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1960 Puerto Montt, Valdivia, Chile Images
browse graphic On May 22, 1960, a Mw 9.5 earthquake, the largest earthquake ever instrumentally recorded, occurred in southern Chile. The series of earthquakes that followed ravaged southern Chile and ruptured over a period of days a 1,000 km section of the fault, one of the longest ruptures ever reported. The number of fatalities associated with both the earthquake and tsunami has been estimated to be between 490 and 5,700. Reportedly there were 3,000 injured, and initially there were 717 missing in Chile. The Chilean government estimated 2,000,000 people were left homeless and 58,622 houses were completely destroyed. Damage (including tsunami damage) was more than $500 million U.S. dollars.