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The World's Largest and Most Destructive Earthquakes

Updated on November 2, 2016

Frequently Updated News

On January 12, 2010, Haiti had a very destructive 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Feburary 27, Chile had an 8.8, one of the largest and most powerful ever recorded. Just a few days later, Taiwan had a 6.4. On March 8, Turkey had a 6.0 and Hawaii had one the same day. Then Japan had one several days later. March 16, Los Angeles, California had a 4.4.

February 22, 2011, New Zealand was hit by a large earthquake. March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami.

You can find the latest news and videos here and donate to help. All of the royalties from this lens (web page) will be donated to help. Photo Credits: PD.

Prepare for Disaster Books

Be ready to survive an earthquake.

My Earthquake Story

Back about the year 1990 or 1991, we had a small earthquake in a part of America that doesn't usually get earthquakes. I was down under the ground in a basement, so I really felt the earth move and shake. It was kind of like very loud thunder in a thunderstorm. It didn't cause much damage to anything. They said in the news a few days later that it was an earthquake.

New Zealand Earthquake

February 22, 2011, New Zealand was hit by a large 6.3 earthquake.



Christopher Columbus went to Hispaniola in 1492 with his ship the Santa Maria. The ship's crew stayed and built a fort while Columbus sailed on and discovered gold in the Dominican Republic. In 1697, France took control of the island and they brought in slaves. In 1791, during the French Revolution, the slaves rebelled against their French masters. Toussaint L'Ouverture took control and restored order to the country. But in 1799 Napoleon came to power in France and he sent an army to capture Toussaint. Many of the French soldiers caught yellow fever and the rebels defeated the weak army in 1803. In 1804, General Jean Jacques Dessalines, the leader of the rebels, proclaimed the colony an independent country named Haiti.

The Coat Of Arms

Land and Climate

Two chains of rugged mountains run across the Northern and Southern parts of Haiti and form two peninsulas at the West end of the island. The Northern peninsula goes out into the Atlantic Ocean and the Southern peninsula extends into the Caribbean Sea. A gulf and an island lie between the two peninsulas. Haiti has a tropical climate with mild temperatures. They range from 70* to 90* F. (21* to 35* C) along the coasts and from 50* to 75* F (10* to 24* C) in the mountains. Sometimes destructive hurricanes strike Haiti between June and October. A few of them have caused major damage.

The National Palace - In Port-au-Prince




New Zealand



Earthquake Comments

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hello. Thank you for featuring this. The Philippines also experienced a terrible earthquake recently. We can only just pray for the victims to regain their hope in their time of suffering. - Ms. Charito from the Philippines

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      The biggest earthquake I've ever felt was only 5.3, and that was quite enough for me, thanks! Fortunately we don't get many in Australia.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 4 years ago

      I keep waiting for the Big One in California. Every time I read something about the San Andreas fault the scientists say it is due any moment. I'm not sure the U.S. economy would survive a big quake in Los Angles.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      The February earthquake in NZ was the highest shaking ever recorded (different to the Richer scale)...both lateral and horizontal.

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 5 years ago

      When I see videos of tsunamis, I can't believe the sheer power of the water. It's incredible!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Sometimes I wonder how much the underground nuclear tests have contributed to earthquakes as the effect must bounce around inside the earth. Japan is an unbelieveable wake up call about nuclear power and what nature can do to developed societies. The scars from all these disasters may never go away.

    • profile image

      yourgoldenfuture 6 years ago

      one of the things mankind cant control

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      It is really sad that earthquakes can have this disastrous effects, in Japan's case it has the added effect of radiation as well.

    • profile image

      oznews 6 years ago

      Good site. Please also check out my site ......

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      I live at the Pacific Coast, and have felt a few ones, although none of them were major. Earthquakes seem to be increasing in intesnity and frequency.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      Nice caring lens - good luck with all your endevours!

    • profile image

      CofCJenny LM 6 years ago

      I hate to sound cliche, or even crazy, but I definitely feel like all these natural disasters are a sign of some sort, just wish so many lives weren't lost and so many people injured in the process.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      The New Zealand one looks terrible from what they are showing on TV. Great lens.

    • beerhead profile image

      beerhead 6 years ago

      quite scary all the ecological events that have been happening in the world. Very informative lens!!

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Great information. I hope Haiti will get the help that it needs. Featured lens on my Prepare for disaster lens.

    • HomeDecoratingD profile image

      HomeDecoratingD 7 years ago

      It's sad that Haiti is still struggling so bad almost a year later. It just seems they can catch a break. Great information.