 8.1 Ms 4 August 1946 1946 Dominican Republic earthquake
East Timor East Timor 6.0 20 January 1959 [61]
Ecuador Ecuador 8.8 31 January 1906 1906 Ecuador–Colombia earthquake
Egypt Egypt 7.3 22 November 1995 1995 Gulf of Aqaba earthquake
El Salvador El Salvador 8.0 MI 19 December 1862 [62]
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea 4.9 28 March 1999 [63]
Eritrea Eritrea 6.2 23 September 1915 [64]
Estonia Estonia 4.5–4.7 mb  25 October 1976 1976 Osmussaare earthquake
Ethiopia Ethiopia 6.5 30 June 1919 [65]
Fiji Fiji 8.2 19 August 2018 2018 Fiji earthquake
Finland Finland 4.7 4 November 1898 [66]
France France 6.2 11 June 1909 1909 Provence earthquake
Gabon Gabon 6.2 Ms 23 September 1974 [67]
Georgia (country) Georgia 7.0 29 April 1991 1991 Racha earthquake
Germany Germany 6.1 18 February 1756 1756 Düren earthquake
Ghana Ghana 6.5 ML 22 June 1939 [68]
Greece Greece 8.5+ 21 July 365 365 Crete earthquake
Grenada Grenada 5.5 28 November 1985 [69]
Greenland Greenland 7.7 20 November 1933 1933 Baffin Bay earthquake
Guam Guam 7.8 8 August 1993 [70]
Guatemala Guatemala 7.7 6 August 1942 1942 Guatemala earthquake
Guinea Guinea 6.3 22 December 1983 1983 Guinea earthquake[71]
Guyana Guyana 5.5 31 January 2021 [72]
Haiti Haiti 8.1 Ms 7 May 1842 1842 Cap-Haïtien earthquake
Honduras Honduras 7.5 10 January 2018 2018 Swan Islands earthquake
Hungary Hungary 6.3 ML 28 June 1763 1763 Komárom earthquake
Iceland Iceland 6.9 28 March 1963 [73]
India India 8.6 15 August 1950 1950 Assam–Tibet earthquake
Indonesia Indonesia 9.1–9.3 26 December 2004 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
Iran Iran 7.9 Ms 22 December 856 856 Damghan earthquake
Iraq Iraq 7.0 22 September 1666 [74]
Republic of Ireland Ireland 5.4 19 July 1984 1984 Llŷn Peninsula earthquake
Israel Israel 6.3 11 July 1927 1927 Jericho earthquake
Italy Italy 7.4 11 January 1693 1693 Sicily earthquake
Jamaica Jamaica 7.7 28 January 2020 2020 Caribbean earthquake
Japan Japan 9.0 11 March 2011 2011 Tōhoku earthquake
Jordan Jordan 6.3 11 July 1927 1927 Jericho earthquake
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 7.7 3 January 1911 1911 Kebin earthquake
Kenya Kenya 7.0 6 January 1928 [75]
Kiribati Kiribati 5.9 23 May 1982 [76]
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan 7.7 3 January 1911 1911 Kebin earthquake
Laos Laos 6.9 Ms 24 June 1983 [77]
Lebanon Lebanon 7.5 9 July 551 551 Beirut earthquake
Libya Libya 6.8 19 April 1935 [78]
Madagascar Madagascar 5.6 21 April 1991 [79]
Malawi Malawi 6.2 mb  10 March 1989 [80]
Malaysia Malaysia 6.3 11 August 1923 [81]
Maldives Maldives 7.1 29 February 1944 [82]
Malta Malta 7.4 11 January 1693 1693 Sicily earthquake[83]
Martinique Martinique 7.4 29 November 2007 2007 Martinique earthquake
Mauritius Mauritius 6.7 26 July 1976 [84]
Mayotte Mayotte 6.0 29 April 1952 [85]
Mexico Mexico 8.6 28 March 1787 1787 Mexico earthquake
Federated States of Micronesia Micronesia 7.1 15 November 1929 [86]
Mongolia Mongolia 8.3 23 July 1905 1905 Bolnai earthquake and 1905 Tsetserleg earthquake
Montenegro Montenegro 6.9 15 April 1979 1979 Montenegro earthquake
Morocco Morocco 6.3 24 February 2004 2004 Al Hoceima earthquake
Mozambique Mozambique 7.0 22 February 2006 2006 Mozambique earthquake
Myanmar Myanmar 8.0 12 September 1946 1946 Sagaing earthquakes[87]
Namibia Namibia 5.5 4 April 2021 [88]
Nepal Nepal 8.2–8.8 6 June 1505 1505 Lo Mustang earthquake
Netherlands Netherlands 5.8 13 April 1992 1992 Roermond earthquake
New Caledonia New Caledonia 7.9 9 August 1901 [89]
