• On May 22, 1960, the most powerful earthquake in recorded history—magnitude 9.5—struck southern Chile. The rupture zone stretched almost 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) along the country’s coast. The event was named after the city most affected by the quake, Valdivia. 
     
    The Valdivia earthquake left 2 million people homeless, injured at least 3,000, and killed approximately 1,655. Adjusted for inflation, the economic damage totaled more than $2 billion. 
     
    The Valdivia earthquake triggered a massive tsunami that raced across the Pacific. Waves wracked coastal communities as far away as New Zealand, Japan, and the Philippines. In Hawaii, the tsunami devastated the coastal town of Hilo, killing 61 people. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    adjust Verb

    to change or modify something to fit with something else.

    approximately Adjective

    generally or near an exact figure.

    city Noun

    large settlement with a high population density.

    coast Noun

    edge of land along the sea or other large body of water.

    Encyclopedic Entry: coast
    devastate Verb

    to destroy.

    earthquake Noun

    the sudden shaking of Earth's crust caused by the release of energy along fault lines or from volcanic activity.

    economic Adjective

    having to do with money.

    inflation Noun

    increase in the price of goods and services.

    magnitude Noun

    intensity of an earthquake, represented by numbers on a scale.

    massive Adjective

    very large or heavy.

    town Noun

    human settlement larger than a village and smaller than a city.

    trigger Verb

    to cause or begin a chain of events.

    tsunami Noun

    ocean waves triggered by an earthquake, volcano, or other movement of the ocean floor.

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