Largest Earthquake Ever Recorded Also Struck Chile in 1960
A 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile on Saturday February 27 causing tsunami warnings areas such as Hawaii, Peru, Australia and the west coast of the United States and Canada, and while the 8.8 magnitue was higher than the 7.0 Haiti Earthquake on January 12th, the largest earthquake ever recorded also struck Chile almost 50 years ago, close to Santiago where the 2010 earthquake struck. The 1960 Valdivia earthquake had a magnitude of 9.5 and is still considered the largest earthquake in the world.
According to the USGS, 1,655 people were killed when the earthquake struck on May 22 1960, with 3,000 injured, 2,000,000 made homeless and $550 million worth of damage sustained.
The tsunamis that arose from that earthquake caused 61 deaths and $75 million of damage in Hawaii, 138 deaths and $50 million damage in Japan, 32 deaths in the Philippines and $500,000 worth of damage along the west coast of the United States.
Severe damage from shaking occurred in the Valdivia-Puerto Montt area. Most of the casualties and much of the damage was because of large tsunamis which caused damage along the coast of Chile from Lebu to Puerto Aisen and in many areas of the Pacific Ocean.
Just four days after the 9.5 magnitude earthquake struck Chile, Volcan Puyehue erupted and continued for several weeks.
The earthquake had four aftershocks all bigger than 7.0 and one had a magnitude of 7.9 on May 21st. Aftershocks could be felt all the way to November 1st 1960.
This is the largest earthquake of the 20th Century. The rupture zone is estimated to be about 1000 km long, from Lebu to Puerto Aisen.