|2.1||New York, NY||11 September 2001. Collapse of South Tower of the World Trade Center.¹|
|2.3||New York, NY||11 September 2001. Collapse of North Tower.|
|4.9||Korea||12 February 2013. Nuclear test in North Korea.|
|6.2||Long Beach, CA||10 March 1933|
|6.5||San Fernando, CA||9 February 1971|
|6.6||Charleston, SC||31 August 1886|
|6.8||Kobe, Japan||17 January 1995|
|6.9||Armenia||7 December 1988|
|7.1||Loma Prieta, CA||17 October 1989|
|7.7||northwest Iran||21 June 1990|
|7.7||Luzon, Philippines||16 July 1990|
|7.9||90 miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska
|3 November 2002|
|7.9||Tejon Pass, CA||9 January 1857|
|New Madrid, Missouri||December 1811–
|Yakutat Bay, Alaska||1899|
|8.2||Tangshan, China||28 July 1976|
|7.7–8.25||San Francisco||18–9 April 1906|
|8.3||northern Bolivia||9 June 1994|
|8.75||Lisbon, Portugal||1 November 1755|
|9.0||Andaman-Nicobar Islands||26 December 2004|
|8.6||Andreanof Islands, Alaska||9 March 1957|
|8.5||9.2||Prince William Sound, Alaska||28 March 1964|
|9.5||Chile||22 May 1960|
1. Won-Young Kim, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University.
|Date||Location||Deaths and Missing||Est.
|23 Jan. 1556||China, Shansi||830,000|
|11 Oct. 1737||India, Calcutta||300,000|
|27 July 1976||China, Tangshan||255,000¹||8.0|
|9 August 1138||Syria, Aleppo||230,000|
|26 December 2004||Indian Ocean||229,866||Tsunami|
|22 May 1927||China, near Xining||200,000||8.3||Large fractures.|
|22 Dec. 856²||Iran, Damghan||200,000|
|16 Dec. 1920||China, Gansu||200,000||8.6||Major fractures, landslides|
|23 March 893²||Iran, Ardabil||150,000|
|Sept. 1, 1923||Japan, Kwanto||143,000||8.3||Great Tokyo fire.|
|Dec. 28, 1908||Italy, Messina||70,000 to 100,000||7.5||Deaths from earthquake and tsunami.|
|Sept. 1290||China, Chihli||100,000|
|Nov. 1667||Caucasia, Shemakha||80,000|
|18 Nov. 1727||Iran, Tabriz||77,000|
|1 Nov. 1755||Portugal, Lisbon||70,000||8.7||Great tsunami.|
|25 Dec. 1932||China, Gansu||70,000||7.6|
|31 May 1970||Peru||66,000||7.8||$530,000 damage, great rock slide, floods|
|1268||Asia Minor, Silicia||60,000|
|11 Jan. 1693||Italy, Sicily||60,000|
|30 May 1935||Pakistan, Quetta||30,000 to 60,000||7.5||Quetta almost completely destroyed|
|4 Feb. 1783||Italy, Calabria||50,000|
|20 June 1990||Iran||50,000||7.7||Landslides.|
1. Official casualty figure--estimated death toll as high as 655,000.
2. Note that these dates are prior to 1000 AD. No digit is missing.
Data compiled from several sources.
|1.||9.2||March 28, 1964||Prince William Sound, Alaska|
|2.||8.6||September 10, 1899||Yakutat Bay, Alaska|
|3.||8.5||March 9, 1957||Andreanof Islands, Alaska|
|4.||8.3||September 4, 1899||Yakutat Bay, Alaska|
|5.||8.3||October 9, 1900||Kodiak Island, Alaska|
|6.||8.3||June 2, 1903||Cape Providence, Alaska|
|7.||8.3||November 10, 1938||East of Shumagin Islands, Alaska|
|8.||8.25||April 18, 1906||San Francisco, California|
|9.||8.2||February 7, 1812||New Madrid, Missouri|
|10.||8.0||December 16, 1811||New Madrid, Missouri|
|1.||8.25||April 18, 1906||San Francisco, California|
|2.||8.2||February 7, 1812||New Madrid, Missouri|
|3.||8.0||December 16, 1811||New Madrid, Missouri (0815 UTC)|
|4.||7.9||January 9, 1857||Fort Tejon, California|
|5.||7.8||January 23, 1812||New Madrid, Missouri|
|6.||7.8||March 26, 1872||Owens Valley, California|
|7.||7.8||October 3, 1915||Pleasant Valley, Nevada|
|8.||7.8||July 21, 1952||Kern County, California|
|9.||7.7||August 31, 1886||Charleston, South Carolina|
|10.||7.6||December 16, 1811||New Madrid, Missouri (1415 UTC)|
Opinions about the magnitudes of these earthquakes differ considerably. For example, some sources list the magnitude of the 8.6 Yakutat Bay earthquake as low as 8.0. On the other hand, some sources list the Fort Tejon quake as high as 8.3. Similar variations exist for nearly every event on this list (although generally not so large as for this event).
The two events of magnitude greater than 9.0 are recomputed values using the moment magnitude. For very large earthquakes, the moment magnitude is considered to be a more accurate determination that the traditional amplitude magnitude computation procedures. The magnitudes of the Prince William Sound earthquake and the Andreanof Islands earthquake were 8.6 and 8.1, respectively, using the amplitude magnitude procedures. Note that all of these values can be called “magnitudes on the Richter scale”, regardless of the method used to compute them.
# A fault 1,000 kilometers long slipped 10 meters.
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Last revised: 17 January 2014.