Earthquake News

9.6 Valdivian Earthquake - May 22, 1960

Source: Wikipedia

The greatest recorded earthquake was the Valdivia earthquake and tsunami of 1960, also known as the Great Chilean earthquake (Gran terremoto de Chile), which occurred on May 22, 1960. It was rated between 9.4 and 9.6 on the moment magnitude scale by several researchers. It happened in the late afternoon (19:11 GMT, 15:11 local), and it lasted for around ten minutes. Southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands were all impacted by the ensuing tsunamis.

The city of Valdivia was the most severely impacted by this megathrust earthquake, which had its epicenter close to Lumaco, some 570 kilometers (350 mi) south of Santiago. Localized tsunamis brought by by the tremor devastated the Chilean coast severely with waves as high as 25 meters (82 ft). Waves as high as 10.7 meters (35 ft) were observed more than 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) from the epicenter of the major tsunami, which wreaked havoc in Hilo, Hawaii. The main tsunami crossed the Pacific Ocean and left Hilo in ruins.

The city of Valdivia was the most severely impacted by this megathrust earthquake, which had its epicenter close to Lumaco, some 570 kilometers (350 mi) south of Santiago. Localized tsunamis brought on by the tremor devastated the Chilean shoreline severely with waves as high as 25 meters (82 feet). Waves as high as 10.7 meters (35 ft) were observed more than 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) from the epicenter of the major tsunami, which wreaked havoc in Hilo, Hawaii. The main tsunami crossed the Pacific Ocean and left Hilo in ruins.

The death toll and monetary losses arising from this widespread disaster are not certain. Various estimates of the total number of fatalities from the earthquake and tsunamis have been published, ranging between 1,000 and 6,000 killed. Different sources have estimated the monetary cost ranged from US$400 million to $800 million (or $3.5 billion to $7 billion in 2020, adjusted for inflation).

It is uncertain how many people will die and how much money will be lost due to this huge catastrophe. Between 1,000 and 6,000 people are believed to have died as a result of the earthquake and tsunamis, according to various published figures. The financial cost has been estimated by various sources to be between US$400 million and $800 million (or between $3.5 billion and $7 billion in 2020, inflation-adjusted).

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