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Earthquakes

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2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on 26 December, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, a moment magnitude of 9.1–9.3 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). It was an undersea megathrust earthquake caused by rupture along the fault between the Burma Plate and the subducting Indian Plate. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis up to 30 metres (100 ft) high, inundating coastal communities along the coasts of the Indian Ocean and killing an estimated 227,898 people in 14 countries. The earthquake was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history, the deadliest of the 21st century so far. Indonesia was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand.

 
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2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku was a magnitude 9.0–9.1 (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday 11 March 2011, with the epicentre approximately 70 kilometres (43 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku and the hypocenter at an underwater depth of approximately 29 km (18 mi). The earthquake is often referred to in Japan as the Great East Japan Earthquake and is also known as the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, and the 3.11 earthquake. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40.5 metres (133 ft) in Miyako in Tōhoku's Iwate Prefecture, and which, in the Sendai area, traveled up to 10 km (6 mi) inland. The earthquake moved Honshu 2.4 m (8 ft) east, shifted the Earth on its axis by estimates of between 10 cm (4 in) and 25 cm (10 in), increased earth's rotational speed by 1.8 µs per day, and generated infrasound waves detected in perturbations of the low-orbiting GOCE satellite. Initially, the earthquake caused sinking of part of Honshu's Pacific coast by up to roughly a metre, but after about three years, the coast rose back and kept on rising to exceed its original height.

 
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1906 San Francisco earthquake

The 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18 with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.9 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). High intensity shaking was felt from Eureka on the North Coast to the Salinas Valley, an agricultural region to the south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Devastating fires soon broke out in the city and lasted for several days. Thousands of homes were dismantled. As a result, up to 3,000 people died and over 80% of the city of San Francisco was destroyed. The events are remembered as one of the worst and deadliest earthquakes in the history of the United States. The death toll remains the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history and high in the lists of American disasters.

 
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Nature and flora

1960 Valdivia earthquake

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean earthquake of 22 May is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. Various studies have placed it at 9.4–9.6 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon, and lasted approximately 10 minutes. The resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia and the Aleutian Islands.

 
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2010 Haiti earthquake

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, with an epicenter near the town of Léogâne (Ouest), approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital. The earthquake occurred at 16:53 local time on Tuesday, 12 January 2010.

 
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Nature and flora

April 2015 Nepal earthquake

The April 2015 Nepal earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000. It occurred at 11:56 Nepal Standard Time on 25 April, with a magnitude of 7.8Mw or 8.1Ms and a maximum Mercalli Intensity of VIII (Severe). Its epicenter was east of Gorkha District at Barpak, Gorkha, and its hypocenter was at a depth of approximately 8.2 km (5.1 mi). It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake. The ground motion recorded in the capital of Nepal was of low frequency which, along with its occurrence at an hour where many people in rural areas were working outdoors, decreased the loss of property and human lives.

 
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2001 Gujarat earthquake

The 2001 Gujarat earthquake, also known as the Bhuj earthquake, occurred on 26 January, India's 52nd Republic Day, at 08:46 AM IST and lasted for over 2 minutes. The epicentre was about 9 km south-southwest of the village of Chobari in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District of Gujarat, India.

 
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1989 Loma Prieta earthquake

The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake occurred in Northern California on October 17 at 5:04 p.m. local time. The shock was centered in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park approximately 10 mi (16 km) northeast of Santa Cruz on a section of the San Andreas Fault System and was named for the nearby Loma Prieta Peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains. With a moment magnitude of 6.9 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent), the shock was responsible for 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries. The Loma Prieta segment of the San Andreas Fault System had been relatively inactive since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake until two moderate foreshocks occurred in June 1988 and again in August 1989.

 
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2011 Christchurch earthquake

A Mw 6.2 earthquake occurred in Christchurch on 22 February 2011 at 12:51 p.m. local time. The earthquake struck the Canterbury Region in New Zealand's South Island and was centred 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) west of the port town of Lyttelton, and 10 kilometres (6 mi) south-east of the centre of Christchurch, at the time New Zealand's second-most populous city. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, killing 185 people in the nation's fifth-deadliest disaster.

 
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1994 Northridge earthquake

The 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred on January 17, at 4:30:55 a.m. PST and had its epicenter in Reseda, a neighborhood in the north-central San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, USA. It had a duration of approximately 10–20 seconds. The blind thrust earthquake had a magnitude of 6.7 (Mw), on the moment magnitude scale, which produced ground acceleration that was the highest ever instrumentally recorded in an urban area in North America, measuring 1.8g (16.7 m/s2) with strong ground motion felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, about 220 miles (360 km) from the epicenter. The peak ground velocity at the Rinaldi Receiving Station was 183 cm/s, the fastest peak ground velocity ever recorded. In addition, two 6.0 Mw aftershocks occurred, the first about one minute after the initial event and the second approximately 11 hours later, the strongest of several thousand aftershocks in all. The death toll was 57, with more than 8,700 injured. In addition, property damage was estimated to be between $13 and $50 billion, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

 
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1755 Lisbon earthquake

The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon earthquake, occurred in the Kingdom of Portugal on the morning of Saturday, 1 November, the holy day of All Saints' Day, at around 09:40 local time. In combination with subsequent fires and a tsunami, the earthquake almost totally destroyed Lisbon and adjoining areas. Seismologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake had a magnitude in the range 8.5–9.0 on the moment magnitude scale, with its epicentre in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent. Estimates place the death toll in Lisbon alone between 10,000 and 100,000 people, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.

 
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1964 Alaska earthquake

The 1964 Alaskan earthquake, also known as the Great Alaskan earthquake and Good Friday earthquake, occurred at 5:36 PM AKST on Good Friday, March 27 spring-tide/full-moon. Across south-central Alaska, ground fissures, collapsing structures, and tsunamis resulting from the earthquake caused about 139 deaths.

 
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2008 Sichuan earthquake

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake, also known as the Great Sichuan earthquake or Wenchuan earthquake, occurred at 14:28:01 China Standard Time on May 12, 2008. Measuring at 8.0 Ms, the earthquake's epicenter was located 80 kilometres (50 mi) west-northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, with a focal depth of 19 km (12 mi). The earthquake ruptured the fault for over 240 km, with surface displacements of several meters. The earthquake was also felt in nearby countries and as far away as both Beijing and Shanghai—1,500 km (930 mi) and 1,700 km (1,060 mi) away—where office buildings swayed with the tremor. Strong aftershocks, some exceeding 6 Ms, continued to hit the area up to several months after the main shock, causing further casualties and damage. The earthquake also caused the largest number of geohazards ever recorded, including about 200,000 landslides and more than 800 quake lakes distributed over an area of 110,000 km2.

 
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Nature and flora

1990 Luzon earthquake

The 1990 Luzon earthquake struck the Philippines at 4:26 p.m. on July 16 (PDT). 3:26 p.m. (PST) with an estimated moment magnitude of 7.7 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent) and produced a 125 km-long ground rupture that stretched from Dingalan, Aurora to Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. The event was a result of strike-slip movements along the Philippine Fault and the Digdig Fault within the Philippine Fault System. The earthquake's epicenter was near the town of Rizal, Nueva Ecija, northeast of Cabanatuan City. An estimated 1,621 people were killed, most of the fatalities located in Central Luzon and the Cordillera region.

 
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1923 Great Kantō earthquake

The Great Kantō earthquake struck the Kantō Plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58:44 JST on Saturday, September 1, 1923. Varied accounts indicate the duration of the earthquake was between four and ten minutes.