Which country has the most earthquakes?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may seem. In order to most accurately answer it, we will rephrase the question four different ways:

  1. For which country do we locate the most earthquakes? Japan. The whole country is in a very active seismic area, and they have the densest seismic network in the world, so they are able to record many earthquakes.
  2. Which country actually has the most earthquakes? Indonesia is in a very active seismic zone, also, but by virtue of its larger size than Japan, it has more total earthquakes.
  3. Which country has the most earthquakes per unit area? This would probably be Tonga, Fiji, or Indonesia since they are all in extremely active seismic areas along subduction zones. The sparse seismic instrumentation in those areas doesn't allow us to actually record all the smaller earthquakes.
  4. Which country has the most catastrophic earthquakes, or which has had the most damage and fatalities? Both China and Iran are in seismically active areas, have very long historical records, and have had many catastrohic earthquakes. Turkey is also worth mentioning in this category.

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Where can I search an earthquake catalog for past events?

You may be able to find what you’re looking for using our collection of Earthquake Lists , so check that first. If that doesn’t work, you can use one of these Earthquake Catalog Search webpages: Search the World-wide Earthquakes Catalog (M4.5+ worldwide, M2.5+ US) Search the ANSS (Advanced National Seismic System) Composite Catalog (M4.5+ world-...

Which country has the most earthquakes?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may seem. In order to most accurately answer it, we will rephrase the question four different ways: For which country do we locate the most earthquakes? Japan. The whole country is in a very active seismic area, and they have the densest seismic network in the world, so they are able to...

Which state has the most damaging earthquakes? The most natural (non-manmade) earthquakes?

California has the most damaging earthquakes, and Alaska and California have the most natural (non-manmade) earthquakes.

Where do earthquakes occur?

Earthquakes can strike any location at any time. But history shows they occur in the same general patterns year after year, principally in three large zones of the earth. The world's greatest earthquake belt, the circum-Pacific seismic belt , is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81 percent of the world's largest earthquakes...

Where can I find a list of the largest earthquakes near my town?

You can perform an online earthquake catalog search .

Where can I find a list of yearly estimated deaths from earthquakes around the world?

Those estimates can be found on our Earthquake Statistics website.

Which states have the smallest number of earthquakes? Is there any place in the world that doesn't have earthquakes?

Florida and North Dakota are the states with the fewest earthquakes. Antarctica has the least earthquakes of any continent, but small earthquakes can occur anywhere in the World.
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Date published: January 3, 2008

Earthquakes claim 709 lives in 2007

At least 709 deaths resulted from earthquake activity worldwide in 2007, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and confirmed by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Date published: February 10, 2005

2004 Deadliest in Nearly 500 Years for Earthquakes

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2004 was the deadliest year for earthquakes since the Renaissance Age, making it the second most fatal in recorded history, with more than 275,950 deaths reported from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26.

Date published: February 25, 2003

U.S. Suffers Largest Earthquake of 2002

The magnitude 7.9 quake that hit Central Alaska on November 3 was the world’s biggest earthquake in 2002, and the largest to hit the United States since 1996 when another 7.9 hit Alaska’s Andreanof Islands.

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video thumbnail: The Padang, Indonesia Earthquake of 2009
May 2, 2010

The Padang, Indonesia Earthquake of 2009

On September 30, 2009 a M7.6 earthquake struck off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, near the cities of Padang and Pariaman, affecting an area with a population of 1.2 million people. The Indonesian government estimates that the earthquake caused 1,195 deaths and significant damage to around 140,000 houses and 4,000 buildings. Most of the casualties were due to

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video thumbnail: Indonesian Capacity Building in Seismology and Tsunami Detection
September 10, 2009

Indonesian Capacity Building in Seismology and Tsunami Detection

The December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami was one of the deadliest natural disasters of modern history, killing over 225,000 people. As a result of this catastrophe, the U.S. Geological Survey has partnered with the international community to create an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS). An important aspect of this work is the training of employees of the Indonesian

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Image: Earthquake Drill in Japan
April 23, 2009

Earthquake Drill in Japan

Children participating in an earthquake drill on April 23, 2009, at the British School in Tokyo, Showa Campus. The drill is based on the Japanese Earthquake Early Warning System.

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Image: Damage from 2008 Great Sichuan Earthquake in China
October 18, 2008

Damage from 2008 Great Sichuan Earthquake in China

The May 12, 2008, Great Sichuan Earthquake, also called the Wenchuan Earthquake, occurred at 14:28 local time, in Sichuan Province, China. The earthquake magnitudes were Mw = 7.9 (USGS), Ms = 8.0 (Chinese Earthquake Administration). The epicenter was 80 km west-northwest of Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan province. Damage by earthquake-induced landslides was

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Attribution: Natural Hazards
Wrecked buildings and washed-up boat far from water after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.

Extensive damage in Japan after massive earthquake and tsunami

Extensive damage to buildings and roads, and large boats washed far ashore, provide valuable information to tsunami researchers. Here, in Natori, Japan, south of Sendai, the height of damage indicates that the water flow from the tsunami wave was about 10 meters (33 feet).

Image: Destruction in Downtown Concepcion, Chile

Destruction in Downtown Concepcion, Chile

A masonry building in the downtown part of Concepcion, Chile partially collapsed as a result of the M 8.8 earthquake on Feb. 27, 2010. Most modern buildings in Concepcion were undamaged during the earthquake due to the city's adoption of adequate building standards. However, many masonry buildings such as this one were heavily damaged.

Image: Mw6.6 Lushan China Earthquake, April 20 2013

Mw6.6 Lushan China Earthquake, April 20 2013

Damage to a village house. Longxingcun.