On average, some 10,000 people die in earthquakes around the world annually. The temblors have often provoked tsunamis and wider devastation. DW takes a look at some of the most powerful earthquakes of the last century.
Most powerful earthquake ever recorded
The most powerful earthquake ever recorded hit Chile’s coast in May 1960. The quake, 9.5 on the Richter scale, lasted almost 10 minutes, resulting in massive infrastructure damage. Around 5,700 people were killed in Chile while the resulting tsunami left 130 people dead in Japan and another 61 in Hawaii. This picture shows the remains of Corral harbor in Chile’s Valdivia province.
Good Friday earthquake
The 1964 Alaskan earthquake, also known as the Great Alaskan earthquake and Good Friday earthquake, remains the strongest earthquake to hit the US to date. It occured on Good Friday, March 27, across south-central Alaska. The quake and the following tsunamis caused about 139 deaths. The picture above is from a small fishing village on Kodiak Island and it shows debris from houses and boats.
Most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan
A team member from Japan’s Rescue Dog Association and his dog search for victims. Northeastern Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake, measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale, followed by a massive tsunami. The natural disasters left almost 18,500 people dead, and crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant, in what is considered the world’s worst atomic disaster of the past quarter-century.
2010 Haiti earthquake
A man walks amid the rubble of a destroyed building in Port-au-Prince following the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti on January 12, 2010. Measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, the quake destroyed thousands of buildings and left at least 200,000 people dead.