Saturday, February 27, 2010

Big Quake in Chile - Upgraded magnitude 8.8


A huge earthquake has struck offshore of Maule, Chile. Initially reported at magnitude 8.3, the quake has been upgraded to 8.8, making it the sixth largest quake recorded in the world since 1900 (if the revision stands). A tsunami warning has been issued, but there are no reports out of the region yet whether it has materialized. Power outages have been reported in Santiago, but no other reports of damage yet. Needless to say, such a quake is capable of doing grevious damage (the energy of this quake is hundreds of times more than the 7.0 quake that hit Haiti six weeks ago).

The top ten most powerful quakes since 1900 (courtesy of the US Geological Survey)

1. Chile 1960 9.5
2. Prince William Sound, Alaska 1964 9.2
3. Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra 2004 9.1
4. Kamchatka 1952 9.0
5. Off the Coast of Ecuador 1906 8.8
6. Rat Islands, Alaska 1965 8.7
7. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia 2005 8.6
8. Assam - Tibet 1950 8.6
9. Andreanof Islands, Alaska 1957 8.6
10. Southern Sumatra, Indonesia 2007 8.5
11. Banda Sea, Indonesia 1938 8.5
12. Kamchatka 1923 8.5
13. Chile-Argentina Border 1922 8.5
14. Kuril Islands 1963 8.5
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