The most powerful earthquakes

Bridge and semi during an earthquake

The most recent major earthquake occurred on December 3, 2023, at 11:49:37 UTC. It was a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck off the coast of Mindanao, Philippines. It is not one of the most powerful earthquakes. The earthquake was felt as far north as Cebu and as far south as Davao City. There were reports of minor damage in some areas, but no injuries or fatalities were reported.

9.0 and Above Earthquakes

Bridge and semi during an earthquake
Destruction of bridge structures across the river with the collapse of sections into the water. Truck accident on destroyed bridge

Some of the most powerful earthquakes on earth are the 1964 Prince William Sound earthquake, Alaska which was a magnitude of 9.2. This earthquake occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It caused significant damage to infrastructure and triggered several large landslides.

In 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake of 9.1 This earthquake, also known as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra. It triggered a devastating tsunami that affected countries throughout the Indian Ocean, causing widespread death and destruction.

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake, Chile with a magnitude 9.5. This earthquake, which occurred off the coast of Chile, remains the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. It triggered a tsunami that reached heights of over 25 meters (82 feet) and caused widespread destruction.

These earthquakes are all megathrust earthquakes, which occur when tectonic plates slide past each other. They are the largest and most powerful type of earthquake.

    Some other notable earthquakes are the 1952 Kamchatka earthquake, Russia. It was a 9.0. This earthquake occurred off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. It caused a tsunami that reached heights of over 10 meters (33 feet).

    The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, Japan also a 9.0. This earthquake occurred off the east coast of Honshu, Japan. It triggered a tsunami that reached heights of over 30 meters (100 feet) and caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    The AI solution

    There are many researchers and organizations working on using AI to help with earthquakes in various ways.


    We are working on Predicting earthquakes. Google and Harvard have developed an AI system that can predict aftershocks with 70% accuracy by studying over 131,000 earthquakes and aftershocks. This could give people precious time to prepare and evacuate. Opens in a new Google AI earthquake prediction. Researchers at Caltech are using AI to analyze seismic data and identify patterns that could indicate an impending earthquake. They claim to have achieved up to 80% accuracy in some cases.

    Early Warning

    AI is already in use for Early warning systems. Researchers in China have developed an AI system that can detect earthquakes up to 10 seconds faster than traditional methods. This could be crucial in areas where earthquakes happen quickly. Opens in a new China AI earthquake early warning system


    With such widespread damage getting to the injured quickly is imperative. xView2 is an AI platform that uses satellite imagery to assess damage after an earthquake. This can help first responders quickly identify areas where they are most needed.Opens in a new windowwww.technologyreview.comxView2 AI earthquake damage assessment The World Bank is using AI to analyze social media data to identify people who may be injured or trapped after an earthquake. This can help rescue efforts be more efficient.

    These are just a few examples of how AI is being used to help with earthquakes. As AI technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative ways to use it to save lives and reduce damage from these natural disasters.

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