A timeline of world’s strongest earthquakes over the last 20 years

10-year-old rescued under rubble after Turkey earthquake (Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

In the wake of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has struck Turkey and northwest Syria, killing hundreds of people across both nations, here are some the largest earthquakes from around the world during the past two decades.

14 August 2021


A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southern Haiti, killing more than 2,200 people and destroying or damaging about 13,000 homes.

Follow the latest on the aftermath of the Turkey earthquake here

28 September 2018


A 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Sulawesi, resulting in a 1.5 metre tsunami and killing more than 4,300 people.

12 November 2017


A magnitude 7.3 earthquake shook the eastern Kermanshah region, killing more than 400 people. At least six people died in neighbouring Iraq.

19 September 2017


A 7.1 magnitude quake hit central Mexico, killing at least 369 people and causing more devastation in the capital than any temblor since an earthquake in 1985 that killed thousands.

24 August 2016


A 6.2 magnitude quake struck a cluster of mountain communities east of Rome in central Italy, killing about 300 people.

16 April 2016


A magnitude 7.8 earthquake hammered Ecuador, killing more than 650 people on the country's Pacific coast.

26 October 2015


A magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked the Afghan northeast, killing nearly 400 people in the country as well as in northern Pakistan.

25 April 2015


A magnitude 7.8 earthquake ravaged impoverished Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and disrupting the lives of more than eight million.

3 August 2014


A magnitude 6.3 earthquake devastated southwestern China, killing at least 600 people in a remote area of Yunnan province.

24 September 2013


Twin earthquakes, measuring 7.7 and 6.8 magnitude, rattled southwestern Balochistan province, killing at least 825 people.

11 August 2012


Two strong quakes, measuring 6.4 magnitude and 6.3 respectively, killed at least 300 people near the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran.

23 Octber 2011


A powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook southeast Turkey, killing more than 600 people.

11 March 2011


A 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck Japan's northeast, killing about 15,690 people and injuring 5,700. The earthquake also triggered the world's biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

22 February 2011

New Zealand

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, killing at least 180 people.

27 February 2010


An 8.8 magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami in Chile killed more than 500 people, wrecking hundreds of thousands of homes and mangling highways and bridges.

13 January 2010


A 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince and killed about 316,000 people. The United Nations estimated 80,000 buildings in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas were destroyed.

12 May 2008


A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan province, killing about 87,600 people.

26 December 2004

Across Asia

A 9.15 magnitude earthquake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that barrelled into Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and many other countries in the region, devastating villages and tourist islands and leaving almost 230,000 dead or missing.

8 October 2005


A 7.6 magnitude quake northeast of Islamabad killed at least 73,000 people. The quake also rocked Indian Kashmir, killing 1,244 there.

26 December 2003


A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hit the southeastern Kerman province and flattened the city of Bam, killing 31,000 people.