Any earthquake above the magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale is considered to be big enough to cause a mass destruction and damage to the entire state. If the country is surrounded by seas and oceans and the epicenter of the earthquake is close to the coastal regions, it can bring massive Tsunamis wiping out thousands of lives in a blink of an eye. Today, we will look back at the top ten biggest earthquakes in the history of planet Earth ever since Seismograph was invented.
10. Sumatra Earthquake, 1833
The tragedy occurred on 25th November at around 10 PM and the estimated magnitude varied from 8.8 – 9.2. It triggered a massive Tsunami destroying hundreds of lives. The earthquake lasted for 5 long minutes. The island of Sumatra is quite susceptible to Earthquake, and it has seen at least one giant Earthquake every century.
9. Arakan Earthquake, 1762
It took place on 2nd April at around 5 PM in the evening. The estimated magnitude was slightly above 8.8. It triggered a mild Tsunami in the Bay of Bengal but it was enough to claim hundreds of lives. Bangladesh was mostly affected by the earthquake which lasted four long minutes in Chittagong. Dhaka and Kolkata felt the effects of local Tsunami as well.
8. Sanriku Earthquake, 869 AD
The earthquake hit Japan back in 869 AD on 9th July and caused a massive Tsunami which floored Sendai plain up to 4 kilometers with sand deposit. The estimated magnitude was around 8.9, and occasionally it went up to 9 on Richter scale. More than a thousand people died in this tragic calamity.
7. Cascadia Earthquake, 1700
This mega-earthquake occurred on 26th January at around 7 PM and registered a magnitude of 8.7 – 9.2. It covered a long area of nearly 600 miles stretching from Vancouver Island to Cape Mendocino. It immediately triggered a Tsunami around the coast of Japan.
6. Arica Earthquake, 1868
This massive earthquake took place on 13th August at around 11.30 PM with an estimated magnitude of 8.5 to 9 on Richter scale. It instantly triggered multiple Tsunami and Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii felt the effects. It destroyed southern part of Peru and claimed more than 25,000 lives especially because of its occurrence at night time when most of the people were asleep.
5. Kamchatka Earthquake, 1952
It occurred on 5th November at around 5 AM in the early morning when most of the population in the affected area was asleep. More than 2,000 causalities of human lives were reported. The estimated magnitude of the earthquake was around 9.0. It caused a Tsunami in the Pacific Ocean and three high waves flooded Severo-Kurilsk region adjacent to Russia.
4. Tohoku Earthquake, 2011
An estimated magnitude of around 9.0-9.1 was registered on the Richter scale on 11th March at around 2.45 PM in Japan. Till date, it is the biggest earthquake in Japan which is quite prone to earthquakes. The waves rose to heights of 41 meters, and the duration of the earthquake was 6 long minutes. It led to the destruction of eastern Japan, and more than 15,000 deaths were reported. Along with that, flooding, fire, landslide, nuclear radiation release and the collapse of big infrastructures were the after-effects.
3. Indian Ocean Earthquake, 2004
It occurred on 26th December at around 1 AM-midnight. The intensity of the earthquake was around 9.1-9.3, and the epicenter was in Sumatra, Indonesia. As many as 14 countries were affected killing nearly 2 lakhs of human lives and injuring thousands. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India were the worst hit countries.
2. Alaska Earthquake, 1964
It occurred on 27th March at around 5.36 PM and coincidentally it was Good Friday. The mega-earthquake had an intensity of 9.2. It triggered many Tsunamis in 20 countries such as New Zealand, Peru, and Japan. The height of the largest wave was about 220 feet.
1. Valdivia Earthquake, 1960
The most powerful earthquake in the history had an intensity of 9.4-9.6, and it occurred on 22nd May at around 3.11 PM. It lasted for 10 long minutes and caused Tsunami in Chile, Hawaii, Japan, New Zealand, Australia just to name a few. It caused multi-billion dollar destruction and claimed nearly 5,000-6,000 lives.
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