March 11, 2011: A magnitude 8.9 quake strikes off the northeast coast of Japan, sending a tsunami across the Pacific and killing a still-undetermined number of people.
December 2004: An Indian Ocean tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, kills 230,000 in a dozen countries.
March 1964: A 9.2 magnitude earthquake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and the resulting tsunami kill 131 people.
May 1960: A magnitude 9.5 earthquake in southern Chile and ensuing tsunami kill at least 1,716 people.
November 1952: A magnitude 9.0 quake in Kamchatka causes damage but no reported deaths despite setting off 30-foot (9.1-meter) waves in Hawaii.
Sources: U.S. Geological Survey, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and WHO's International Disaster Database