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Quake is world's seventh most powerful on record

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on Friday afternoon was the country’s most powerful, and the world’s ninth biggest quake ever recorded, according to the US Geological Survey.

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AFP - The monster 8.9-magnitude earthquake which hit Japan on Friday was the country's biggest ever and the seventh largest on record, according to US Geological Survey data.

Here are the largest magnitude earthquakes in history, according to the USGS website:

- 9.5, Chile, May 5, 1960. A quake off the coast of southern Chile killed more than 1,600 people and left 2,000,000 homeless.

- 9.2, Alaska, United States, March 27, 1964. A quake and tsunami killed 128 people and caused severe damage to the state's largest city Anchorage.

- 9.1, Indonesia, December 26, 2004. An undersea quake caused a massive tsunami that devastated coastlines in countries around the Indian Ocean, ultimately killing more than 220,000 people.

- 9.0, Russia, November 4, 1952. A quake off the coast of the remote Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's far east caused Pacific-wide tsunamis.

- 9.0, Peru, August 13, 1868. The port of Arica, which is now part of Chile, was hit by a quake felt up to 1,400 kilometres (870 miles) away.

- 9.0, North America, January 26, 1700. A quake affecting 1,000 kilometres of coastline set off a tsunami that crossed the Pacific Ocean and caused damage to coastal villages in Japan.

- 8.9, Japan, March 11, 2011. An undersea quake off northeast Japan unleashed a 10-metre-high tsunami which left devastation in its wake.

In pictures: Japan quake
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- 8.8, Chilean coast, February 27, 2010. An offshore quake and tsunami killed more than 500 people, most in the coastal area of Maule, 400 kilometres (250 miles) south-west of the capital Santiago.

- 8.8, Ecuador, January 31, 1906. A quake struck off the coast of Ecuador and Colombia and was felt as far away as San Francisco.

- 8.7, Alaska, February 4, 1965. A quake in the remote Rat Islands generated a tsunami reported to be 10 metres high.

- 8.7, Portugal, November 1, 1755. The capital Lisbon was struck by a quake while many residents were in church. A quarter of the city's population perished.

- 8.7, Chile, July 8, 1730. A quake hit the city of Valparaiso, 120 kilometres northwest of the capital Santiago, causing a tsunami which hit more than 1,000 kilometres of coastline.

"WE WATCHED OUR OLD HOUSE SWAYING BACK AND FORTH"

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