July 7, 2012 – Magnitude 8 and Greater Earthquakes Since 1900: The map below displays Global earthquakes greater than or equal to 8.0 magnitude since the year 1900.
Notice that the strongest earthquakes occurred mostly around the Pacific “Ring of Fire” tectonic plate. The yellow dots reflect the shallowest quakes, which are usually the most deadly (see below).
As you can see from the Death Scale at the bottom, the three most deadly quakes were: (1) Off the West Coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26, 2004 (227,878 dead);
(2) Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan on March 11, 2011 (28,050)
and (3) Near Bihar, India on February 1, 1938 (10,700).
The strongest quake occurred in Chile on May 22, 1960; measuring an incredible 9.5 magnitude:
If a quake of this magnitude were to occur at a shallow depth under a major metropolitan area today, the results would be catastrophic. See the USGS Website for a complete list, with details for each quake.
The Master of Disaster