New Zealand New Zealand 8.2 23 January 1855 1855 Wairarapa earthquake
Nicaragua Nicaragua 7.7 2 September 1992 1992 Nicaragua earthquake
North Korea North Korea 6.8 8 October 1960 [90]
North Macedonia North Macedonia 6.6 8 March 1931 [91]
Northern Mariana Islands Northern Mariana Islands 7.7 29 July 2016 [92]
Norway Norway 6.7 9 November 2018 [93]
Pakistan Pakistan 8.1 28 November 1945 1945 Balochistan earthquake
Palau Palau 7.8 16 August 1911 [94]
Panama Panama 7.5 Ms 18 July 1934 [95]
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea 8.1 26 July 1971 1971 Solomon Islands earthquakes
Paraguay Paraguay 6.5 28 February 1989 [96]
Peru Peru 8.6 28 October 1746 1746 Lima–Callao earthquake
Philippines Philippines 8.3 15 August 1918 1918 Celebes Sea earthquake
Poland Poland 5.8 mb  6 August 1983 [97]
Portugal Portugal 8.5–9.0 1 November 1755 1755 Lisbon earthquake
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico 8.0 2 May 1787 1787 Boricua earthquake
Réunion Réunion 5.3 mb  6 April 2007 [98]
Romania Romania 7.9 26 October 1802 1802 Vrancea earthquake
Russia Russia 9.0 4 November 1952 1952 Kamchatka earthquake
Rwanda Rwanda 5.9 3 February 2008 [99]
Samoa Samoa 8.1 29 September 2009 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami
São Tomé and Príncipe São Tomé and Príncipe 5.5 19 December 2019 [100]
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 6.2[citation needed] 11 January 1941 Jizan Region
Serbia Serbia 5.8 18 May 1980 [101]
Seychelles Seychelles 5.2 28 April 1995 [102]
Slovakia Slovakia 5.8 28 June 1763 [103]
Slovenia Slovenia 6.1 ML 14 April 1895 1895 Ljubljana earthquake
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands 8.1 1 April 2007 2007 Solomon Islands earthquake
Somalia Somalia 5.6 3 July 1951 [104]
South Africa South Africa 6.4 29 September 1969 1969 Tulbagh earthquake
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 8.1 27 June 1929 [105]
South Korea South Korea 5.4 12 September 2016 2016 Gyeongju earthquake
South Sudan South Sudan 7.2 Ms 20 May 1990 [106]
Spain Spain 7.8 29 March 1954 [107]
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 5.9 30 August 1973 [108]
Sweden Sweden 4.9 18 May 2020 [109]
Switzerland Switzerland 6.5 18 October 1356 1356 Basel earthquake
Syria Syria 7.6 Ms 20 May 1202 1202 Syria earthquake
Taiwan Taiwan 8.2 5 June 1920 [110]
Tajikistan Tajikistan 7.5 10 July 1949 1949 Khait earthquake
Tanzania Tanzania 7.3 13 December 1910 [111]
Thailand Thailand 6.1 5 May 2014 2014 Mae Lao earthquake
Tonga Tonga 8.1 30 April 1919 [112]
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 6.7 22 April 1997 [113][114]
Tunisia Tunisia 5.5 20 February 1957 [115]
Turkey Turkey 7.8 27 December 1939 1939 Erzincan earthquake
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan 7.3 Ms 5 October 1948 1948 Ashgabat earthquake
Uganda Uganda 6.5 30 June 1952 [116]
Ukraine Ukraine 6.7 11 September 1927 1927 Crimean earthquakes
United Kingdom United Kingdom 6.1 ML 7 June 1931 1931 Dogger Bank earthquake
United States United States 9.2 27 March 1964 1964 Alaska earthquake
Uruguay Uruguay 5.5 Ms 5 June 1888 1888 Rio de la Plata earthquake
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 7.0 19 March 1984 [117]
Vanuatu Vanuatu 8.1 20 September 1920 [118]
Venezuela Venezuela 7.7 29 October 1900 1900 San Narciso earthquake
Vietnam Vietnam 6.9 24 June 1983 [77]
Yemen Yemen 6.3 13 December 1982 1982 North Yemen earthquake
Zambia Zambia 6.7 1 May 1919 [119]
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 5.5 25 September 1963 [120]

