The Wrath Of God This Weekend

This weekend's Chilean earthquake was 8.8 on the Richter Scale, among the most powerful in recorded history. This is how its 66.6 exajoules of energy spread across the Pacific, as shown by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The earthquake - which so far has resulted in more than 700 dead people - was the equivalent of the explosion of 15.8 gigatons of TNT. That's 316 Soviet Tsar nuclear bombs - at 50 megatons, the most powerful ever created - dropping at the same time in the same place.

As NOAA's graphic model shows, it generated a huge tsunami that wiped the Pacific, fortunately weakening before it reached any populated coastal areas. [NOAA]

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