North America’s Strongest Ever Earthquakes


Nearly 3,000 people were killed and over 5,000 were injured when an earthquake rocked Morocco.

Some mountain communities close to the epicenter were nearly wiped out, and Marrakech's ancient districts were severely damaged as well.

As a measure of the energy released and the length of ground movement along a fault, this quake measured a 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale.

For earthquakes greater than magnitude 5, the more widely used Richter scale is less reliable than the moment scale.

A magnitude 6 earthquake is roughly comparable to 60,000 tons of TNT, a magnitude 7 is equivalent to 1,000,000 tons of TNT.

Seismic events of magnitude 8 or above have been consistently documented as the most powerful ever.

North Africa is not particularly prone to earthquakes, although other regions, such as Alaska and some sections of the United States, are.

24/7 Tempo looked into the United States Geological Survey's seismic mapping tool to determine the 12 most recent earthquakes of magnitude 8 or higher to hit North America.

After 1900, when instruments were developed to record earthquakes, we only list those that occurred after that year.