The World’s largest earthquake with an instrumentally standard magnitude occurred on May 22, 1960 near Valdivia, in southern Chile. Rating 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale and it occurred in the afternoon and its resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand and southeast Australia. It is referred to as the huge Chilean Earthquake and the 1960 Valdivia Earthquake.
The earthquake occurred beneath the Pacific Ocean off the coastline of Chile. Ground motion from this earthquake damaged many buildings. The United States Geological Survey reports this event as the major earthquake of the 20th Century. Most of the damage and deaths were caused by a sequence of tsunamis that were generated by the earthquake. These giant waves swept over coastal areas moments after the quake occurred.