The biggest earthquakes in history caused panic, destruction and most importantly, death. While we are reviewing them, we cannot but hope that they will not happen again for many, many years;because, in this case, as in the case of all the other natural disasters, all we have on our side is hope. These are, therefore, the 10 biggest earthquakes that the recorded history has seen:
1. Magnitude 9.5 in Chile
May 22, 1960 is a dark day in the history of Chile because this is when the biggest earthquake in history took place. In the recorded history, at least.The earth shacked along the Chile-Peru trench, spreading terror and death in just a few seconds. This catastrophe caused as many as 2,000 deaths and injured 3,000 people. The number of people who remained without a home is of 2 million! What is more, following the earthquake were huge tsunamis which killed other dozens of people in Hawaii, Japan and Philippines.
2. Magnitude 9.2 in Alaska
Just 4 years after the disaster in Chile, the second biggest earthquake in history, in terms of magnitude took place. This time, it happened in Alaska, in 1964. The earthquake itself killed 15 people, but following it was a huge tsunami which killed another 125 people. Apparently, the largest wave touched 67 meters.
3. Magnitude 9.1 in Indonesia
In 2004, a catastrophic earthquake devastated Sumatra, Indonesia. Its epicentre was in the Indian Ocean and the huge tsunamis that followed were witnessed in 14 countries. More than 225,000 people were killed making this earthquake the second must deadliest since the earthquakes are being recorded. Also, 1, 4 million persons remained without a home.
4. Magnitude 9.0 in Japan
Not long ago, in 2011, another killer earthquake, the biggest that ever took place in Japan, shocked human kind. There were more than 1000 aftershocks, following this great disaster; 15,000 people were killed and many others lost their homes. Moreover, what no one could have expected, the Fukushima nuclear power plant melted down, and various malfunctions were reported, causing the entire world to panic, and for a good reason!
5. Magnitude 9.0 in Russia
Kamchatka, Russia, was the place where the 5th biggest earthquake in the recorded history took place. The year was 1952. Fortunately the number of fatalities was significantly lower than in the case of the previous eartquakes, because of its localisation and the small amount of people living in the area. The ttsunami that followed caused great destruction and travelled as far as California and Japan.
6. Magnitude 9.0 in Chile
Most of you have no knowledge of this earthquake probably, as it happened long before any of us were born, in 1868. It took place in Arica, which was then part of Peru and now belongs to Chile. Arica suffered almost complete destruction and 25,000 people were killed. Tsunamis that followed this disaster were recorded as far as New Zeeland.
7. Magnitude 9.0 in Cascadia, Pacific Ocean
Even though there are no records of this earthquake in the Cascadia area (northern California, as well as Oregon, Washington and the South of British Columbia) we know that it happened in 1700, because geologists gathered evidence of it . Even the estimated hour of the event could be determined by the huge tsunami that hit Japan , where this happening was recorded.
8. Magnitude 8.8 in Chile
Back in our days and yet again in Chile, this earthquake stroke Maule in 2010. This hazard killed 500 and injured another 12,000, while a stunning 1 million people were forced to relocate. Also, it caused huge loss of 30 billion $ to the economy of this country. It was followed by 300 aftershocks, of which 21 were recorded as having magnitudes over 6.0.
9. Magnitude 8.8 in Ecuador and Colombia
At the beginning of the past century, in 1906, the lives of many people in Ecuador and Colombia changed their course when this impressive earthquake hit their area. Somewhere between 500 and 1500 people were killed both during the earthquake, and during the monstrous tsunami that followed and reached as far as Japan and California.
10. Magnitude 8.8 (8.6 by other sources) in Alaska
Yet another great disaster, one of the biggest earthquakes in history, hit Alaska, this time in 1957. With such an impressive seismic activity, Alaska does not seem the safest place to be! The Andreanof Islands were closest to the epicentre of this earthquake, which was followed by two tsunamis that travelled as far as Japan, by no less than 300 aftershocks and by the eruption of Mount Vsevidov which had not erupted in 200 years.