1952 Severo-Kurilsk earthquake

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1952 Severo-Kurilsk earthquake
209 0943 SevKur heli View wiki.jpg
The site of Severo-Kurilsk, seen from a helicopter before the 1952 tsunami. The site of the modern town, rebuilt at higher level, is not visible.
1952 Severo-Kurilsk earthquake is located in Russia
1952 Severo-Kurilsk earthquake
UTC time1952-11-04 16:58:30
ISC event893648
Local dateNovember 5, 1952 (1952-11-05)
Local time04:58:30
Magnitude9.0 Mw [1]
Epicenter52°18′N 161°00′E / 52.3°N 161.0°E / 52.3; 161.0Coordinates: 52°18′N 161°00′E / 52.3°N 161.0°E / 52.3; 161.0 [1]
Max. intensityXI (Extreme) [1]
Tsunami18 m (59 ft) [2]
Casualties2,336 dead

The 1952 Severo-Kurilsk earthquake struck off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The 9.0 Mw earthquake triggered a major tsunami that hit Severo-Kurilsk, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin Oblast, Russian SFSR, USSR, on 4 November 1952 at about 5 a.m. This led to the destruction of many settlements in Sakhalin Oblast and Kamchatka Oblast, while the main impact struck the town of Severo-Kurilsk. It was the fifth most powerful earthquake on record, and to date, the most powerful earthquake in Russian history.

The tsunami was generated by a major earthquake in the Pacific Ocean, 130 kilometers (81 mi) from the shore of Kamchatka, with an estimated magnitude of 9.0. There were three waves about 15–18 meters (49–59 ft) high. After the earthquake the majority of the Severo-Kurilsk citizens fled to the surrounding hills, where they escaped the first wave. However, most of them returned to the town and were killed by the second wave. The third wave was minor. According to the authorities, out of a population of 6,000 people, 2,336 died. The survivors were evacuated to continental Russia. The settlement was then rebuilt in another location.

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  1. ^ a b c 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. 706, ISBN 978-0124406520
  2. ^ USGS (September 4, 2009), PAGER-CAT Earthquake Catalog, Version 2008_06.1, United States Geological Survey


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