The natural disaster, Earthquake has caused immense damage to life and property. It has not only left thousands of people homeless, but has also ruined the lives of millions across the globe. Earthquakes affect many parts of the world every year. Also, earthquakes further lead to tsunamis and volcanic eruptions causing even more damage. The world is divided into seismic zones based on the tectonic plates and the magnitude of earthquakes. We bring you 10 most earthquake prone countries in the world and how the quake has caused immense damage in these countries.
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Japan tops the list of the earthquake prone areas. The country has a long history of witnessing disastrous earthquakes since it is situated on the Pacific “Ring of fire”. Due to the subduction of the Philippine Sea plate beneath the Okinawa plate and Amurian plate, Japan has observed a series of several high-intensity earthquakes. On March 11, 2011, a deadly earthquake had shaken the entire country. It was also the costliest natural calamity for Japan. The Fukushima nuclear accident during the earthquake had attracted worldwide concerns.
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If estimates are to be believed, a citizen in Nepal is more likely to be killed by an earthquake as compared to any civilian in the world. An earthquake of 8.4 magnitude had hit the country in the year 1934. Another recent earthquake of 7.9 magnitude that hit the country on April 25, caused immense damage to life and property. The iconic dharahara tower was also destroyed due to the quake.
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India has also experienced a series of some deadly earthquakes due to the movement of the Indian tectonic plate at the rate of 47 mm every year. Due to the movement of tectonic plates, India is prone to Earthquakes. India has been divided into five zones on the basis of peak ground accelerations. On December 26, 2004, an earthquake followed by a tsunami had killed around 15,000 Indians. Also, on January 26, 2001, an Earthquake in Gujarat had also killed thousands.
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Ecuador has several active volcanoes making the country an extremely dangerous for high- magnitude quakes and tremors. The country lies within the seismic zone between the South American plate and the Nazca plate. On August 12, 2014, an Earthquake of 5.1 magnitude on the Richter scale had rattled Quito, which was followed by an aftershock of 4.3 magnitude. 2 people were reported dead and 8 were injured.
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Philippines lies on the edge of the Pacific plate, which is traditionally a seismic hot zone that encircles the state. In Philippines, earthquakes with high magnitude have led to deadly volcanic eruptions in the past. On October 15, 2013, an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 Richter scale had struck central Philippines leading to more than 100 deaths.
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Another earthquake prone country is Pakistan, which is geologically situated atop the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. In September 2013, a powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.7 Richter scale had killed over 300 people causing immense damage to life and property.
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El Salvador is another earthquake prone country, and has suffered immense damage due to quakes in the region. These quakes have caused several casualties and has led to considerable damage to property. In October 2014, an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 Richter scale had hit El Salvador, 66 miles off the coast. Only 1 casualty had been recorded.
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Mexico is another earthquake prone country, which has faced several earthquakes of high magnitudes in the past . The country falls in one of the most seismically active area on the surface of the earth. It is situated atop three seismic plates namely, Cocos plate, Pacific plate and the North American plate. Due to the movement of the tectonic plates, volcanic eruptions have also been high. In April 2014, the nation was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 Richter scale leading to many casualties in Guerrero.
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Turkey falls within the seismic zone between Arabian, Eurasian and African plates. So, the earthquake can hit the country at any point of time. On Aug 17, 1999, the country was hit by an earthquake of 7.6 magnitude Richter scale. The event lasted for just 37 seconds, and killed around 17,000 people. Over 50,000 people were injured and over 5,00,000 people were rendered homeless.
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Indonesia is quite vulnerable to earthquakes as well as other natural disasters. Quakes have led to immense damages to life and property in the past years. In 2013, an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 Richter scale had struck Indonesia causing 35 deaths.
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