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Archive for December 13th, 2008

Major Earthquakes Increase 47 % in 3 Decades

Posted by feww on December 13, 2008

Worldwide Earthquakes [Magnitude 6 to 9.9] have increased by 47 percent in under 3 decades

A total of  1,085 earthquakes measuring magnitude 6 or greater occurred between 1980 to 1989, averaging 109 per year over the decade. In the 1990s the decadal total increased to 1,492 averaging at 149 major earthquake  per year over the period.

Since January 1, 2000 [ see table below for the date and time] a total of 1,438 major earthquakes have so far occurred worldwide raising the annual total over the last 9 years to 160 with more than 12 and a half months to go to the decade’s end.

The increase from 109 to 160 major earthquakes per year in the 1980 to 2008 period translates to a rise  of 47 percent in just under three decades.

major-worldwide-earthquakes
Major Worldwide Earthquakes [Magnitude 6 to 9.9] – 1980 to 2008 – Source of data: USGS.

Other Data

With an estimated total death toll of 88,072 [as of Dec 3, 2008,] this year has seen the second worst number of human casualties caused by earthquakes since 1980. The largest earthquake/ tsunami related casualties for the 29-year period occurred in 2004 with an estimated total of 228,802 deaths.  [The stats are based on USGS data.

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