Earthquake statistics

Cracked asphalt road.
Cracked asphalt road. Photo : Supplied

Over the last ten years, there have been 403 earthquakes of between 6.5 and 9.0 magnitude (Mw).

This year alone the world has experienced 46 quakes over a 6.0 Mw, including the devastating 7.5Mw earthquake that hit northern Afghanistan on Monday.

This number may not seem like much but if you take into account that last year there were 49 quakes, with only two months left in the year, there’s a possibility this year’s number may rise.

The top three years with the highest number of quakes were:

  • 2013 (58)
  • 2011 (52)
  • 2014 (49)

The years with the lowest amount of quakes were:

  • 2008 (18)
  • 2006 (21)
  • 2010 (23)

Looking back, in September 2013 a huge 7.7Mw hit Pakistan, and over 820 people died.

In 2011, there were two devastating quakes. One hit here in New Zealand in February, which was only 6.3Mw but was at a depth of 5km, This killed 185 people. The worst was yet to come. A month later in March, Japan was hit with a huge 9.0Mw, which resulted in the death of over 20000 people.

Last year (2014) an 8.2Mw quake struck off the coast of Chile in April. Fortunately, the number of fatalities was six people. China was also hit with at 6.2 Mw earthquake where over 6000 people were injured, and 729 people died.

While researching, it seems that the quakes that are happening around the world are strengthening and becoming more frequent around the globe.

Do you know what to do if an earthquake hits New Zealand again? Check out getthru.govt.nz

Information gathered from world-earthquakes.com and earthquake.usgs.gov.

Diane Raimona
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