Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global
5.7 Earthquake hits Kepulauan Kai, Indonesia.
5.1 Earthquake hits eastern New Guinea, Papua New Guinea.
5.0 Earthquake hits Kyushu, Japan.
5.0 Earthquake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan.
Seismic Roundup: 2014
Twelve large earthquakes shook the globe in 2014, seven fewer than in 2013, according to a final tally of the year’s temblors by the U.S. Geological Survey.
The raw numbers: At 12 quakes, the past year tied with 2008 for the number of earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher. Eleven of those 2014 quakes had magnitudes between 7.0 and 7.9, while the biggest quake of the year came in at magnitude 8.2. That shaker hit Iquique, Chile, on April 1, triggering a 7-foot-high (2.1 meters) tsunami.
However, the deadliest quake of 2014 was far smaller. On Aug. 3, a magnitude-6.1 earthquake hit Ludian Xian in the Chinese province of Yunnan. That quake killed 617 of the 664 people who died in earthquakes worldwide in 2014. Poorly constructed, unreinforced buildings were a major factor in the high fatality rate during the Yunnan quake.
The largest earthquake in the United States hit the Aleutian Islands of Alaska on June 23. It was recorded as a magnitude of 7.9, making it the second-biggest quake of the year globally. The quake generated a 6-inch-high (15 centimetres) tsunami nearby, but there was little damage in the remote, sparsely populated region.
On average, the USGS records 14,500 earthquakes a year of magnitude 2.5 or greater in the U.S. and magnitude 4.0 or greater internationally. Since 1900, about 18 quakes a year are magnitude 7.0 or higher, according to the agency.