What Shook Us Badly
From time to time, some natural disaster ravage a part of our world. In the past it was impossible to know when will it happen, but today we have the technology and early warning systems to prevent a lot of casualties.
1. Chile 1960 May 22 19:11:14 UTC Magnitude 9.5
Approximately 1,655 killed, 3,000 injured, 2,000,000 homeless, and $550 million damage in southern Chiletsunami caused 61 deaths, $75 million damage in Hawaii; 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan; 32 dead and missing in the Philippines; and $500,000 damage to the west coast of the United States….to much for one earthquake, isn’t it? The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean Earthquake is to date the most powerful earthquake ever recorded on Earth, rating 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon and its resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Waves as high as 10.7 metres (35 ft) were recorded 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) from the epicenter, and as far away as Japan and the Philippines. The death toll (and rate) and monetary losses arising from such a widespread disaster are not obvious. Various estimates of the total number of fatalities from the earthquake and tsunamis have been published, with the USGS citing studies with figures of 2,231; 3,000; or 5,700 killed and another source uses an estimate of 6,000 dead. Different sources have estimated the monetary cost ranged from 400 million to 800 million US dollars (or 2.9 to 5.8 billion in 2011 dollars, adjusted for inflation).
2. Prince William Sound, Alaska 1964 March 28 03:36 UTC – 1964 March 27 05:36 p.m.; Magnitude 9.2
This great earthquake and ensuing tsunami took 128 lives (tsunami 113, earthquake 15), and caused about $311 million in property loss. Earthquake effects were heavy in many towns, including Anchorage, Chitina, Glennallen, Homer, Hope, Kasilof, Kenai, Kodiak, Moose Pass, Portage, Seldovia, Seward, Sterling, Valdez, Wasilla, and Whittier. Anchorage, about 120 kilometers northwest of the epicenter, sustained the most severe damage to property. About 30 blocks of dwellings and commercial buildings were damaged or destroyed in the downtown area. he earthquake was accompanied by vertical displacement over an area of about 520,000 square kilometers. The major area of uplift trended northeast from southern Kodiak Island to Price William Sound and trended east-west to the east of the sound. Vertical displacements ranged from about 11.5 meters of uplift to 2.3 meters of subsidence relative to sea level. Off the southwest end of Montague Island, there was absolute vertical displacement of about 13 – 15 meters. Uplift also occurred along the extreme southeast coast of Kodiak Island, Sitkalidak Island, and over part or all of Sitkinak Island. This zone of subsidence covered about 285,000 square kilometers, including the north and west parts of Prince William Sound, the west part of the Chugach Mountains, most of Kenai Peninsula, and almost all the Kodiak Island group.
3. Magnitude 9.1 – off the west coast of northern sumatra
This is the third largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake. In total, 227,898 people were killed or were missing and presumed dead and about 1.7 million people were displaced by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 14 countries in South Asia and East Africa. (In January 2005, the death toll was 286,000. In April 2005, Indonesia reduced its estimate for the number missing by over 50,000.) The earthquake was felt (IX) at Banda Aceh, (VIII) at Meulaboh and (IV) at Medan, Sumatra and (III-V) in parts of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The tsunami caused more casualties than any other in recorded history and was recorded nearly world-wide on tide gauges in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Seiches were observed in India and the United States. Subsidence and landslides were observed in Sumatra. A mud volcano near Baratang, Andaman Islands became active on December 28 and gas emissions were reported in Arakan, Myanmar.
4. Kamchatka Earthquake November 4, 1952, Magnitude 9.0
On November 4, 1952, at 16:52 GMT, a strong earthquake off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, in the far east of Russia, generated a great destructive Pacific-wide tsunami. The tsunami waves struck the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands and other areas of Russia’s Far East, and caused considerable damage and loss of life. The tsunami caused severe damage along the Pacific coastal area of the Kamchatka Peninsula, and was also very damaging in the Hawaiian Islands. (d.). By far the largest tsunami waves outside the generating earthquake area were observed in the Hawaiian Islands. No human lives were lost in Hawaii from this tsunami, but damage was extensive, estimates ranging from $800,000 – $1,000,000 (in 1952 US dollars). The earthquake off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula generated a great destructive Pacific-wide tsunami. Its waves struck the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands and other areas of Russia’s Far East, causing considerable damage and loss of life.
5. Recent Japan earthquake, March 11th, Magnitude 8.9 – 9.0 SR
Friday, March 11, 2011, Japan hit by powerful earthquake followed by tsunami that swept the coastal areas. About 10,000 people were estimated killed. Continuing readjustments of stress and associated aftershocks are expected in the region of this earthquake. The exact location and timing of future aftershocks cannot be specified. Numbers of aftershocks will continue to be highest on and near to fault-segments on which rupture occurred at the time of the main-shock. The frequency of aftershocks will tend to decrease with elapsed time from the time of the main shock, but the general decrease of activity may be punctuated by episodes of higher aftershock activity. Beyond the ongoing aftershock sequence, the USGS does not believe that the earthquakes in Japan have significantly raised the probability of future major earthquakes. While the probability of future large earthquakes far from northern Honshu has not increased, neither has it decreased and large earthquakes will continue to occur just as we have observed in the past. Initially, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake that shook Japan measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale. But lately, the United States Geological Survey revised the quake strength to 9.0 on the Richter scale. In addition to the United States Geological Survey, Japan Meteorological Agency also revised to 9.0 magnitude quake forces. This earthquake was recorded as the fifth largest earthquake in history, since 1900.