The World’s strongest recorded Earthquake
At 3.40pm on 22 May 1960 Valdivia was hit by the strongest recorded earthquake in the world. The Earthquake measured 9.5 on the Richter Scale. Most of the buildings in the city were destroyed by the earth’s movements or by the devasting tsunamis that followed. Not only were there catastrophic consequences in the South of Chile, the earthquake caused tsunamis that hit Japan (138 people killed), Hawaii (61 people killed) and the Phillipines (32 people killed). At 3.11pm, a smaller earthquake was felt in the region and yet another ‘smaller’ earthquake of 7.5 the day before in Concepción a little to the north.
Not only was there damage to man-made structures during the quake, but the earth itself was forever changed by the enormous amount of energy released from below. Huge landslides, massive flows of earthen debris and rock, were sent tumbling down mountain slopes. Some landslides were so enormous they changed the course of major rivers or dammed them up creating new lakes. The land along the coast of Chile, particularly in the Port city of Peurto Montt, subsided (sunk downward) as a result of the movement of the ground during the quake and the coastal city was flooded with ocean water.
Activate the earthquake layer and click on the red dot.