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Economic damage from world's major quakes nears $1T

Besides causing tens of thousands of deaths and unprecedented sorrow, the world’s major earthquakes in the last 50 years also created nearly $1 trillion in economic damage, according to data compiled by Anadolu.

The March 11, 2011 magnitude 9.1 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan claimed the lives of nearly 20,000 people and caused 70 million cubic meters of rubble, data from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) shows.

The Tohoku earthquake also created the largest property loss at $360 billion, while it is also the most expensive in world history in terms of insured losses at $47 billion, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

The Great Hanshin earthquake, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan in 1995, led to a death toll of over 6,400 with $200 billion in economic damage.

The magnitude 8 Sichuan earthquake in 2008 in southern China, which caused the deaths of more than 87,000 people, resulted in an estimated damage of $150 billion.

The US experienced one of its most costly earthquakes, Northridge, on Jan. 17, 1994, when a magnitude 6.7 earthquake shook Los Angeles, California. The economic damage was calculated as $50 billion.

It was the second-largest earthquake in world history in terms of insured losses at $31 billion, according to I.I.I.

New Zealand's 6.3 magnitude Christchurch earthquake in 2011, leading to the deaths of 185 people, resulted in property losses of $40 billion with $14 billion of the damage covered by insurance.


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