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Japanese earthquake: seventh largest ever recorded


The 8.9 magnitude earthquake which struck off the coast of Japan this morning is the seventh largest ever recorded.

Japanese earthquake - seventh largest ever recorded

At 9.5 on the Richter Scale, the 1960 earthquake in Chile is the largest ever recorded, killing 1,900 and leaving two million people homeless.

In the last 45 years, just one earthquake was larger – the 2004 Boxing Day 9.1 quake which struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Just like in Japan, the Indonesia earthquake triggered a huge tsunami with waves travelling at speeds of over 500mph towards Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

The Boxing Day earthquake devastated these tourism hotspots and the death toll was catastrophic with more than 250,000 losing their lives including more than 150 Brits.

Current death toll figures for the Japanese quake, which happened in the Tōhoku region, were this morning confirmed at 26 but this is expected to rise dramatically as the tsunami continues to rage inland.

There are also reports from the Red Cross that the tsunami is higher than some pacific islands.

Last year there was a similar sized quake off the coast of Chile – measuring 8.8 and killing more than 500 people.

Largest magnitude earthquakes measured in history:

May 22, 1960: Valdivia, Chile – 9.6
March 27, 1964: Alaska – 9.4
December 26, 2004: Sumatra – 9.1
November 4, 1952: Kamchatka, Russia – 9.0
August 13, 1868: Arica, Chile – 9.0
January 26, 1700: Canada and USA – 9.0
March 11, 2011: Tōhoku region – 8.9
February 27, 2010: Chile – 8.8
January 31, 1906: Ecuador – 8.8
November 25, 1833: Sumatra – 8.8



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