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Chronology Of Major Earthquakes Worldwide

16th Oct 1999

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A strong earthquake rocked southern California on Saturday, the third major quake in the world in three months, but only minor injuries were reported unlike the other two quakes in Taiwan and Turkey which killed thousands of people. The epicenter of the California earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.0 on the open-ended Richter scale, was in a sparsely populated area. Here is a chronology of major earthquakes that each killed more than 1,000 people in the last 20 years. Magnitudes are based on the open-ended Richter scale unless otherwise stated.

21 Sept 99 - TAIWAN - More than 2,000 people were killed and 12,000 buildings toppled island-wide in a massive quake that measured 7.6.

17 Aug 99 - TURKEY - More than 17,000 people were killed when a devastating earthquake measuring 7.4 hit Turkey, its worst natural disaster in 60 years.

25 Jan 99 - COLOMBIA - A powerful earthquake ripped through Colombia's central coffee-growing region killing at least 1,170 people. It measured 6.3 and the provincial capital of Armenia, nestled high in the Andes mountains of Quindio province, was the worst-hit spot.

7 July 98 - PAPUA NEW GUINEA - An undersea earthquake created three waves, which struck the PNG coast near the town of Aitape, wiping out entire villages. The quake which measured 7.1 killed at least 2,100.

30 May 98 - AFGHANISTAN - A powerful earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale hit northern Afghanistan killing up to 4,000 people and destroying 50 villages in Takhar province.

4 Feb 98 - AFGHANISTAN - At least 4,500 were killed in an earthquake in the Rustaq district of Takhar province. The quake measured 6.1 on the Richter scale.

10 May 97 - IRAN - 1,560 people were killed and 2,810 injured when an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale rocked rural areas of eastern Iran. The quake leveled 11 villages and inflicted heavy damage on the towns of Qaen and Birjand near its epicenter about 150 km (90 miles) from the border with Afghanistan.

28 Feb 97 - IRAN - An earthquake killed about 1,000 people and injured 2,000 in northwestern Iran. The quake, measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale, hit the city of Ardabil and the town of Meshkinshahr.

28 May 95 - RUSSIA - Russia's worst ever earthquake killed 1,989 people in the Far East Russian oil-producing town of Neftegorsk, on the north of the remote Sakhalin Island. The quake measured 7.5 on the Richter scale.

17 Jan 95 - JAPAN - 6,430 people were killed after a strong earthquake ripped through central Japan. Measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, the earthquake, centered around the port of Kobe, was the biggest quake to hit Japan in half a century.

06 Jun 94 - COLOMBIA - Some 1,000 killed in an earthquake and mudslide disaster in the Paez River valley in southwestern Colombia.

30 Sep 93 - INDIA - Thousands were killed in 36 villages destroyed after a series of powerful earthquakes which rocked western and southern India. The first of the five tremors measured 6.4 on the open-ended Richter scale. The epicenter was in the region where the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka meet near Latur.

(NOTE:14 Oct 93 - two weeks after the earthquake the number of bodies recovered is just under 10,000 - officials say the true death toll may never be known).

12 Dec 92 - INDONESIA - A string of islands in the province of East Nusa Tenggara was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale. At least 2,200 people were killed. 1,490 died in Maumere on the island of Flores which took the brunt of the quake. Another 700 were confirmed dead in Babi island.

20 Oct 91 - INDIA - 1,600 dead, at least 2,000 injured. Richter scale 6.1, close to Uttarkashi, 190 miles NE of Delhi.

1 Feb 91 - PAKISTAN/AFGHANISTAN - Around 1,200 dead (Pakistan 200, Afghanistan 1,000), many hundreds injured. 6.8 on Richter scale in Pakistan, shook large areas of both countries.

16 July 90 - PHILIPPINES - 1,620 killed, 3,500 injured. Richter 7.8, epicenter the city of Cabanatuan. About half the deaths were around the tourist center of Baguio. An estimated 148,000 were displaced or made homeless.

21 Jun 90 - IRAN - 35,000 dead, 100,000 injured, The worst recorded disaster in Iran. Registering 7.7 on Richter scale, devastated Caspian regions of Gilan and Zanjan. Some 500,000 were made homeless.

7 Dec 88 - SOVIET UNION - More than 25,000 killed, 18,000 injured. 6.9 Richter, 10 on Soviet 12-point scale. NW Armenia. The town of Spitak almost totally destroyed and Leninakan half-destroyed.

5 Mar 87 - ECUADOR - Over 1,000 people killed and several thousand missing. The epicenter of the quake was El Reventador, 50 miles east of Quito. It measured 7.0 on the Richter scale.

10 Oct 86 - EL SALVADOR - 1,500 people killed, 20,000 people injured. 5.5 on the Richter Scale. The earthquake occurred in San Salvador and 6 buildings collapsed leaving over 300,000 homeless.

19 Sep 85 - MEXICO - 9,500 killed & 40,000 people injured. 8.1 on the Richter scale. The earthquake hit Mexico city and adjoining region.

30 Oct 83 - TURKEY - About 1,300 people killed & 500 people injured. 6.9 on the Richter scale. The earthquake struck around the NE Turkish city of Erzurum. Over 35,000 people were made homeless.

13 Dec 82 - YEMEN - 3,000 people killed and 2,000 people injured. 6.0 on the Richter scale. The earthquake devastated Dhamar province.

11 Jun 81 - IRAN - 1,027 people killed and more than 800 injured. The town of Golbaf in Kerman province was destroyed 500 miles south-east of Tehran.

23 Nov 80 - ITALY - 2,735 people killed and more than 7,500 injured in a 7.2 quake. The epicenter was at Eboli but damage was reported over a huge area to Naples. More than 1,500 people were reported missing.

10 Oct 80 - ALGERIA - Provisional figures issued by the United Nations said 2,590 killed. It registered up to 7.3 and was centered on the town of El Asnam and left 330,000 people homeless.

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