1980 El Asnam earthquake

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El Asnam earthquake
1980 El Asnam earthquake is located in Algeria
1980 El Asnam earthquake
Date October 10, 1980 (1980-10-10) [1]
Origin time 12:25 UTC [2]
Magnitude 7.3 ML [2]
Epicenter 36°20′N 01°40′E / 36.333°N 1.667°E / 36.333; 1.667Coordinates: 36°20′N 01°40′E / 36.333°N 1.667°E / 36.333; 1.667 [2]
Areas affected Algeria
Casualties ~ 3,500 dead [2]

The 1980 El Asnam earthquake occurred in the Algerian town of El Asnam (now known as Chlef) within the central part of the Chelif valley. Measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, it was the largest earthquake in Algeria, and was followed 3 hours later by a magnitude 6.3 aftershock. Both quakes caused considerable damage and a high death toll.

The initial earthquake occurred at 12.24 GMT. Reports initially put the death at around 20,000. The final death toll, however, ended up being around 3,500. The town's main hospital, a big department store, the central mosque, a girls' school and two housing complexes were destroyed.[1] Around 300,000 people were left homeless. The earthquake was the largest in the Atlas range since 1790.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "1980: Thousands feared dead in Algerian quake". BBC. 1980-10-10. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d Utsu, T. R. (2002), "A List of Deadly Earthquakes in the World: 1500-2000", International Handbook of Earthquake & Engineering Seismology, Part A, Volume 81A (First ed.), Academic Press, p. 708, ISBN 978-0124406520 
  3. ^ Ambraseys, Nicolas (1981). "The El Asnam (Algeria) earthquake of 10 October 1980; conclusions drawn from a field study". Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (Geological Society of London) 14: 143–148. doi:10.1144/gsl.qjeg.1981.014.02.05.