Around the world an average of 20,000 earthquakes occure every year - about 50 a day.
In Japanese mythology a giant catfish called Namazu is responsible for quakes.
Each year, on average, 8,000 people are killed by earthquakes.
The most devastating earthquake recorded occured on 23 January 1556 in Shaanxi, China. More than 830,000 people died.
The most powerful earthquakes of the XX and XXI centuries are:
Valdivia, Chile - Magnitude: 9.5 - May 22nd, 1960
Great Alaska Earthquake, USA - Magnitude: 9.2 - Mar 27th, 1964
Sumatra, Indonesia - Magnitude: 9.1 - Dec 26th, 2004
Tohoku, Japan - Magnitude: 9.0 - Mar 11th, 2011
The Indian Ocean quake in 2004 generated waves up to 30 metres high and enough energy to power all the homes and businesses in the United States for three days.
The 11 March 2011 Japan earthquake shifted the position of Earth’s axid by about 17 cm.
The earthquake that had more donations in humanitarian aid is Sumatra with $14bn pledged.

NASA; USGC; National Geographic; Centers for Desease Control and Prevention
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