Costliest earthquakes[edit]

This is a list of major earthquakes by the dollar value of property (public and private) losses directly attributable to the earthquake. Rank values are assigned based on inflation-adjusted comparison of property damage in US dollars. Wherever possible, indirect and socioeconomic losses are excluded. Damage estimates for particular earthquakes may vary over time as more data becomes available.

Rank Event Location Magnitude Property damage
1 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami  Japan 9.1[27] $360 billion[121][122]
2 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake  Japan 6.9 $200 billion[123]
3 2008 Sichuan earthquake China Sichuan, China 8.0 $150 billion[124]
4 2004 Chūetsu earthquake  Japan 6.8 $28 billion[125][126]
5 1999 İzmit earthquake  Turkey 7.6 $20 billion[125]
6 2012 Northern Italy earthquakes  Italy 6.1[127] $15.8 billion[128]
7 2011 Christchurch earthquake  New Zealand 6.3[129] $15–40 billion[130][131]
8 2010 Chile earthquake  Chile 8.8[132] $15–30 billion[132]
9 1980 Irpinia earthquake  Italy 6.9[125] $15 billion[125]
10 1994 Northridge earthquake United States Los Angeles, United States 6.7 $13–44 billion
11 1976 Tangshan earthquake China Hebei, China 7.8 $10 billion[133]
12 1999 Jiji earthquake  Taiwan 7.7 $10 billion
13 April 2015 Nepal earthquake    Nepal 7.8 $10 billion[134]
14 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake United States California, United States 6.9 $5.6–6 billion
15 1923 Great Kantō earthquake Japan Tokyo, Japan 8.0 $600 million[125]
16 1906 San Francisco earthquake United States San Francisco, United States 7.7 to 7.9 (est.)[127] $400 million[127]

Deadliest earthquakes[edit]

The following is a summary list of earthquakes with over approximately 100,000 deaths:

