The strongest earthquakes over the past century

Apr 12, 2012 - 08:58
  • Local residents walk past debris, including an overturned fishing boat, in the town of Minamisanriku in Miyagi prefecture on March 12, 2011 a day after a massive 8.9 magnitude quake and tsunami hit the region. PHOTO/ AFP

An 8.6 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Sumatra in Indonesia on Wednesday.

Below in descending order is a list of the most powerful earthquakes around the world since the beginning of the 20th century.

1960: South-central Chile - magnitude 9.5. 5,700 dead in Chile, 61 in Hawaii and 130 in Japan.

1964: Prince William Sound, Alaska - magnitude 9.2, followed by a tsunami. Around 100 dead.

2004: Sumatra-Andaman Islands - magnitude 9.1. Devastates a dozen neighbouring countries and kills or leaves missing 220,000.

1952: Kamchatka peninsula, former Soviet Union - magnitude 9.0. Unleashes a giant tsunami which reaches Chile and Peru. More than 2,300 dead.

2011: Japan - magnitude 9.0, followed by a giant tsunami kills more than 19,000 in the northeastern Tohoku region and unleashes a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant.

1906: Off the Coast of Esmeraldas, Ecuador - magnitude 8.8, followed by a tsunami. Around 1,000 dead.

2011: Chile - magnitude 8.8, followed by a tsunami. More than 520 dead and missing.

1965: Alaska's Aleutian islands - magnitude 8.7, followed by a tsunami.

2005: Northern Sumatra, Indonesia - magnitude 8.7. 900 dead and 6,000 injured.

1957: Andreanof Islands, Alaska - magnitude 8.6, followed by a major tsunami.

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