Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan 8.9 - deadliest in the history

One of the worst earthquakes in Japanese history rocked the island nation Friday March 11, killing hundreds, perhaps thousands, as the tsunami it created crested in places at 30 feet and moved up to six miles inland. According to the Associated Press, officials say the 8.9 magnitude quake is the worst to hit Japan since the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.
The following are the five worst earthquakes -- in terms of number of deaths -- Japan has suffered since 1900.
Sanriku Earthquake (1933). A massive quake occurred off the coast of Honshu in 1933. Registering an 8.4 in magnitude, the earthquake and its subsequent tsunami accounted for at least 3,000 deaths.
Kita Tango Earthquake (1927). Initially, the 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed 1,100 people, but the subsequent destruction and fires caused by the event ultimately accounted for 3,020 deaths. The quake was responsible for destroying 98 percent of the homes in Mineyama Domain (in present day Kyoto Prefecture) in the Tango Peninsula.
Fukui Earthquake (1948). A 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook the Fukui Prefecture of Japan in 1948, killing over 3,700 people.
Kobe Earthquake (1995). The Kobe, or Great Hanshin, Earthquake of 1995 killed over 5,500 people (some estimates place the death toll at closer to 6,500) when it hit the highly populated area of Kobe. It measured at 6.8 magnitude and did an estimated $200 billion in damages.
The Great Kanto Earthquake (1923). The worst earthquake in Japanese history occurred in 1923 when a 7.9 magnitude quake hit the Kanto plain around Tokyo, killing over 143,000 people.
As for the Sendai Earthquake (2011), the current totality of casualties and damages caused by theearthquake has yet to be assessed. Registering as an 8.9 magnitude, it is the largest seismic event in Japan's history. However, the death toll is expected to fall far short of the Great Kanto Earthquake. Still, with authorities in the city of Sendai having recovered as many as 300 bodies thus far, the latest seismic event to rock Japan may see the number of deaths rising into the thousands, making it one of the deadliest in history.

* Chile , 1960: 9.5 magnitude
* Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1964: 9.2 magnitude
* Northern Sumatra, 2004: 9.1 magnitude
* Kamchatka, 1952: 9.0 magnitude
* Japan, 2011: 8.9 magnitude

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