Earthquakes since 1965

Sep 22, 2021


  • An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shifting of rocks deep underneath the earth’s surface. Earthquakes can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides or avalanches. While they can happen anywhere without warning, areas at higher risk for earthquakes include Japan, Philippines and the eastern parts of the North Pacific Ocean.

The history of earthquakes

  • 1964
    Prince William Sound, Alaska, U.S. 9.2 … 131 Anchorage, Seward, and Valdez were damaged, but most deaths in the Alaska earthquake of 1964 were caused by tsunamis in Alaska and as far away as California.

  • 1970
    Chimbote, Peru 7.9 … 70,000 Most of the damage and loss of life resulting from the Ancash earthquake of 1970 was caused by landslides and the collapse of poorly constructed buildings.

  • 1972 Managua, Nicaragua 6.2 … 10,000 The centre of the capital of Nicaragua was almost completely destroyed; the business section was later rebuilt some 6 miles (10 km) away.

  • 1976
    Guatemala City, Guatemala 7.5 IX 23,000 Rebuilt following a series of devastating quakes in 1917–18, the capital of Guatemala again suffered great destruction.

  • 1976
    Tangshan, China 7.5 X 242,000 In the Tangshan earthquake of 1976, this industrial city was almost completely destroyed in the worst earthquake disaster in modern history.

  • 1979
    Tumaco, Colombia 7.7 IX 600 The earthquake struck near the border between Colombia and Ecuador on the Pacific coast, producing 10-foot (3-metre) tsunami waves.

  • 1985
    Michoacán state and Mexico City, Mexico 8.1 IX 10,000 The centre of Mexico City, built largely on the soft subsoil of an ancient lake, suffered great damage in the Mexico City earthquake of 1985.

  • 1988
    Spitak and Gyumri, Armenia 6.8 X 25,000 This quake destroyed nearly one-third of Armenia’s industrial capacity.

  • 1989
    Loma Prieta, California, U.S. 7.1 IX 62 The San Francisco–Oakland earthquake of 1989, the first sizable movement of the San Andreas Fault since 1906, collapsed a section of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.

  • 1994
    Northridge, California, U.S. 6.8 IX 60 Centred in the urbanized San Fernando Valley, the Northridge earthquake of 1994 collapsed freeways and some buildings, but damage was limited by earthquake-resistant construction.

  • 1995
    Kōbe, Japan 6.9 XI 5,502 The Great Hanshin Earthquake destroyed or damaged 200,000 buildings and left 300,000 people homeless.

  • 1999
    İzmit, Turkey 7.4 X 17,000 The İzmit earthquake of 1999 heavily damaged the industrial city of İzmit and the naval base at Gölcük.

  • 1999
    Nan-t’ou county, Taiwan 7.7 X 2,400 The Taiwan earthquake of 1999, the worst to hit Taiwan since 1935, provided a wealth of digitized data for seismic and engineering studies.

  • 2001
    Bhuj, Gujarat state, India 8.0 X 20,000 The Bhuj earthquake of 2001, possibly the deadliest ever to hit India, was felt across India and Pakistan.

  • 2003
    Bam, Iran 6.6 IX 26,000 This ancient Silk Road fortress city, built mostly of mud brick, was almost completely destroyed.

  • 2004
    Aceh province, Sumatra, Indonesia 9.1 … 200,000 The deaths resulting from this offshore quake actually were caused by a tsunami originating in the Indian Ocean that, in addition to killing more than 150,000 in Indonesia, killed people as far away as Sri Lanka and Somalia.

  • 2005
    Kashmir 7.6 VIII 80,000 The Kashmir earthquake of 2005, perhaps the deadliest shock ever to strike South Asia, left hundreds of thousands of people exposed to the coming winter weather.

  • 2006
    Yogyakarta, Indonesia 6.3 IX 5,700 The Yogyakarta earthquake injured nearly 40,000 people and destroyed or damaged nearly 600,000 homes in the Bantul-Yogyakarta area.

  • 2008
    Sichuan province, China 7.9 IX 69,000 The Sichuan earthquake of 2008 left over five million people homeless across the region, and over half of Beichuan city was destroyed by the initial seismic event and the release of water from a lake formed by nearby landslides.

  • 2009
    L’Aquila, Italy 6.3 VIII 300 The L’Aquila earthquake of 2009 left more than 60,000 people homeless and damaged many of the city’s medieval buildings.

  • 2010
    Port-au-Prince, Haiti 7.0 IX 316,000 The Haiti earthquake of 2010 devastated the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince and left an estimated 1.5 million survivors homeless.

  • 2010
    Maule, Chile 8.8 VIII 521 The Chile earthquake of 2010 produced widespread damage in Chile’s central region and triggered tsunami warnings throughout the Pacific basin.

  • 2010–11 Christchurch, New Zealand 7.0 VIII 180 Most of the devastation associated with the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010–11 resulted from a magnitude-6.3 aftershock that struck on February 22, 2011.

  • 2011
    Honshu, Japan 9.0 VIII 20,000 The powerful Japan earthquake and tsunami of 2011, which sent tsunami waves across the Pacific basin, caused widespread damage throughout eastern Honshu.

  • 2011
    Erciş and Van, Turkey 7.2 IX 600 The Erciş-Van earthquake of 2011 destroyed several apartment complexes and shattered mud-brick homes throughout the region.

  • 2015
    Kathmandu, Nepal 7.8 IX 9,000 The Nepal earthquake of 2015 was accompanied by two aftershocks of magnitude 6.6 and 6.7 within the first hour after the quake. A magnitude-7.3 aftershock struck the region on May 12, killing more than 100 people.

  • 2016
    Muisne, Ecuador 7.8 VIII 500 The Ecuador earthquake injured more than 4,600 people and flattened thousands of structures in towns and villages along the Pacific coast and inland.