Most of the earthquakes happen in countries that sit in the area called the “”Pacific Ring of Fire”. This is due to the drifting and collision of the earth’s crust called crustal plate. It may also be the result of movements of the tectonic plates.
More than 75% of the volcanoes in the world, both active and dormant, are found in those countries within this ring. These are the places mostly hit by large earthquakes in the world. Statistics showed that 80% of the largest tremors occurred along this horseshoe shaped Ring of Fire. The total area of this earthquake belt is about 40,000 kilometers.
Largest earthquakes in the world and magnitude:
- 1960 – Valdivia, Chile – 9.5
- 1964 – Alaska – 9.2
- 2004 – Sumatra, Indonesia – 9.0
- 2011 – Honshu, Japan – 8.8
- 2010 – Maule, Chile – 8.8
- 2005 – Sumatra, Indonesia – 8.6
- 2007 – Sumatra, Indonesia – 8.5
March 11, 2011 – Update
Tsunami warnings have been raised to some countries that sit on the Pacific Ring of Fire after the 8.8 magniture earthquake rocked Japan today. The countries are : Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Guam, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia and Hawaii. People living near the coastal areas were asked to be on alert and move to higher and safer areas.
The Pacific Ring of Fire is composed of countries and islands which lie on the Pacific Ocean basin. These places are susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and devastating tsunamis due to the high volcanic and seismic activities within the region. It includes four continents of the world and other chain of islands. It stretches from New Zealand, the eastern side of Asia and to the southern coast of North and South America. The horseshoe-shaped Ring of Fire region has both active and dormant volcanoes in the world.