10 Maiores Terremotos do Mundo

10 Worst Earthquakes of the Century

1. 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake

Causing massive destruction in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, the Maldives and the Eastern coast of Africa, the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake is the deadliest earthquake of the 21st century. The quake itself, an estimated 9.1-9.3 magnitude, struck on Sunday, December 26, 2004, off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, but it was the resulting tsunami that proved to be the deadliest.

Combining the figures from the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and the Indonesian Tsunami, which had waves of nearly 100 feet high, over 230,000 lives were lost. Numerous others were injured and billions of dollars in damages were reported. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami is the deadliest tsunami in history.

In addition to being the worst earthquake of the century, the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake also ranks as the fifth deadliest earthquake among the worst earthquakes in history and the third strongest earthquake ever in terms of magnitude.

2. 2010 Haiti Earthquake

Striking roughly 25 kilometers from the country's capital of Port-au-Prince, the 2010 Haiti Earthquake shook the Caribbean country on July 12, 2010, at 4:53 p.m. local time. The massive initial quake, which registered at a 7.0 magnitude and depth of just 13 kilometers, as well as the more than 50 aftershocks in the days following, affected an estimated three million people, including between 46,000 and 316,000 deaths.

While the exact number of deaths is disputed, the massive destruction collapsed or damaged an estimated 250,000 homes and another 30,000 businesses. As a result, as many as 1.8 million were left homeless from the disaster.

3. 2005 Kashmir Earthquake

Hitting near the city of Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, in Pakistan, the 2005 Kasmir Earthquake killed an estimated 79,000, which at the time made it the 17th deadliest earthquake on record. Tremors were felt as far as India and Afghanistan with the quake measured at a magnitude of 7.6 and a depth of 10 kilometers.

In addition to the nearly 80,000 fatalities, another 106,000 were injured, most of which in Pakistan. Many of the injuries and deaths were a result of victims being trapped in poorly constructed schools, homes and businesses when the quake struck on October 8, 2005. In the time since, over $6 billion has been used to rebuild the area.

4. 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

Centered in the Sichuan province of China, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake shook the area for more than two minutes on May 12, 2008. The Great Sichuan Earthquake as it's been called, was one of the deadliest in China and one of the worst of the century, killing over 69,000. As if the first quake was not horrific enough, strong aftershocks, including a total of over 42,700 and as strong as a 6.0-magnitude, haunted the area in the time following.

Using roughly one trillion yuan, or $146.5 billion, the country of China spent more than three years rebuilding the area. In all, as many as 11 million were left homeless from the massive destruction, which also left over 18,000 missing and roughly 374,000 injured. In proportion, roughly 15 million live in the affected area.

5. 2003 Bam Earthquake

Waking the Kerman province of Iran at 5:26 a.m. local time, the 2003 Bam Earthquake hit the area on Friday, December 26, 2003. The 6.6-magnitude tremor was centered in Bam at a depth of 10 kilometers and caused massive damages. According to reports, over 26,000 were killed as a result of the earthquake and another 30,000 were injured, making it the worst natural disaster to hit Iran.

The quake prompted humanitarian response from numerous countries, including the United States. This issue was especially important at the time as then-President George W. Bush had previously declared the country part of the "axis of evil." Similarly, Iran initially declined aid from the United States, but later accepted the help and allowed the first U.S. military airplanes to land in the country in over 20 years.

6. 2001 Gujarat Earthquake

Striking the country on their national holiday of Republic Day, the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake hit the Kutch District of Gujarat, India, on the morning of January 26, 2001. The intraplate earthquake was centered at a depth of 16 kilometers and reached a magnitude of 7.7. The shake was felt for as far around as 700 kilometers and is believed to have killed nearly 20,000 plus injured another 166,000.

While the city of Kutch saw the most fatalities, at 12,290, Bhuj saw the most destruction. Around 40% of homes, numerous schools, hospitals and roads were destroyed in Bhuj, all contributing to the estimated $5.5 billion in property damages from the tremor.

7. 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

The 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, also called the Great East Japan Earthquake is one of the most recent on the list of the worst earthquakes of the century, occurring on Friday, March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. local time. The massive 9.0-magnitude tremor, which had a depth of 32 kilometers, was one of the top five earthquakes in terms of magnitude.

This earthquake not only caused a powerful tsunami with waves up to 133 feet tall, but also moved the island of Honshu a reported eight feet east. As a result of both, over 15,700 people were killed, another 5,700 inured and over 4,600 went missing. Property damage, which also threatened the Fukushima I and II Nuclear Power Plants, was estimated around $180 billion.

8. 2006 Java Earthquake

Almost a repeat of the 2004 earthquake to hit the area, the 2006 Java Earthquake struck in the Indian Ocean 15 miles southeast of Indonesia on May 27, 2006, at 5:54 a.m. local time. Though only a hefty 6.2-magnitude quake, the shallow depth of 10 kilometers made it one of the worst of the 21st century.

While the tremor and the two strong aftershocks were closest to the city of Yogyakarta, the worst damage was in the area of Bantul. An estimated 5,800 people died from the earthquake plus another 36,000 were injured. The property damage, believed to affect 135,000 homes, left around 1.5 million people homeless

9. 2003 Boumerdes Earthquake

Affecting the northern coast of Africa, the 2003 Boumerdes Earthquake struck on May 21, 2003, and had an epicenter located in the town of Thenia, Algeria. It was the strongest to hit the area in over 20 years, registering at a magnitude of 6.8 and a depth of 10 kilometers.

The earthquake left an estimated 150,000 people homeless and damaged more than 1,200 structures in Northern Algeria. Injuries were counted in the thousands with around 10,260 injured and another 2,266 dead.

10. 2005 Sumatra Earthquake

Hitting Indonesia with yet another deadly quake the 2005 Sumatra Earthquake shook the area on March 28, 2005. The 8.7-magnitude shake had a depth of 30 kilometers and was centered near off the northern coast of Sumatra. Similar to the 2004 tragedy, though much smaller, a tsunami followed the earthquake and brought the island nation waves close to 10 feet tall.

The area affected by the earthquake was still very much in the process of rebuilding from the massive 2004 earthquake, but saw additional damage from this tremor. Another 1,300 people, many from the island of Nias, were killed and millions of dollars in additional property damage occurred.


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