Anna Sheffer
January 23, 2018 10:02 am
Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

On January 23rd, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Kodiak Island in Alaska, triggering a tsunami warning that was later canceled. Thankfully, in the most recent Alaska earthquake, residents were able to safely evacuate. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In light of this recent disaster, let’s take a look at some of the biggest earthquakes in the past five years.

1 Chiapas, Mexico, 2017

An 8.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Mexican state of Chiapas on September 7th, 2017. The earthquake killed 61 people in Mexico, 36 of whom lived in the city of Juchitan de Zaragoza. It was the most powerful quake Mexico had experienced in 100 years.

2 Ecuador, 2016

On April 16th, 2016, Ecuador was devastated by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake. The disaster claimed the lives of 272 people, and at least 2,527 sustained injuries.

3 Chile, 2015

Chile experienced an 8.3-magnitude earthquake on September 17th, 2015. The quake’s epicenter was located off the country’s coast, and 25 minutes after the initial shockwaves, a tsunami hit the town of Tongoy. About 1 million people were evacuated in the country, and tsunami warnings were issued in Japan, Russia, New Zealand, California, and Hawaii due to the disaster. Chile was also the site of the strongest earthquake ever, a 9.5-magnitude quake that occurred in 1960.

4 Nepal, April 2015

On April 25th, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, the largest earthquake the country had ever experienced. The tremors caused avalanches on Mt. Everest and resulted in powerful aftershocks, including one reaching a magnitude of 7.3 on May 12. The earthquakes caused more than 8,583 fatalities, making it the deadliest earthquake in the country’s history.

5 China, 2014

More than 600 people died in a 6.1-magnitude earthquake in China’s Yunnan Province on August 3rd, 2014. The quake also caused landslides and resulted in the destruction of 80,000 homes. More than 120,000 other homes were damaged.

6 Pakistan, 2013

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake wreaked havoc on the Pakistani province of Balochistan on September 24th, 2013. More than 500 people died as a result of the earthquake.

Earthquakes, like any natural disaster, can be devastating. While it’s hard to know when an earthquake is going to happen, if you live somewhere prone to seismic activity, you can practice earthquake preparedness by packing an emergency bag for when there is a quake. Stay safe.

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