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Issue 21
, 2010
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Earthquake deaths lower in 2009

Source: ENN, Date: , 2010

The US Geological Survey reports that earthquake related deaths numbered 1783 worldwide, a big decrease from 2008 when more than 88,000 died, with more than 87,000 of the deaths occurring in the Eastern Sichuan, China earthquake in May 2008.

In 2009, the worst earthquake was the September 30th earthquake in Southern Sumatra, Indonesia in which 1,117 people were killed.
Overall, earthquakes took the lives of people in 15 countries on four continents during 2009, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Costa Rica, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Honduras, Japan, Malawi, Samoa, South Africa and Tonga, as well as the U.S. territory of American Samoa. Earthquakes injured people in 11 additional countries, including the mainland United States, where a magnitude 4.4 earthquake on May 2 injured one person in the Los Angeles area.

The past year also marked the five-year anniversary of the magnitude 9.1 Sumatra-Andaman Island earthquake and subsequent tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004. That quake and tsunami killed 227,898 people, which is the fourth largest casualty toll for earthquakes and the largest toll for a tsunami in recorded history.