Could It Happen Again?

10 Record-Breaking Earthquakes

26th February, 2024


Earthquakes are powerful forces of nature, reshaping our planet in an instant. This list looks at the ten most powerful earthquakes ever recorded by modern instruments.

Top 10 Biggest Earthquakes in the World So Far 

How Earthquakes Are Measured

The magnitude of an earthquake is measured on the Richter scale (or the updated Moment Magnitude Scale). Each number increase represents a tenfold increase in ground motion and around 32 times more energy released.

1960 Valdivia Earthquake (Chile)

Magnitude: 9.5 The largest earthquake ever recorded causing massive tsunamis and landslides.

1964 Great Alaska Earthquake (USA)

Magnitude: 9.2 Triggered tsunamis across the Pacific and devastated coastal towns.

2004 Sumatra Earthquake (Indonesia)

Magnitude: 9.1 It caused the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, one of the deadliest natural disasters in history.

2011 Tōhoku Earthquake (Japan)

Magnitude: 9.0 This led to a catastrophic tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Magnitude: 9.0 Generated massive tsunamis impacting Hawaii and other Pacific regions.

1952 Kamchatka Earthquake (Russia)

Magnitude: 8.8 Caused extensive damage and fatalities across Chile

2010 Maule Earthquake (Chile)

Magnitude: 8.8 Triggered a devastating tsunami affecting coastal communities.

1906 Ecuador-Colombia Earthquake

Magnitude: 8.7 The largest earthquake in the Aleutian Islands region.

1965 Rat Islands Earthquake (Alaska, USA)

Magnitude: 8.6 A significant aftershock of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.

2005 Sumatra Earthquake (Indonesia)

Magnitude: 8.6 Caused widespread landslides and flooding across India and China

1950 Assam-Tibet Earthquake

These powerful events illustrate the immense forces at work within our planet. Advancements in seismology and preparedness measures help to mitigate risks but remind us of nature's unpredictable power.

Earthquakes: A Constant Reminder