Deadliest earthquakes[135]
Rank Event Date Location Fatalities Magn­itude Notes
1 1556 Shaanxi earthquake January 23, 1556 Shaanxi, China 820,000–830,000[136] 8.0 Estimated death toll in Shaanxi, China
2 1976 Tangshan earthquake July 28, 1976 Hebei, China 242,769–700,000+[137][138][139] 7.8
3 1920 Haiyuan earthquake December 16, 1920 NingxiaGansu, China 273,400[137][140] 7.8 Major fractures, landslides.
4 526 Antioch earthquake May 21, 526 Antioch, Byzantine Empire (modern-day Turkey) 250,000[141] 7.0[142] Procopius (II.14.6), sources based on John of Ephesus.
5 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean, Sumatra, Indonesia 227,898 9.1–9.3 Became the deadliest tsunami on record, causing nearly 240,000 deaths from the earthquake and resulting tsunami across 14 countries.
6 1138 Aleppo earthquake October 11, 1138 Aleppo, Syria 130,000–230,000[143] 7.1[143] 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 on 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.[144]
7 2010 Haiti earthquake January 12, 2010 Haiti 100,000-316,000 (estimates) 7.0 Estimates vary from 316,000 (Haitian government) to 222,570 (UN OCHA estimate)[145] to 158,000 (Medicine, Conflict and Survival) to between 85,000 and 46,000 (report commissioned by USAID).[146][147]
8 1303 Hongdong earthquake July 25, 1303 Shanxi, China 200,000[148] 8.0 Taiyuan and Pingyang were leveled.
9 856 Damghan earthquake December 22, 856 Damghan, Iran 200,000 7.9 Ms
10 893 Ardabil earthquake March 22, 893 Ardabil, Iran 150,000 Unknown Reports probably relate to the 893 Dvin earthquake, due to misreading of the Arabic word for Dvin, 'Dabil' as 'Ardabil'.[149] This is regarded as a 'fake earthquake'.[150]
11 533 Aleppo earthquake November 29, 533 Syria 130,000[151] Unknown
12 1908 Messina earthquake December 28, 1908 Messina, Italy 123,000[152] 7.1 The ground shook for 30 to 40 seconds around 5:20 am, and destruction occurred within a 300 km radius. 91% of structures in Messina were destroyed and ~70,000 residents died. Rescuers searched for weeks, and whole families were pulled out alive days later. A 40-foot (12 m) tsunami struck nearby coasts. Reggio Calabria on the Italian mainland also suffered heavy damage.
13 1948 Ashgabat earthquake October 6, 1948 Ashgabat, Turkmen SSR (modern-day Turkmenistan) 10,000–110,000 7.3 Ms
14 1923 Great Kantō earthquake September 1, 1923 Kantō region, Japan 105,385[153] 7.9 This earthquake with an epicenter beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay, shook the Kantō plain on the Japanese island of Honshū at 11:58 am. Shaking duration reported between 4 and 10 minutes, devastating Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka.[154] Shaking slid the 93-ton Great Buddha statue at Kamakura almost two feet forward. Casualty estimates range from 100,000 to 142,800, the latter figure including ~40,000 missing later presumed dead.
15 1290 Chihli earthquake September 27, 1290 Ningcheng, China 100,000[155] 6.8 Ms

Most studied earthquakes[edit]

The 50 most studied earthquakes according to the International Seismological Centre (ISC), based on a count of scientific papers (mostly in English) that discuss that earthquake. The "Event #" is linked to the ISC Event Bibliography for that event.

