12 of the Most Destructive Earthquakes


Indonesia: December 26, 2004

This massive earthquake just off the west coast of the island of Sumatra, and the tsunami that followed, killed at least 230,000 (and perhaps as many as 290,000) people in 12 countries -- including about 168,000 in Indonesia alone. It registered 9.1 on the Richter scale and will long be remembered for the devastating waves that brought fatalities to countries all around the Indian Ocean. Scientists say the tremor was so strong that it wobbled Earth's rotation on its axis by almost an inch.