Backgrounder: Recent major strong earthquakes worldwide

17:23, March 08, 2010      

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A 6.0-magnitude quake struck Elazig province of eastern Turkey early Monday, killing 38 people and injuring dozens of others.

Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey. In 1999, more than 18,000 people were killed in two devastating earthquakes in the country.

The following is a chronology of major strong quakes around the world since 1900:

On Jan. 31, 1906, an 8.8-magnitude quake struck the coasts of Ecuador and Colombia, killing nearly 1,000 people.

On April 18, 1906, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the coast of San Francisco, the United States, killing 3,000 to 6,000 people, leaving 225,000 others homeless.

On May 21, 1960, a 9.5-magnitude earthquake, the strongest afterquakes were first recorded in 1900, rocked Chile and killed 1,655 people.

On March 27, 1964, Alaska of the United States was hit by an 8.4-magnitude quake, which triggered a tsunami and caused casualties and damage.

On July 28, 1976, a 7.8-magnitude quake hit Tangshan in northern China, killing more than 240,000 people, injuring more than 160,000 others.

In 2001, two earthquakes measuring 7.6 and 6.6 struck El Salvador on Jan. 13 and Feb. 13, killing at least 1,279 and injuring more than 9,000.

On Dec. 26, 2004, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake occurred in the sea off Sumatra Island of Indonesia and led to a severe tsunami, killing over 220,000 in Indonesia and nearby countries.

On March 28, 2005, an 8.5-magnitude quake took place in the sea off Indonesia's Sumatra Island, causing heavy casualties and damage.

On May 12, 2008, an 8-magnitude earthquake hit southwestern China's Wenchuan county, killing nearly 70,000 and leaving some 18,000 missing.

On Jan. 12, 2010, an 7.3-magnitude earthquake shook Haiti, causing some 270,000 deaths and 1,000,000 homeless. Many buildings including the headquarters of the UN mission in Haiti collapsed in the earthquake.

On Feb. 27, 2010, a powerful earthquake measuring 8.8 magnitude on the Richter scale struck southern Chile, killing at least 300 and triggering tsunamis as well as communications and power breakup in the region.

Source: Xinhua
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