Rank Event origin time ISC Event # Papers ISC code Event
1 2011-03-11 05:46:23 16461282 1519 TOHOKU2011 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2 2008-05-12 06:27:59 13228121 1217 WENCHUAN2008 2008 Sichuan earthquake
3 2004-12-26 00:58:52 7453151 836 SUMATRA2004 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
4 1999-09-20 17:47:16 1718616 640 CHI-CHI1999 1999 Jiji earthquake
5 1994-01-17 12:30:54 189275 466 NORTHRIDGE1994 1994 Northridge earthquake
6 1995-01-16 20:46:51 124708 451 SHYOGO1995 Great Hanshin earthquake
7 1989-10-18 00:04:14 389808 424 LOMAPRIETA1989 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake
8 2009-04-06 01:32:42 13438018 420 LAQUILA2009 2009 L'Aquila earthquake
9 2010-02-27 06:34:13 14340585 392 MAULE2010 2010 Chile earthquake
10 1992-06-28 11:57:35 289086 383 LANDERS1992 1992 Landers earthquake
11 1999-08-17 00:01:38 1655218 361 IZMIT1999 1999 İzmit earthquake
12 2015-04-25 06:11:26 607208674 298 GORKHA2015 April 2015 Nepal earthquake
13 1964-03-28 03:36:13 869809 249 ALASKA1964 1964 Alaska earthquake
14 1985-09-19 13:17:50 516095 236 MEXICOCITY1985 1985 Mexico City earthquake
15 1960-05-22 19:11:20 879136 236 CHILE1960 1960 Valdivia earthquake
16 1971-02-09 14:00:40 787038 227 SANFERNANDO1971 1971 San Fernando earthquake
17 2001-01-26 03:16:40 1763683 221 BHUJ2001 2001 Gujarat earthquake
18 2010-09-03 16:35:46 15155483 216 DARFIELD2010 2010 Canterbury earthquake
19 1976-07-27 19:42:53 711732 195 TANGSHAN1976 1976 Tangshan earthquake
20 1976-05-06 20:00:12 713583 187 FRIULI1976 1976 Friuli earthquake
21 1980-11-23 18:34:52 635924 178 IRPINIA1980 1980 Irpinia earthquake
22 2003-09-25 19:50:07 7134409 177 TOKACHI-0KI2003 2003 Hokkaidō earthquake
23 2013-04-20 00:02:47 607304721 172 LUSHAN2013 2013 Lushan earthquake
24 2011-02-21 23:51:42 16168897 170 CHRISTCHURCH2011A 2011 Christchurch earthquake
25 2016-04-15 16:25:06 610289055 170 KUMAMOTO2016 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes
26 2004-09-28 17:15:24 7406045 166 PARKFIELD2004 Parkfield earthquake
27 2005-03-28 16:09:35 7486110 165 NIAS2005 2005 Nias–Simeulue earthquake
28 2004-10-23 08:55:58 7421058 162 MID-NIIGATA2004 2004 Chūetsu earthquake
29 2012-05-20 02:03:53 601025379 153 EMILIA2012A 2012 Northern Italy earthquakes
30 1999-10-16 09:46:45 1643776 150 HECTOR-MINE1999 1999 Hector Mine earthquake
31 2001-11-14 09:26:10 2331800 148 KUNLUN2001 2001 Kunlun earthquake
32 2005-10-08 03:50:35 7703077 144 KASHMIR2005 2005 Kashmir earthquake
33 2002-11-03 22:12:41 6123395 141 DENALI2002 2002 Denali earthquake
34 1988-12-07 07:41:24 417441 139 ARMENIA1988 1988 Armenian earthquake
35 1999-11-12 16:57:19 1650092 137 DUZCE1999 1999 Düzce earthquake
36 1979-10-15 23:16:57 657282 132 IMPERIAL1979 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake
37 2003-12-26 01:56:53 7217667 128 BAM2003 2003 Bam earthquake
38 1923-09-01 02:58:35 911526 127 KANTO1923 1923 Great Kantō earthquake
39 2010-01-12 21:53:10 14226221 125 HAITI2010 2010 Haiti earthquake
40 1983-05-26 02:59:58 577008 114 SEAOFJAPAN1983 1983 Sea of Japan earthquake
41 2012-05-29 07:00:04 605482196 111 EMILIA2012B 2012 Northern Italy earthquakes
42 1997-09-26 09:40:25 1043512 102 UMBRIA-MARCHE1997B 1997 Umbria and Marche earthquake
43 2000-10-06 04:30:17 1839998 100 TOTTORI2000 2000 Tottori earthquake
44 2008-06-13 23:43:46 13377361 97 IWATE-MIYAGI2008 2008 Iwate–Miyagi Nairiku earthquake
45 2007-07-16 01:13:21 12769769 96 CHUETSU-0KI2007 2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake
46 2010-04-13 23:49:37 14573075 96 YUSHU 2010 2010 Yushu earthquake
47 1977-03-04 19:21:54 700695 96 ROMANIAN1977 1977 Vrancea earthquake
48 2011-10-23 10:41:22 17394270 91 VAN2011 2011 Van earthquakes
49 1975-02-04 11:36:05 731961 80 HAICHENG1975 1975 Haicheng earthquake
50 2007-03-25 00:41:57 11703278 73 NOTO-HANTO2007 2007 Noto earthquake

modified from figure 2, "The most studied events", at the ISC's Overview of the ISC Event Bibliography.

International Seismological Centre. Event Bibliography. Thatcham, United Kingdom, http://www.isc.ac.uk/. 2018.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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