Top 5 worst earthquakes in history – including Fukushima
A magnitude 3.8 earthquake has been recorded in the British city of Shropshire.
The earthquake that rocked the city on May 30 has been confirmed by the British Geological Survey (BGS).
Earthquakes are rare in the UK, with the BGS explaining that earthquakes of this magnitude are only felt “about every two years”.
People reported “noticeable shaking” and windows banging, but the quake caused no damage.
Earthquakes have hit the UK in the past, but it’s been a long time since the region was hit with a magnitude greater than 5.
Here’s everything you need to know about the strongest earthquake to hit the UK.
What causes earthquakes?
The earth is made up of tectonic plates, which are huge pieces of the earth’s crust.
These plates always move slowly, but when they get stuck, their edges begin to stretch.
When the pressure buildup becomes too great, the tectonic plates release it in waves, causing jerky movements that people feel like earthquakes.
Earthquakes can cause catastrophic damage to buildings and have a deadly impact on human life.
There are certain regions of the world where earthquakes are more frequent, due to the pressure exerted on the tectonic plates.
The area around the edge of the Pacific Ocean has earned the nickname “Ring of Fire” because 81% of the world’s earthquakes occur here due to the instability of tectonic plates.
How are earthquakes measured?
There are several ways to measure earthquakes.
The best known method is the Richter scale, which measures the magnitude of earthquakes by assigning them a score out of ten.
The Richter scale finds the size of the earthquake by calculating its largest seismic wave using a machine called a seismometer, which outputs the power of the earthquake through a seismograph.
However, scientists choose to use the moment magnitude scale because it is more accurate than the Richter scale.
The moment magnitude scale instead measures the total earthquake release moment and is more accurate with higher magnitude quakes.
What was the strongest earthquake recorded in the UK?
The strongest earthquake to hit the UK was the Dogger Bank earthquake in 1931.
With a magnitude of 6.1 on the Richter scale, it caused intense tremors.
The earthquake was located in the North Sea, 60 miles off the coast of Yorkshire.
Homes were damaged across Yorkshire and chimneys fell in Hull.
There was only one death, a woman who reportedly suffered a heart attack during the earthquake.
The quake is also said to have been felt as far away as London, with heads falling from some of Madame Tussauds wax models.
What are the worst earthquakes in history?
A magnitude 10 earthquake has never been recorded.
But, there were many powerful earthquakes that shook the world, causing devastation and death.
Here are the top five, listed in order of magnitude:
The worst earthquake in history was the Valdivia earthquake which struck off the coast of Chile in 1960 with a magnitude of 9.5.
It is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
The earthquake took place 100 miles off the coast of Chile near the town of Valdivia.
It caused a 25-meter tsunami that hit the west coast of Chile and spread to Japan and the Philippines.
It also hit Hawaii hard, with the city of Hilo completely destroyed.
There is no official death toll, but estimates put it at around 6,000.
Also known as the Good Friday earthquake, this magnitude 9.2 quake hit Alaska in 1964.
The most powerful earthquake to hit the United States caused an 8.2 meter tsunami that devastated the town of Chenega.
139 people died in the disaster, including five people in Oregon and 13 people in California.
The Sumatra earthquake happened on Boxing Day in 2004.
It was one of the deadliest earthquakes causing more than 250,000 deaths.
The quake ruptured 900 miles of fault line, causing a tsunami with 30-meter waves, which hit the coasts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
In Japan, in 2011, an undersea earthquake of magnitude 9.1 triggered a tsunami that hit the northeast of the country.
The waves reached heights of 40.5 meters and caused collapses in three reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The death toll was 15,894 with 2,562 people still missing to date.
An earthquake off Kamchatka in northeastern Russia struck in 1952.
It caused a 15-meter tsunami that damaged the coast of Kamchatka and caused between 10,000 and 15,000 deaths.
The waves reached Hawaii and New Zealand.