From: Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published February 27, 2010 01:52 PM

Chile Earthquake one of the 10 strongest ever recorded

On February 27, 2010 a magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Maule, Chile causing widespread damage and casualties. The quake ranks as one of the ten strongest earthquakes ever recorded and was the most powerful earthquake worldwide since the 2004 Sumatran quake that triggered the massive Indian Ocean tsunami. The Maule was the strongest earthquake to strike Chile since the magnitude 9.5 which hit Valdivia on May 22, 1960.

A tsunami warning from the Maule quake has been issued for the U.S. west coast, British Columbia, and Alaska. The tsunami amplitude is expected to be minor.

Strongest earthquakes:

May 22, 1960: Magnitude 9.5 earthquake killed 1,655, injured 3,000, left 2,000,00 homeless, and caused $550 million damage in southern Chile; while the ensuing tsunami caused 61 deaths, $75 million damage in Hawaii; 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan; 32 dead and missing in the Philippines; and $500,000 damage to the west coast of the United States.


March 27, 1964: Magnitude 9.2 quake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and ensuing tsunami killed 128 people (tsunami 113, earthquake 15) and caused about $311 million in property loss. Anchorage, about 120 kilometers northwest of the epicenter, sustained the most severe property damage.

Dec. 26, 2004: Magnitude 9.1 quake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed an estimated 228,000 people in 12 countries.

Aug. 13, 1868: Magnitude 9.0 quake in Arica, Peru (now Chile) triggered tsunamis that killed more than 25,000 people in South America.

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