Biggest earthquakes

Biggest earthquakes. The recent earthquake and aftershocks in Japan have once again thrust the destructive power of these natural disasters into the headlines. The following quakes have captured the attention of the world and remind us that Mother Nature is a powerful force.
Japan earthquake March 2011
A 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit near the northeastern coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, which triggered a destructive tsunami, causing warnings to be issued throughout the Pacific region. The death toll continues to climb, and the Japanese government has estimated a steep national damage price tag

Maule, Chile earthquake
On Feb. 27, 2010, an earthquake measuring 8.8 magnitude shook Maule, Chile. The tremors lasted about three minutes. The number of deaths was originally overestimated

Haiti earthquake
An earthquake measuring 7.0 magnitude claimed the lives of 222,570 people in Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010. Worldwide relief efforts were launched to aid the 300,000 injured and 1.1 million displaced Haitians.

Eastern Sichuan, China earthquake
The Great Sichuan Earthquake occurred on May 12, 2008, and measured 8.0 magnitude. How many aftershocks were reported? The loss of human life was reported at 68,000 people, and the Chinese government announced its intention to spend $146.5 billion to rebuild the areas affected by the disaster.

Pakistan earthquake 2005
A 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit near Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, on Oct. 8, 2005. The earthquake was reportedly caused by the rising of a mountain range. The official death toll? More than $5.4 billion in aid was sent from around the world.

Northern Sumatra, Indonesia earthquake March 2005
Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, was struck by an 8.7-magnitude earthquake on March 28, 2005. The earthquake displaced more than 20,000 people and killed 1,346. Some consider this earthquake to have been an aftershock of a major 2004 quake.

Tangshan, China earthquake 1976
The 7.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Tangshan, China, on July 27, 1976, was the deadliest earthquake in the last four centuries. The quake claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The initial tremor lasted 23 seconds and was followed by an equally powerful aftershock 16 seconds later.

Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake 1964
Prince William Sound, Alaska, was the site of the largest recorded earthquake on American soil. The 9.2-magnitude earthquake that struck on March 28, 1964, caused an estimated $311 million in property damages. The earthquake, the resulting 27-foot tsunami and an underwater landslide caused approximately 130 deaths.

Valdivia, Chile earthquake 1960
The 9.5-magnitude earthquake that struck Valdivia, Chile, on May 22, 1960, was the most powerful in recorded history. The country's estimated damage? Thousands of people died, and the country experienced another natural occurrence just 48 hours later.

San Francisco earthquake 1906
April 18 will mark the 105th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake that shook San Francisco and nearly destroyed the city. The earthquake and resulting fire caused an estimated 3,000 deaths. The staggering economic impact has been compared to the economic damage from this modern disaster.